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The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue

by V. E. Schwab

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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2,4911134,555 (4.18)87
  1. 10
    The Sudden Appearance of Hope by Claire North (Euryale)
    Euryale: Another heroine in a similar predicament.
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Showing 1-5 of 111 (next | show all)
4.5 stars. A dark, melancholy book in the softest, sweetest way. Addie and Henry are 2 sides of the same coin, wanting the same thing and missing it for different reasons. Both make foolish, rash decisions and have to suffer the consequences of their choices. They find solace in each other but still have to eventually face the end of the perfection they’ve found.

The resolution is lovely and sweet and true, there’s always a price to be paid, and Addie is willing to pay it, in a true act of love. The only sour note for me was the very, very end, when Addie contemplates her plans to undo Luc and cause him to cast her away. I get it, and part of me cheers for her. I struggled thru the book with how Luc was portrayed, so human, with only the few glimpses into his true darkness and character. It bothered me a little that he even fell in love with her at all, but I guess if the Greek gods and others could do it, so why not a random French god? Then it bothered me that Addie seems to be able to be happy with him, to love him, but is choosing to spite him and make them both miserable, why? Because she doesn’t believe that he loves her? Because she’d just rather be alone and forgotten than with him? Because he took advantage of her 300 yrs ago on a summer evening, and she just can’t handle it? I dunno. There’s a good chance I’ll read this again sometime, maybe I’ll see it differently next time. ( )
  Annrosenzweig | Oct 15, 2021 |
I have mixed feeling in regards to this book. It was a good story, but it also felt like there was a lot of filler. A lot of chapters that didn't really add to the book, but didn't necessarily detract from it either. It was a book a picked up and put down a lot. One I really wanted to get through, but didn't hold my attention till about the middle, but I trudged on and finished it, happy in doing so.
Addie LaRue made a mistake. In her desperation to escape a life that she had no desire to live, she prayed to the God's that come after dark. The god's who deal in darkness and desires, life and death, souls and promises. She has been alive for 300 years and in that time, no one remembers her. As soon as she is gone from their sight, they forget her, but ideas are no so easily forgotten and she has left pieces of herself behind throughout the years. She is tired though. Tired of always being forgotten. Tired of confines of her deal with the dark. Still, she never surrenders, never gives up. Her stubbornness and wonder keep her moving forward. Through wars and death. Through desire and longing until she meets the one who doesn't forget and she thinks the darkness a fool, even though she doesn't trust it. Is this really a mistake? Or just another part of her curse, another attempt to get her to surrender. Will she outsmart the darkness? Will she finally win? ( )
  GeneseeLibrary | Sep 25, 2021 |
Addie is a 1700's young woman who doesn't want to accept the future her family and village have chosen for her. In a last desperate attempt to escape she makes a deal with the god of darkness, trading her soul for being free forever to live as she wants without being being judged or accountable for her choices. In agreeing she doesn't understand that the deal includes no one to ever remember her, no direct way for her to leave her mark and that she will live forever. The story made me think about life in general, how we take the basics for granted (friendships, love, our ability to impact the circle we live in, etc). Because Addie cannot die she spans 300 years of time to today. It is an enjoyable book, personally I thought it was stronger at the beginning than as it moved to the last half. ( )
  rayski | Sep 23, 2021 |
I loved this book! Adeline LaRue is born in France in 1691, and at the age of 23, her family have decided to marry her off to a widower with three children. Adeline refuses to be 'gifted like a prize sow to a man she does not love, or want, or even know'. In sheer desperation to avoid this fate, she prays with every fibre of her being. A spirit of the woods eventually answers and Addie explains she wants to be free and doesn't want to belong to anyone. In making a deal, her soul is cursed.

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab is a character driven story about how our main character comes to terms with her curse and the way in which she learns to navigate life now that she is forgettable. Addie is invisible, unable to leave a mark on the world or even say her own name. The unexpected ache of losing her family and everyone she's ever known is tough. Addie is completely and utterly alone and must find a way to survive.

Addie struggles and learns innovative ways in which to get by as she experiences life through the years, decades, and eventually the centuries and I loved it. It also reminded me a little of The Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice. Through the series, Rice imagines what it's like to outlive everyone else, never age and yet witness so much change in the world over time. The elements I love from that series (relationships, the changing culture over time and the evolution of art, architecture, travel and technology) are evident here, yet in Schwab's own style.

Full of evocative writing and passages that made me pause and reflect, this was my first time reading anything by V.E. Schwab, but it certainly won't be the last. The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue manages to straddle the genres of historical fiction and fantasy (owing to the curse) and I just loved the writing style. It's clear the author loves books and stories too, here's a quote from Addie early on in the novel:

"What she needs are stories. Stories are a way to preserve one's self. To be remembered. And to forget. Stories come in so many forms: in charcoal, and in song, in paintings, poems, films. And books. Books she has found, are a way to live a thousand lives - or to find strength in a very long one." Page 31

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab is a slow burn character study that makes you reflect on the past, the present and the future and ponder what really matters in the world. The book also made me wonder 'what if' and is a serious contender for my Top 5 Books of 2021 list. The ending was powerful and had me cheering for Addie and I can't wait to read more from this talented writer. ( )
  Carpe_Librum | Sep 23, 2021 |
Is Addie ready to give up her soul? Is life on earth even after 300 years worth it? Were the instants of joy worth the stretches of sorrow?
What would it be like to live forever and never grow old but never be remembered and not able to say your name? This is the deal Addie LaRue strikes with the Devil ( Luc) in order to escape a hum drum life and marriage. An interesting premise for a novel and the novel mostly delivers. I just found it stretched on a bit too long. The developent of Luc, as the god who grants her request is wonderful. He is smoke and mirrors but he is perhaps a man too and has found his match in Addie. Who knows? ( )
  Smits | Sep 10, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 111 (next | show all)
This sweeping fantasy is as much a love story as it is a tribute to storytelling, art, and inspiration. Schwab’s diverse cast is beautifully rendered, and the view of human connection on offer is biting and bitter, yet introspective and sweet. This ambitious and hopeful work is a knockout.
 

» Add other authors (6 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
V. E. Schwabprimary authorall editionscalculated
Staehle, WillCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Whelan, JuliaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
The old gods may be great, but they are neither kind nor merciful. They are fickle, unsteady as moonlight on water, or shadows in a storm. If you insist on calling them, take heed: be careful what you ask for, be willing to pay the price. And no matter how desperate or dire, never pray to the gods that answer after dark.

Estele Magritte, 1642-1719
Dedication
To Patricia -- For never once forgetting.
First words
A girl is running for her life.
Quotations
Her gaze is clear. A lighthouse through the fog. She smiles, and Henry's world goes brighter. She turns away, and it is dark again.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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