Cover Image: The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue

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I love V.E.Schwabs writing, so no surprise I loved this book. Addie, the main character sells her soul to the devil for immortality.  But as as like all devil pacts there’s a twist. She is totally forgotten by everyone she knows.. she flees her home and travels. Her only companion being a green eyed don. And a visit from the devil every year. Until she meets someone in a bookshop who remembers her. There are so many twists and turns in this books. I loved Addie and i felt the books really did take me on a journey with her. Well worth a read, I highly recommend.
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Three hundred years in the past, in a small French village, Addie is doomed to marry a widower with children – a replacement for his recently deceased wife. Desperate to avoid her fate she calls upon the gods for help, but you should never call upon a god when it's dark. Instead of a benevolent daylight god, Addie gets the Dark himself, and does a deal. He can have her soul when she's finished with it in return for life… a long life… even immortality… until she decides it's time to surrender. It's a blessing, but it's also a curse. Throughout her long life Addie will not be able to make any mark upon the world, and everyone will forget her the instant she's out of their sight. It's a strange life. She can't make friends, have her own home, hold down a job, or take a lover for more than one night without starting afresh every morning. She learns to navigate the world invisibly, her three hundred years punctuated by visits from Dark to see if she's ready to surrender. And then, in modern New York, she meets Henry, the only one who doesn't forget her.

We see Addie's history as well as her trials in the present day. She flits from situation to situation, the only one she can relate to is Dark – or Luc as she comes to call him – until suddenly she meets Henry.

This is a book about the imbalance of power. Addie and Luc are connected is a way she can't begin to comprehend. She hates him, but she also comes to rely on him because he's the only one who truly knows her. It's a kind of elongated Stockholm Syndrome which happens over a period of centuries. I was intrigued by this book and I kept on reading, though there were times when I could have done with it moving forward at a smarter pace. It's had a lot of good reviews because it's different, but it's by no means perfect. The style is semi-poetic at times. It's definitely at the literary end of the fantasy genre.
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I was very excited to read this book as I have loved most of the books from this author and it sounded really intriguing.

Although I did enjoy it and thought it was really thought out and well executed, I still didn't like it as much as some of her other novels and felt that it went on for longer than it needed to in places. I liked the character development and found it really interesting the way the author built up the like of Addie. 

Overall I did enjoy the book and it wasn't as magical as some of the authors other works which should help it appeal to a wider market.
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I love VE Schwab and I was SO EXCITED to be approved for this. Even though I was approved here I ended up buying the hardback because it is so stunning. I absolutely loved it as I knew I would.
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Even though I found the concept and the writing to be very good, the unbearable whiteness of it all made me want to discard it multiple times. In 300 years of her life, Addie only visits places in Europe and North America. She makes the 'deal with the devil' so that she can see the whole world, and apparently Europe and North America is the whole world. As a person of colour whose country was colonised, looted and exploited by those same white colonisers, I found this book to be frustratingly ignorant. I understand that talking about the plight of POC and colonisation was probably not the "vibe" of this book, but the blatant erasure stung.

Detailed review to come later.
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On the day of her marriage to a man she barely knows, Adeline LaRue comes to a decision.  She does not want to belong to anyone else.  She wants to be free to live and love the way she wants.  Adeline should be careful what she wishes for.  She makes a bargain with the devil, but her words and meaning are twisted and, as a result, she gets to live beholden to no one, because from that day forth, no one can remember her.  The story follows Addie across the centuries as she learns to live with her curse, and with the devil who she bargained with.  Then, the unthinkable happens.  Someone remembers her and her life as she knows it changes again.  I absolutely devoured this book.  I could not put it down, I was so engrossed in it.  In fact I think I need to read it again and savour it the second time.  It is such a clever idea. I especially liked the relationship between Addie and the devil as they battle across the years to gain the upper hand.  Superb fantasy with a healthy dollop of romance thrown in.  Love this!
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DISCLAIMER : Thank you, Netgalley and Titan Books for providing me with an ARC of this book. I am leaving this review voluntarily.

