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The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V. E.…
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The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue (edition 2020)

by V. E. Schwab (Author)

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7152722,945 (4.24)22
Member:Lea.Pearl
Title:The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue
Authors:V. E. Schwab (Author)
Info:Tor Books (2020), Edition: Illustrated, 448 pages
Collections:Hardcopies, Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:None

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The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V. E. Schwab

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    The Sudden Appearance of Hope by Claire North (Euryale)
    Euryale: Another heroine in a similar predicament.
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Book Details
On the day of her wedding in 1714 Addie LaRue makes a deal with the devil (literally and figuratively). Addie wants to be free. She wants to grow out of the small French village in which she was born. She wants to explore the world without constraints. Bartering her soul for her freedom, what Addie doesn’t realize is that every word has power.

Addie will come to know that the Darkness (later known as Luc) takes Addie’s choice of words “freedom without constraints” to make her near invisible to the world. She cannot speak her name or tell her story. If someone leaves a room or turns away from Addie, she is quickly forgotten, but she is free. Erased. Invisible.

Then, Addie meets Henry who works in a book store. While trying to exchange a book she lifted from the store the previous day, she’s shocked at realization that Henry remembers Addie, he sees her. For the first time in nearly three hundred years Addie has a voice.

I’m finding it a bit difficult to truly convey my feelings for this book, this story, without giving too much away. There’s so much I want to talk about. V.E. Schwab has constructed a beautiful story that’s full of heartbreak yet is, oddly, also very hopeful and speaks to the strength of the human spirit.

Centering on Addie as she recounts her past and current present, V.E. Schwab fully conveys this suffocating feeling of not being able to speak ones truth. Of being overlooked, or quite literally forgotten. Of any formed relationship being relegated to one-sided and having to be rebuilt day after day after day. It seems so exhausting and there were plenty of times when Addie echoes this sentiment.

The really shining thing about this book is Addie’s perseverance. Visited by Luc on nearly every anniversary of their deal, he repeatedly tries to get her to give over her soul to him, to call it quits. Ever stubborn, Addie will not give him the satisfaction and what begins as a battle of wills between the two, devolves into Addie learning that maybe she doesn’t need her voice, she just needs an idea and she needs time—which she has in abundance.

Seeing Addie thwart the Darkness’s rules in seemingly minute ways, witnessing those small instances having a larger overall impact was absolutely brilliant and beautiful. When Addie meets Henry, the only other being—besides Luc—who remembers her, I had tears of joy for Addie. But I couldn’t in good conscience call their relationship romantic. I think they were each other’s saving graces and while true love could possibly form from that, I don’t think we see such a thing within the pages of this book. Only deep regard and affection.

This contrasts nicely with her relationship with Luc—the only constant in her life for all these years. I think V.E. Schwab played his ambiguity quite nicely. He remains a mystery throughout, one that I really want to crack, but this is Addie’s story and she’s playing her own game where they’re concerned, and honestly I’m 100% Team Addie.

If you’ve read V.E. (Victoria) Schwab, you know to expect wonderful settings, writing, characters, etc. This doesn’t change with Addie LaRue. But having finished I can say with real honesty that Addie is no longer invisible to me. I see her. I hope you will too. ( )
  AmyM3317 | Nov 23, 2020 |
This book is such a joy to read! It is my first book by Schwab and I am absolutely in love with it.
It is a story that glides through the centuries and continents. It is a love story, a historical journey, an art masterpiece and most importantly, a journey of strength and discovery.
Desperate to change her fortune, Addie La Rue prays to anyone who would listen to help her change her fate and live freely. Her prayers are answered by the darkness; and it being the darkness, things will not turn out quite as desired.
Addie finds herself living an immortal life with the caveat of being forgotten as soon as she is out of sight. Unable to leave a mark in the world, she goes on and on for centuries determined not to be bested by Luc, the embodiment of darkness.
Then, one fine day, she meets Henry, who remembers her and everything changes.
What follows is a true delight. I can’t summarise it because this book has to be read to be able to appreciate the depth of the story.
I absolutely loved the characters and am mesmerised by Luc and his relationship with Addie. So many emotions and mixed feelings!
I can only tell you to do yourself a favour and pick up this book. It is a story for the ages. ( )
  AleAleta | Nov 23, 2020 |
I am a sucker for reincarnation and immortality stories and this book does not disappoint. First time I've read this author and I truly enjoyed her style. I liked the characters and found them well developed and the story held my interest throughout. The events and circumstances of Addie's life unfolded in a believable way. She dealt with her curse and its pluses and drawbacks as she could. I was happy with the ending and somewhat hope the author does not give in to 'sequel-itis' and let readers imagine what happens going forward. Recommended. ( )
  jldarden | Nov 22, 2020 |
"Sorry, Book," she mutters, lifting the cat gingerly onto the back of the old chair, where he does his best impression of an inconvenienced bread loaf. ( )
  Jon_Hansen | Nov 21, 2020 |
The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue has become my favorite book by V. E. Schwab and my favorite read this year. It is an absorbing story that is brilliantly written and absolutely flawless is execution.
Addie LeRue is born in 1741 in a small, rural French community. Her dream is to travel to bigger cities and experience the greater world. These dreams are far more than a simple girl can ever aspire to. Her circumstances, and the times, will see her wed to someone she does not love. She will die young, worn out by domestic life and children she does not want.
Addie is desperate to avoid this fate. So desperate in fact, she makes a deal with a dark god whom goes by the name Luc. The deal she strikes is simple, she wants her freedom and in return the god will get her soul when she is done with it. Luc agrees and the deal is sealed with blood.
The deal turns out to be not everything Addie bargained for. She has gained her freedom, in a sense, but the cost was high and much more than a soul. In truth, she has just traded the shackles her situation has placed on her with ones that tie her deeply to Luc. In addition, she quickly finds out that no one can remember her. There is one perk to this deal, she no longer ages. In essence she is immortal. Thus begins the second life of a forgettable girl named Addie.
The prose was fabulous. It had an almost sensual quality to it. I once read an author’s advice about how a setting should be treated as a character and thus requires time to be spent discovering that setting. Schwab has assuredly done that here. I could smell the dirty streets of the Paris of the past and feel the energy of New York City as it is viewed from a rooftop.
This is not a novel that the plot skips along carefree in an almost haphazard way. It moves slowly and purposefully in a well thought out way. Much the way a river winds through its course, sometimes swiftly and sometimes with languid ease, on its journey to the sea. It is the trip that the reader should savor here, it is entertaining and deeply satisfying.
The story is totally character driven. To keep the reader reading, I feel that the author walks a fine between keeping the reader’s interest and boring them to death. Because Addie lives such a long life it would be easy to lose the reader in too much detail. However, Schwab has managed to straddle that line to perfection. For example, Addie’s feelings of loss and loneliness come through elegantly. I felt it especially in one particular Paris scene in which Addie sees the first man she ever loved when he is much older. It was one of those moments when she truly recognizes and acknowledges what she has given up. There are many more scenes like this that the author uses them to entrance the reader.
I could go on and on in my praise because there is a lot to love about this story. In short, this is by far Schwab’s best work. A stunning piece of fiction!
Obvious I loved this book. It should be on everyone’s to-be-read-list. In addition, this book would make a great pick for a book club. There are so many layers and themes in this book that the topics for discussion are nearly endless.
For more of my reviews, and author interviews, see my blog at www.thespineview.com ( )
  purpledog | Nov 19, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 25 (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.
 

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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
V. E. Schwabprimary authorall editionscalculated
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.
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A girl is running for her life.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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