Top critical review
Cool premise but falls short in emotion
Reviewed in Canada on January 8, 2021
The Invisible Life of Addie Larue is the belle of the book nerd ball. Everyone was scampering to get their hands on a copy, and I was one of them. This was an atmospheric, character-driven read with a slower pace that has a fantastical feel about a woman who makes a deal with the devil only to learn that you have to be careful what you wish for.
I loved the concept, but I set my expectations too high based on its rave reviews. Since the book had over 16k reviews - most of them being 4 and 5 stars - I expected to be totally enamored with this story and I kind of was, but I kind of wasn't.
Schwab's writing had a lyrical feel, and she had an interesting premise that slowly built over the first half and then whacks readers over the head with a good twist. I loved it! But then the story falters and d-r-a-g-s in the second half as we go over and over the fact that A) people will soon forget Addie, B) she has seven star freckles on her face (I'm still not sure of their relevance) and C) Luc will visit her on the anniversary of her curse. We meander through the mundane issues of her daily life as she adapts to new eras/people and while I wouldn't say the story was dull, it never fully caught my attention either. The story is about Addie, but I never got to know her and I felt like I was on the periphery of the story and emotion. I also didn't buy the romance Schwab was selling. We're told there's romance, but it felt forced and lacked passion. There was a whole lot more emotional zing to the other relationship in the story.
Schwab's languid approach to writing is filled with good descriptions of the different eras, but Addie remains emotionally elusive to the people around her and to the reader. A unique premise but with its overly drawn-out plot, this was just an okay read for me.