The Invisible Life Of Addie LaRue is my 6th book from VE Schwab, who is one of my favorite authors. I have been eyeing this book for so long, seeing the beautiful pics on Instagram and just hoping I could get my hands on this beauty. When I saw the title on Netgalley, I never thought I would be able to read it, but just for fun, I requested it. I was squealing when I saw the email saying - my request was accepted. That made my day!! Seriously!! Receiving an ARC for my favorite author made my day!! Man!! I did not see it coming, and I am forever grateful to the lovely people at Titan Books and Netgalley for this ARC. 

The story is about a Faustian bargain struck between a young girl and a God who answers after dark. Addie has always longed for more than she was given. She dreamed of more than she was allowed to. A girl with endless love for life and art makes a deal with the being who answers after dark, cursing herself to a lifetime of being alone and lonely and being forgotten by people around her. Her life is told in alternating chapters of present and past, taking us along for the endless journey that is her life. She meets a boy who remembers her and sees how the two of them navigate their new normal. The dual POVs adding to the narrative elevated the storytelling giving us an up-close view into their lives. It was raw and intimate, and the impeccable portrayal of these characters gives us a glimpse into their minds as well. 

I really don't know where to start with the praises for this book. I could start with the beautiful, lyrical, and poetic writing that brings out the whimsical and dreamy quality to the storytelling gripping the readers from the get-go. VE Schwab has a way of writing that makes me feel the emotions so strongly, and I could see her growth as a writer as well.  This is an ode to arts, and the passion for life and love of arts and history is so wonderfully and seamlessly integrated into the story making the readers fall in love with art and history. Another thing I loved is the wonderfully flawed and human characters with perfections and imperfections that will leave you wanting more of them. The idea of the world, the complexity of the characters, the mysterious, dark, and enigmatic villain all contribute to making this story an unforgettable one. The famous and popular historical figures and how their tales add to the layers of intrigue to the story were fascinating.

Overall if you are a fan of VE Schwab, pick this book up!! If you love beautiful and lyrical writing, pick this book up!! If you are a fan of historical or literary style fiction stories with whimsical quality to it, then pick this book up!! If you love slow-paced character-driven stories, then definitely pick this book up!! I cannot recommend this enough. I absolutely loved this book. This is a cozy read that you can savor and enjoy while being curled up in your blanket with a cup of hot beverage. I gave it 5 stars. I don't think it will be much of a surprise after everything I have said. Have you read this book? If so, what are some of your thoughts on it?
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This review includes some spoilers, so read with caution.

I feel like this book was so over-hyped and unfortunately for me, wasn’t as great as I had heard it to be. I didn’t hate the book (hence the three star rating), but I also didn’t majorly feel connected to the story or characters or at any point feel in love with the story (which is when a book gets 5 stars for me). I feel like this could be a pretty forgettable book to me which makes me sad because the concept really intrigued me. 

Writing style - I feel like when I’ve heard people talk about this book they have talked about how beautiful the writing style is. I personally felt like the writing style was like many other YA stories, by this I mean, not overly beautiful or poetic, but also not awful. However, this book is marketed as an adult book… I felt like the story was very slow paced and dragged out, sometimes feeling a bit repetitive. I understand that the book captures the story of Addie LaRue and her deal with the darkness to live freely forever which made her invisible or not memorable to anyone she meets once they leave. However, I feel like some of the parts from the past (or even the present really) could have been cut and the story would still have made sense. 

I feel like this book is far more of a historical romance than a fantasy (that could be on me for thinking any different) as the majority of the book focuses on Addie’s love life with different people, particularly, Remy, Sam, Toby and then of course, Henry. I found it interesting to see Henry’s deal with darkness but I feel like I didn’t really connect with Henry much or particularly like him or the relationships with those in his life (although his feelings amongst his family were relatable). 

