The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue

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Pub Date 6 Oct 2020 | Archive Date 6 Oct 2020

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Description

A life no-one will remember.
A story you'll never forget...


In the vein of The Time Traveler's Wife and Life After Life comes a new genre-defying novel from the NYT #1 bestselling author V.E. SCHWAB.

When Addie La Rue makes a pact with the devil, she trades her soul for immortality. But there's always a price – the devil takes away her place in the world, cursing her to be forgotten by everyone.

Addie flees her tiny home town in 18th-Century France, beginning a journey that takes her across the world, learning to live a life where no one remembers her and everything she owns is lost and broken. Existing only as a muse for artists throughout history, she learns to fall in love anew every single day. Her only companion on this journey is her dark devil with hypnotic green eyes, who visits her each year on the anniversary of their deal. Alone in the world, Addie has no choice but to confront him, to understand him, maybe to beat him.

Until one day, in a second hand bookshop in Manhattan, Addie meets someone who remembers her. Suddenly thrust back into a real, normal life, Addie realises she can’t escape her fate forever.

A life no-one will remember.
A story you'll never forget...


In the vein of The Time Traveler's Wife and Life After Life comes a new genre-defying novel from the NYT #1 bestselling author V.E. SCHWAB.

...


A Note From the Publisher

UK/ROI requests. Please hold reviews until publication week. For UK/ROI press and event enquiries please contact lydia.gittins@titanemail.com

UK/ROI requests. Please hold reviews until publication week. For UK/ROI press and event enquiries please contact lydia.gittins@titanemail.com


Advance Praise

“For someone damned to be forgettable, Addie LaRue is a most delightfully unforgettable character, and her story is the most joyous evocation of unlikely immortality.”
NEIL GAIMAN

“For someone damned to be forgettable, Addie LaRue is a most delightfully unforgettable character, and her story is the most joyous evocation of unlikely immortality.”
NEIL GAIMAN


Available Editions

EDITION Hardcover
ISBN 9781785652509
PRICE £17.99 (GBP)

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Average rating from 294 members


Featured Reviews

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue follows Adeline, ‘Addie’, Larue, born in 17th century France, who when faced with the prospect of marriage, prays to the Old Gods to help her find a way out. The Old Gods don’t answer, but the Darkness does and it takes the form of a man who offers her a deal. Time and freedom in exchange for her soul. Addie renegotiates the deal, saying “you can have my soul when I don’t want it any more” and the Darkness accepts. It’s only afterwards that Addie comes to realise the high price she paid. She doesn’t age and doesn’t ail, but no-one remembers her. She can leave a room and when she re-enters everyone has forgotten her. She can meet with someone every day for a month, and although she gets to know them, they don’t get to know her because every day they meet her for the first time. Until 300 years later, one person says “I remember you.” Never have three words held more power in a story. There’s something timeless and incredibly poignant about the moment someone remembers Addie LaRue. “I love you” are some of the most powerful words we can say, but in this moment, for Addie, “I remember you” holds more power. In fact, this book really showcases the power words can hold. Not only in the sense of dialogue between characters, but also in Victoria’s writing style itself. Schwab varies her narrative style depending on the genre and type of book she’s writing, but this is definitely some of the most masterful writing she’s produced. It’s beautiful, lyrical, and it feels like so much thought, gravitas, and care have gone into every sentence. The plot and pacing start off slowly, but if you’ve read a lot of Victoria’s books, you’ll know that quite a few of them do. She’s said in interviews that most of her books begin slowly and then expand outwards, and the same is true here. The slow pace comes from the one timeline and single POV. But because we know from the synopsis that she’ll make a deal and then meet someone who remembers her, the anticipation for these two scenes is huge. It spurred me through the initial chapters, despite their slow start, and when these moments came around my heart was hammering in my chest. Even though I knew what was going to happen (from the blurb), these scenes were tense and dramatic, and I couldn’t wait to see how they would play out. It’s a testament to the quality of an author’s writing if they can tell you about specific scenes in the plot, but still make you excited to read them. Once we begin to get multiple timelines and another POV, the pacing increases and as the story begins to move more fluidly between past and present it fills the gaps in Addie’s story. Addie is a dreamer and a survivor. She dreams of seeing more of the world than her small town, Villon, and fears spending the rest of her life living there as a housewife. She knows there’s nothing wrong with this path and sees her friend Isabelle find happiness and contentment doing this, but it’s not the path for Addie. Fear of a living and dying in the same village and the desire to see more of the world push her to make the deal. And once the deal is done she becomes a survivor as well as a dreamer. She learns how to lie, steal, and act in the name of survival. She begins to lose her naivety, but she doesn’t lose her inherent goodness and she never stops marveling at the world. Unlike Addie, Henry is not a dreamer. Or, he doesn’t seem that way at first. He’s a wandering soul, struggling to find his calling in life and he feels like he’s never enough for other people. Never a good enough friend, never a good enough partner, never a good enough brother or son. He has depressive periods, which he describes as ‘storms’ rolling in, and he doesn’t quite know what he wants to for a job or a career. Henry’s emotions really lift off the page and bleed into us. I found some of his scenes the most heart-breaking and I longed for him to find light in his dark moments. Addie reminds Henry that there’s so much beauty and wonder in the world. He sees her, still finding wonder at new things after 300 years of living, and understands that he doesn’t have to carry the burden of his family’s high standards or society’s expectations any more. He simple has to be. I loved Addie and Henry’s relationship because they form such a strong bond. They understand each other in the way no-one else does and their scenes at their fair and in the bookstore were enchanting. Victoria Schwab one again illustrates the importance of names in her stories. Adeline becomes Addie when she leaves her old life behind, signalling a new beginning and a new name to match who she truly is. But she can never say her own name because of the curse, so she calls herself a thousand different names. Until 300 years later, someone remembers her and calls her by her real name. Addie. Something else that really struck me about this book is that all the main and secondary characters are queer. Addie says she’s attracted to people of any gender, Henry is bi, Bea is a lesbian, Robbie is gay, and Luc is likely pan (this is implied but not confirmed on page). Queerness has a real presence in this story, which is wonderful. Even though it’s not the main theme of the book, it’s foregrounded in so many scenes that you couldn’t possibly ignore it. I loved the way Addie is filled with layers. Layers of time and history. Layers of stories within stories. The structure of having a narrative within a narrative is incredibly clever and makes Addie seem even more real. This story is a celebration of art and literature. It reminds us that books hold entire worlds and lives in them. Books can immortalise people and make us remember them in ways we otherwise might not have done. Addie is certainly immortalised in this novel, in more ways than one. This novel is filled with existential questions. It asks us, is time more important than memory? Is one worth having without the other? If history will forget us, how do we make sure our lives counted for something? Addie is destined to be forgotten by everyone, but she doesn’t let it stop her from trying to make mark. And Victoria promotes that idea throughout the narrative, that doing something good or important is still worthwhile, even if no-one will remember you for it. I’ve never read a book like this. A book with so much emotion and magic folded into each page. A book that’s so beautifully written that my heart physically ached in certain scenes. I don’t think it’s a stretch to call this a masterpiece because it’s unique in so many ways and transcends the boundaries of genre fiction. I rated this book 5 stars and I will always remember Addie.

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