I can see why this book reportedly got a 7 FIGURE book deal, and I can also see how V.E. Schwab gets readers to finish a nearly 150,000-word book, because I finished it and didn’t want it to end. I mostly listened to it on audiobook (narrated by Julia Whelan who’s fantastic as usual), but I also had a copy of the print book, so I dipped in and out of both. Finished it yesterday and couldn’t wait to write my review.
SYNOPSIS: 18th century France. Adeline LaRue is a young woman in a desperate situation. Hours before her arranged wedding, she makes a deal with a “god” who comes to her in the black woods: she’ll exchange her soul for freedom, to belong to no one, and to have more time. She becomes immortal, but she is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets, as soon as she passes from their sight.
So Addie wanders the world without the ability to leave a mark, except as a muse for artists.
Until 300 years later, in a secondhand bookstore in present-day Manhattan, she meets a young man who remembers her.
THOUGHTS: Wow. All I can say is wow. I usually have no problem putting my thoughts down in words, but I don’t really have another word to use. Incredible premise, gorgeous writing, amazing story, and unforgettable characters. It incorporates history, fantasy, and one of the most moving love stories I’ve read in a long time. This is the kind of book that makes aspiring authors want to give up writing (I really need to stop reading these!). There are a few Content Warnings I’d give for more conservative readers, so I’m wary of recommending this to everyone I know, but as far as plot, premise, characters and prose, this gets 5 stars from me.
Photo by: Alisa Anton
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