The ending felt very predictable and disappointing to me. **(SPOILERS)** In the last part of the book, we learn about Henry’s bargains length and Addie tries to make a deal with darkness (Luc/Lucifer as she named him) to save Henry. During this we learn of their ‘relationship’ and how Luc still loves her and believes her to be his. He planned for her to meet Henry as a way to prove humans are temporary. I feel like this was predictable - throughout the book Luc makes it known that humans are not worthy of love and Addie belongs to him, and it becomes very clear that Luc feels more than desire for her soul, he loves her and protects her. To me, Henry was too convenient (by this I mean she’s never met someone who remembers her in the past 300 years and suddenly here comes a guy her age and someone who is interested in her?) and when we learn of his deal it became even more obvious to me that to fulfill both of their deals Luc could pair them together: if Addie loses the first person who remembers her she may hand her soul over. However Addie of course finds a hole and saves Henry by giving herself to Luc as he’s wanted all this time. So Addie essentially passed the pain over to Henry as he is then the one losing a loved one when she could have let him go like he was preparing for and continued with her life. She also seems pretty happy to be with Luc and living a happy life in the future together. Henry wakes remembering her and grieving his loss, and remembers the journals they wrote together. He turns them into a book which she comes across in the future. I had a feeling the journals were going to be captured within a book somehow since Henry worked in a bookstore and books play a part in Addie’s past too.  In the end Luc/the darkness gets exactly what he wanted which Addie seems quite happy with too, while Henry is left with only memories of the girl he loved and the happiness he thought he had found.
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My Review: Absolutely Beautiful Story
While it took me ages to finish this book, I thoroughly enjoyed it and have nothing but praise for it!

The Writing Style:
The prose was absolutely gorgeous. It is haunting and lyrical; it brings about a gothic atmosphere that is perfect for this story. Every word was carefully chosen and made the story come alive.

The Plot:
The story is also very interesting: Addie makes a deal to escape from a life she doesn’t want – but it comes with a price. I really enjoyed how the story went back and forth in time; I was able to see the events that occurred after making the deal and see where Addie was in the current time. There were definitely slow moments, but it was countered by the beautiful detailing of the story.

The Characters:
The introduction of Henry’s character was done very well and I really felt that connection between Addie and Henry. Was I as interested in Henry as I was Addie? No. I think Henry’s character was just not as interesting to me, and his naivety shone through in contrast to Addie’s wisdom. However, it makes sense when Addie is 300 years old and Henry is just in his 20s.

I was also really intrigued by Luc’s character – I would have loved to see more of him in the story, because he also developed as the story progressed.

Overall, I’m just massively impressed by this novel. While it was long and slow at times, the beautiful writing and depth of the story really made it worthwhile for me!
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4.75 Stars 

I don’t know how to add my own love for this book to the book communities adoration for Addie LaRue. I was a bit hesitant to pick this one up I enjoyed the other VE Schwab books I’ve read, but they’ve never blown me away. I saw all the pre-release hype for this book I read the synopsis and thought it might be interesting to give it a try. 

I was blown away by this book maybe it was because I went in with minimal expectations, or maybe it’s because it was wonderfully crafted, had such relatable characters, such a fascinating storyline and makes you question things about your own life. The only reason I gave this book 4.75 stars instead of 5, was because initially I was only fully invested in the timeline of 2014, but as time went on the increasingly enjoyed the chapters set in previous centuries.

I love how the use of the jump back and forth between centuries helps to keep me hooked in the story. It fired up my own imagination to make up scenarios how XYZ came about from information I’ve been given. Amazingly crafted pacing giving us perfectly portioned glimpses and creating a centuries long story in one book.

I love Addie as a character and enjoyed watching her learn about the limitations of her curse, her complex relationships with people throughout the book especially with Luk and Henry. And Henry, was so relatable in other ways, somehow I managed to identify with both of these characters. As someone in their 20s who is supposed to “have it all together” I could relate with Henry’s desire to make every moment count but not sure how to do it. Also Addie made me consider my influence on a day-to-day basis and in the grander scheme of things (and continues to do so) and what is true freedom. 

