France, 1714: in a moment of desperation, a young woman makes a Faustian bargain to live forever and is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets.
Thus begins the extraordinary life of Addie LaRue, and a dazzling adventure that will play out across centuries and continents, across history and art, as a young woman learns how far she will go to leave her mark on the world.
But everything changes when, after nearly 300 years, Addie stumbles across a young man in a hidden bookstore and he remembers her name.
This was amazing and nothing could have prepared me for this novel. [I’ve never read any of Schwab’s works before aside from a short story in ‘A Universe of Wishes’]
The only reason I managed to read this book within a timely matter of acquiring it was due to the Illumicrate readalong for it and I’m so glad I did join in for it. That being said, I didn’t write many notes as I probably should have and the few comments I’ve made have really just been me gushing about how amazing a read this book was for me.
The whole cast of characters that appeared was so well fleshed out and spectacular in their own rights. Addie was certainly a favorite of mine but Henry just really spoke to me so much with his insecurities and the need to be loved as a reflection of my own short comings. While Addie represented the sort of fierce desire I imagine most of us feel in some way, shape, or form. Then there was Luc of course and hahaha oh man my dark little heart loved him for all his atrocities and intricacies.
Each of these three characters was so magnificently different form each other and yet tied in the most unbreakable of bonds.
The plot was really not the focus, this was like watching a cooking show where you enjoyed watching the production of a recipe more than perhaps just focusing on what the result was. This also means it was quite slow moving in that regard and so it might not be for everyone, this is a book that meanders and the plot isn’t really clear aside from the fact we know we want Addie to be remembered for her at some point. But even then, it’s not something we have to get to right away.
It was easy to understand where Addie was coming from, her need to inspire taking place over the need to be remembered since she can’t be with the hand she’s been dealt. But I was enjoying the glimpses of her past and her time with Henry, and of course I really wanted to know more about this lead up to what Luc and her ‘fell out’ over. [Not that they weren’t really not falling out already most of the time.]
That ending though! It was brilliant, what Addie did with Henry, the product of that and the way that she threw down her hand and played the long game with Luc. We don’t get to see the product of her and Luc’s ‘new’ deal but we do know that however it goes, Addie figures she’s won and that was a pretty satisfying ending for me.
The writing style is languid and full of details and small flourishes that I downright fell in love with. The plot is almost unnecessary to the enjoyment of the book and yet still well-honed in at the end, and the characters were fantastic, that includes the side characters that I didn’t mention.
5/5 cups of coffee from me and definitely not just a favorite of 2020 for me but an overall favorite now. Excuse me while I go to read this again after boxing up my feelings again to ready for round two lol.