Author: V. E. Schwab.
Genre: Fantasy Novel.
Suffocated by the conservative expectations by the society, Adeline starts praying to the Gods for her freedom. On her wedding day, her prayer is answered by a devil, who grants her immortality in exchange for her soul that she would eventually surrender willingly. Also, as her wish for freedom, she would be not be remembered by anyone after their first meeting. From then on she lives her every single day travelling around, free and forgotten. While at it, she constantly tries to leave a mark on the world. She follows a chaotic yet predictable routine until one fine day she meets Henry, who remembers her after their first meeting. The idea of someone remembering her intrigues her. Excited, she decides to pursue him to know more about this glitch in the curse.
The timeline keeps shifting from the present to her past in a non-linear narration. She lives a free life for almost three centuries with an impromptu visit from the devil whom she later names Luc, challenging her to surrender, which she ofcourse, refuses every single time. While her journey is interesting and adventurous it lacks substance about the major historical events that she apparently witnesses. There is a casual mention of some world occurrences in the passing without much of her contribution or opinion. The story seemed more about her love affairs, the many first dates, pilfering for survival, her struggle to leave a mark and other escapades. Inspite of her being immortal, the purpose of her freedom seemed unchallenged and frivolous. Addie’s character felt superficial which lacked depth about her feelings about the surroundings. The years pass so casually in the story as if they are minutes without much of a consolation.
Having said that, I loved the language, the fluidity, the influence on the art and culture yet it felt incomplete to me. I needed more about her journey, her encounters and not just her one night stands. The whole world transformed multifold during the three centuries, but there is hardly any mention of its effect on her.
If I just overlook the previous analysis, I really liked the prose of the story. It is a slow read which demands your rapt attention as you might miss certain developments in this strangely laid out timeline. Read this book for the structure of the thought of being forgotten every moment in this world where we do everything possible only to be remembered.