First and foremost this was a wonderful crafted fantasy with a plot that kept me hooked, it also has deeper messages that will keep thinking about this story long after it goes dusty on the shelf.
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Beautifully written! The characters are so well crafted and the story is wonderfully lyrical. The chapters set in the present day were particularly moreish.
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This is my favourite book of 2020. I loved the introduction into Addie - no Adeline's - life, how she came to make a deal and what happened throughout the years. I also loved that instead of making a chronologically story, you bounce back between the past and future. 

I just wish we would have gotten to know more about Luc, what he did in general and his interactions with Addie.
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Really good book thank you again for the arc ♡ ! 

At first, I was a bit surprised because I didn’t know quite well what I’m going to read but so far it’s good. I really like Addie and love the set-up in France (as a french bean).
I just loved it. Her writing is so freaking good and I can only recommend it to you this book if you love her book already.
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It is a gorgeously written book, absolutely sweeping you into the story. I wouldn't consider this a "dark" book, simply because of the atmosphere generated by the prose. It hits my other major requirement for a book to be dark (a magnetic quality and a perpetual feeling that there is a chance for it to go well, but it's slipping from reach a little more each time so the only way it will go well is a massive sacrifice that will shake the hero's very foundation, and maybe destroy one of their goals), but the prose it too... poetic.

What do I mean? Well, VICIOUS/VENGEFUL are 100% books I'd call dark - there is a hard, uncompromising feel to those book. The story and the prose are all angles. THE INVISIBLE LIFE OF ADDIE LA RUE feels more like smoke - glittering, charcoal coloured smoke. It's very hard to pin the prose down, but it has a gorgeous flow to it, the use of third person present gives it an ethereal quality - not quite fairy tale, and a world barely out of reach.

It's a slow story, and in some ways, very low stakes (no end of the world, just will Addie give in), which probably also helps it feel less dark as the world will keep spinning whatever happens with her story - playing into the theme of the book. That is far from usual in fantasy, which helps explain why this book feels like it's dancing the edge of fantasy and general/literary fiction.

The book is told in a non-linear fashion - the "present day" story (2014!), and Addie's past. Plus there's some stuff from Henry's past in there too. I'm glad I'd seen somewhere that he was a POV, because it probably would have thrown me for a bit of a loop when he started narrating, as the first section is all Addie.

The ending fits the book perfectly, so bitter sweet and perfectly fits the feel that there is so much more to Addie's story than told between the pages of the book.
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Every deal has its cost and it is no different for Addie LaRue as she bargains with the dark, for freedom that lasts as long as she wants to live. The cost? No-one can remember her; she can leave no physical mark on the world. For three centuries, she walks the world, forgotten by everyone she meets, until one day, someone remembers her. 

Reading The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue is like curling up under a blanket with a steaming mug of tea. It is delectable chocolate on the tongue, a cat choosing your lap to curl up on, a half-lazy smile as you stretch first thing upon waking. I love the way V.E. Schwab writes – it is lyrical in how the words come together and delightful in the images it conjures. The voice always comes across strongly and it stays with you long after reading. I could hear Addie’s voice in my head as she narrated and, from the words alone, it is very easy to see the care and effort that has gone into making this book. 

One of the biggest surprises of the book was that very little actually happens in the way of action. It is very character-focused and, while I do usually prefer the more fast-paced reads, I was perfectly content following Addie in both her modern-day life and run-in with Henry as well as her journey to that point from the day she made her deal. The pacing and format of alternating timelines worked incredibly well in keeping my attention engaged, particularly at the start as we join Addie in her navigating the deal in an almost repetitive nature of meeting people, then being forgotten as they turn away. 

I did find Henry, and his relationship with Addie, to be the weakest part of the story. I spent a lot of the start of the book waiting for his arrival on the scene, and then when he did, he struggled to hold my interest. I guessed the mystery around him fairly early on and it was only once Addie learnt of this and the tension picked up that I got back into the story again. That being said, Addie and the other central character, Luc, were both engrossing to read and learn about and that did make up for the parts where Henry fell down, for me. 

