I am not okay. This was absolutely heartbreaking, but in the best way possible.
Addie LaRue made a deal: she will live forever, but no one will remember her. She is forced to slip through life, surviving however she can, but at least she is free. She has books, and films, and paintings, and if she is a little lonely, she can distract herself with momentary romances as she needs to. The darkness who holds her deal has other plans, though, and Addie is determined to best him, to live her life, to experience all she can.
So, wow. I will forever be in awe of V.E. Schwab and her writing. This was just so lyrical yet accessible, so beautifully written yet grounded in reality, and I did not want it to end. At all. I shed more than a few tears after I turned the last page.
Addie is such a wonderful heroine. She's full of fire, and her story is so tragic, but she never gives up - until a different kind of love changes her. And on that note, Henry is just so wonderfully relatable and tragic and heart-achingly beautiful in his own ways; a few of his chapters made me tear up, made me want to reach into the pages and just hug him.
Story-wise, this is more meandering than some may enjoy, but I thought it made the narrative seem so very personal and moving. You literally move through the centuries with Addie, learning and experiencing everything with her, and it just all took me away from reality in a way that I covet in my books. Is there a huge amount of action? No. But it wouldn't have been the same story, and I think the world needs this story exactly the way it is.
This was just the perfect combination of stunning writing, memorable characters, and a story that makes you want to rip your heart out of your chest because it's both too happy and too sad all at once. I adored it.