I won’t waste my time talking about the brilliant plot of the book and how splendidly well was the execution. I won’t nitpick on the technicalities in writing and pace or stress on the characters and their development because I’m pretty sure every book blogger in existence have wrote about them. I decided to then write about my feelings about the book and not about the book itself.
Book Summary | (Skip to Review)
Adeline LaRue was a dreamer. This she always somehow knew, ever since that one trip outside her little village with her father going to the marketplace, Adeline knew that the world is so vast. And Adeline dreamed of exploring the vastness of such a world.
But the world is cruel to dreamers and even more cruel to women.
At a last desperate attempt to for freedom and happiness, Adeline strikes a bargain with the darkness; a handsome feral devil in disguise. As many know, for every wish there is a price to pay. And Adeline’s payment is this:
Her soul and that know one remembers her. literally.
So for 300 long years she has lived but did not exist. A lifetime of being invisible yet free.
That is until she meets Henry Strauss in a little cozy bookstore where miraculously he seems the only one to remember. But why? Why now? And How?
From the moment I was introduced to Schwab last summer via her A Darker Shade of Magic series I knew I was looking out for the next legendary writer. I was sitting in the middle of a busy almost roaring cafe as I waited for my sister to come by, but in truth I was far away. Stuck between three Londons, damned curses, and magical cities far from any reality. That is how I knew I was reading a priceless book. That’s also how I knew that this was a phenomenal writer.
So I eagerly kept a lookout for her next release and when Addie was first announced I was ecstatic. The idea and concept behind the book was very in line with her dark fantasy themes, and I couldn’t wait to drown myself in them. The books soared to high praises and high ratings and I smiled to myself because I wasn’t surprised. Now having finally to have read it, here’s what I thought:
Addie LaRue is a book you won’t forget for a long time. It is one where you’ll look at that glossy black cover with the yellow gold stitches and instantly conjure up feelings. It is safe to say that it utterly wrecked me, but in the best way. It’s the kind of wreck and ruin that comes with the beautiful and the damned, and the very very human. It is also a very polarizing book, I’m one of the most patient readers but even I sensed some repetition going about in the book. That didn’t impact my enjoyment as I was totally enamored by Schwab’s writing skills.
Time as a concept is one of my favorite “elements” ( I guess? I don’t know exactly what to call time). It’s something that is so universal in a way that everyone knows what time is but even then there are so many interpretations about time and from very different people. Physicists view it one way, artists paint it in another, poets and novelists imagine it differently, a laborer experiences it in another form, and astronauts measure it with gravity. It’s just extremely fascinating to me because you can’t really define it with one sentence, and no matter how many books and essays we have about time I’ll always read them.
Schwab’s writing is on another level. I love when the writing gets illusory and lyrical without it being fancy and over exaggerated. I was constantly left with a longing ache throughout the book, not just about Addie’s predicaments but at the life breathed through the pages. It had me longing for a happier world without this ghastly pandemic, one with crowded coffee shops, street markets with every color and flavor, museums with artistry and knowledge, theatre that is dramatic and bold, music bellowing out from concert halls as you wave your arms up in the air. How open and easy the world was.
As much as this book is very much about Addie, I adored Henry. Scwab’s translations of the fears attributed to time and success is done so well. Henry’s feelings about not being enough, romantically, professionally, and even personally. It is a flesh eating mindset that will leave you empty and hollow. I love how his mental illness is not always explicit, it’s a combination of all these negative feelings that add strain and eventually break the back. You don’t have to have this one singular strong breakdown to be mentally ill. A lot of the times it’s little rocks that get piled on top of each other until they topple over.
There were times where there was talk about faith and belief, being someone who’s faith is very important and serious personally I wasn’t comfortable when that sprung up. It kind of made me cringe and dampened my enjoyment a bit, hence that lost half star, but again this is coming from personally and subjectively from me as a reader and person.