All in all, this is a beautiful book. I read it on the kindle, but have a physical copy on its way to me. The writing is beautiful, Addie’s journey captivating and it is just a very relaxing book to read – ideal for the long, cold nights ahead.
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I absolutely loved this books. I ended up listening to it as an audiobook and it was perfect, the narrator did a fantastic job in highlighting the beautiful, elegant writing of Schwab. 

This book follows Addie LaRue through different stages of her life, flickering through her present and significant moments in her 300 year life. I loved the emphasis on the meaning of life and the loneliness that comes out of being disconnected and forgotten. Addie is completely alone save for the times when the entity that made her wish come true (albeit in a twisted way), comes to visit her and their relationship through the centuries was very interesting; I absolutely loved their dance. The twist comes when the past and present collide in an unusual way - the ending was spot on for me.
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I did really enjoy this book, although it was not what I was expecting at all! It was more of a love story than I was expecting but also not. There was some supernatural elements but I was expecting more. It was written beautifully, which is to be expected from Schwab.

This book did focus a lot on the characters and how they feel about time and life in general. I wouldn't say there was much of an actual plot, it was more a story of Addie's 300 years. There is a lot of time jumps as her story is told, we see her in 2014 alongside the previous 300 years. This can be quite confusing at times but I also liked it, I feel like we learned the right things at the right times. Addie has made a deal to live as long as she wants but she has been cursed to be forgotten, this is a story of how she works around this to be remembered. 

I loved the characters, they were very well written and we could relate to both Henry and Addie and understand why they did what they did. I do think the relationship between characters could have been better. I was expecting more adventure to this story and more of a plot. I really enjoyed the premise and the deeper meanings of time and forgetting in this story. It was a slow paced story but it was a very enjoyable read, I did feel like there was something missing for me though.
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A wonderful story with very interesting themes that makes the reader ponder questions about themselves. Full review to come on my blog
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I recieved a free digital copy if the book from the publisher Titan Books via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I made it 38% through this book and i just cannot finish it.

The time jumping is the main thing i dislike about the book. It's very confusing. And then there's the story... I found it so boring and I just found myself constantly putting it down for something else to do/read.

I decided not to force myself to finish it and life is too short for books i don't enjoy
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This is somewhat controversial and comes as a surprise not only to me, but I think to everyone who knows a bit about me. I love Schwab, I consider her one of my favourite authors and I've been lookong forward to reading this for a really long time. I've seen a bunch of great reviews and I had very high expectations for it.

I'll be completely honest and say I don't know exactly what didn't work for me. Addie wasn't a bad protagonist, the writing was very Schwabesque and I was sold on the premise. But... although in theory this was a perfect book for me, in practice it REALLY didn't mesh me with. I think has it been written by anyone else, I would've DNFed it.

Like I said... Addie was a fine protagonist. I didn't love her, but I didn't hate her. As far as heroines go, she was very middle of the road. Same goes for Henry. We don't much know any other people aside from Luc, whom I wanted more of, and so for over 600 pages that's a very slim and average cast of characters and if they're not in any way interesting, it makes it for a dull read.

It could've been saved by a plot of some sort, but alas... it lacked that, too. I'm not saying the book is plotless. I just think there isn't enough plot in it that warrants over 600 pages, and all could've been condensed into a much shorter book. I think it would've made it more enjoyable (for me; it looks like many found the book enjoyable as it is). The pacing was incredibly slow and the book meandered for so long without anything happening, it actually put me in the biggest reading slump ever. 

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue wasn't a book for me and it's surprising as on paper it ticked all the boxes. I kept wanting and trying to enjoy it, because it's V.E. Schwab, but I found myself bored and frustrated with it. Unfortunately I can't say any more about it other than the fact that I'm really disappointed.
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