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The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue

Book - 2020
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m
minaramani
Jul 01, 2021

This book follows Addie throughout 300 years, from the 1700s to the present. She is afraid she’s wasting her life, so in a panic she makes a deal with a demon: she lives forever, but nobody remembers her, until in the present day, she meets Henry, the first person who can remember her in 300 years. I did like this book, but mostly because of the ending. I felt like parts of it could have gone more in depth about different historical events, since there are countless important historical events that take place during the timeframe of this book. Addie also wasn’t the most relatable or likeable main character, but that wasn't a huge issue because there is also another main character, Henry, who in my opinion was very likeable, and much more relatable. Overall, this book wasn’t perfect but I thought it was still quite enjoyable, especially the ending.

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brit4321
Jun 30, 2021

The description of this novel sounds like the movie The Age of Adeline starring Blake Lively.

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Bonnie2626
Jun 23, 2021

Her idea was different, but...every other paragraph was about the same thing. Boring.
Could have been half as long, maybe more interesting. I had no trouble putting it down, it was hard to pick up and finish.

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makaylamann
Jun 21, 2021

Addie loves her freedom in life, no kids, no husband, just Addie and her art. After a surprise wedding that leaves her panicked she does the one thing that she was told to never do; pray to the old gods at night. Now Addie is thrust into a deal that grants her immortality and the ultimate freedom, but all good things come with a dangerous price. No one will remember her, she can leave no mark on anything in her new eternal life. She continues her life living as a ghost, until one day the unthinkable happens. She meets a boy who remembers her.

Honestly I really loved this book. I loved the way they portrayed her curse in the book and I loved how they developed her complex relationship with the “Devil”. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who might seem interested in the genre. However, I would say this is for 14+ readers do to some more serious themes.

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emiline767
Jun 21, 2021

I really enjoyed it until someone pointed out the book's lack of diversity. While I would definitely recommend this book, I believe it is important to think about it critically. It was an incredibly fast read; I did not want to put it down!

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WeBeYYC
Jun 16, 2021

bev

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t_lynschm77
Jun 07, 2021

I really loved the writing style of this book. The author doesn't write in a conversational, easy-to-read style like most modern books. Her style is more poetic and artful; a nod to classics. The constant conflict with the god of darkness was complex and well-done. I loved how the author always kept the evil one evil even though he softened as a way of being cunning. I kind of figured it would end the way it did, but it was different enough to not disappoint me. I was surprised by the fluid sexuality of the main characters and it threw me off a bit at first. I wasn't a fan of that but it wasn't a huge part of the story so it didn't distract me too much. I also had to ignore the logical fallacy that Addie would be forgotten once she was out of sight, yet she would get to spend a whole day with someone. Did neither person ever go to the bathroom? Those were little details to ignore, but my bigger take away was thinking about my own life up to this point. What have a I seen and experienced? What do I like and don't like? If tomorrow is the end, did I do it well? I love when fiction stories stir the heart and mind.

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becker
May 29, 2021

Loved this. It made me think of Life After Life, which I also loved. I'm not sure why because it is a very different story but there was something about the style and structure that kept me reminiscing about Life After Life.

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mbecelia
May 28, 2021

I enjoyed this book and plowed right through it but much like Ramona Quimby's kindergarten class (bear with me) who all wanted to know how Mike Mulligan took bathroom breaks during an all-day steam shoveling job, I started to wonder how Addie's relationships lasted even a day, an evening, or both unless she followed each person into the rest room. There was a good bit of drinking going on in a lot of her encounters, and there's no way the characters got through the many hours without a bio break (hate that term but it serves the purpose). All one needed to do to forget Addie was to step outside a door, or around a corner so...my hyper-analytical mind (in cases like this, ha) had a hard time with suspension of reality & I wish the author had figured out a work around or altered her curse a bit.

For the curious, lovely piece here about Ramona: http://annieandaunt.blogspot.com/2010/05/i-love-peggy-orenstein-piece-cant.html

Kstobo May 25, 2021

Ehh, the execution of the premise wasn't what I was expecting. I've heard good things about V.E. Schwab, but I don't know if I'd continue with her if this is more of that I'd get. I didn't much care for the ending, either.

liljables May 24, 2021

This novel was exactly what I needed to read when it came to me: it's an interesting blend of contemporary and historical fiction, since we meet Addie in present day, but her 300 year-long story unfolds through flashbacks; and, the premise of the novel involves magical realism, but it's a straight-forward conceit, so it's easy to follow, and probably not "too much magic" for folks who don't dig that genre. I can't say I loved Addie as a character - in fact, I found her Satanic counterpart much more compelling - but her journey is an interesting one, with equal parts tragedy and triumph.

This is a long read, at around 450 pages, but it doesn't feel like it - the chapters are short, and the back-and-forth-through-time format kept me wanting more, especially when the central conflict of the story was revealed.

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carolwu96
May 15, 2021

“Stories are a way to preserve one’s self. To be remembered. And to forget.” ⁣

Adeline Larue does not want the prescribed life of an ordinary 18th-century French woman. Hoping to see the world rather than living and dying within the confines of her little village, she strikes a bargain with the god of darkness and trades her soul for eternal freedom. ⁣

But there is a caveat to her immortality: to hasten the surrender of her soul, the deity has also condemned her to perpetual solitude: nobody ever remembers her and nothing can ever be changed by her. Reduced to theft and homelessness, Addie wanders the Earth alone for three centuries. Until she meets Henry. ⁣

I usually associate each book with one particular color or texture, but Addie Larue made me feel so much. There were the faint glimmers of stars from one end of a constellation to the other; there were torn stretches of mercury grey on torrents of black. There were also flashes of fir and topaz and ember. Sometimes I felt padded silk pressing against my upper arm; other times specks of dust floated against a backlit sunset. ⁣
Schwab’s diction was precise and evocative. The streams of consciousness of her characters, so descriptive and relatable, made me feel for each of them, and even the most seemingly absurd decisions were not only understood but also appreciated. While Addie is cunning and Henry principled, even the supposedly devilish antagonist, Luc, is charming in his own way. ⁣

This book is a masterful tapestry of some of my favorite themes in literature: art, femininity and growth. However, all of these took place against the surprising but welcomed backdrop of nature worshipping, and while Luc is not explicitly a pagan deity, Addie’s life is so Sisyphean in nature and their relationship so strangely reminiscent of that between Hades and Persephone that I could not help but think them deliberate nods to my favorite mythology. ⁣

Overall, Addie Larue is one of those rare gems that are actually worth the hype. It may not be perfect, but its poetic beauty is definitely something to behold.

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jojomcjo
May 11, 2021

Disappointingly bad. I'm a big fan of V.E. Schwab and this one didn't track for me. The themes felt worn out and the New York-love got tiring.

ArapahoeMorgan May 07, 2021

A poignant look at a woman who is able to live forever, but can never be remembered. The beautiful writing takes you on a 300 year journey, showing the triumphs and pitfalls of immortality.

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dagny49
May 05, 2021

Recommended by Ellen May ‘21

JCLKellyD May 05, 2021

oh my. this book. I'm kind of speechless.
This author made the most beautiful story with some of the best characters I have ever read. It was magical and beautiful and heartbreaking and I didn't want it to end. BUT!!! I will say it was the perfect ending. This story will stay with me forever. I do think you must be a believer of magic and a fan of fantasy for this book to work for you.

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kalo3
Apr 27, 2021

This novel is certainly a page turner, but I found it to be extremely poorly written, in sentence structure and paragraph structure. Poorly written to the point of distraction! An editor needed to be much heavier handed here, but then there wouldn’t be much book left.

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Margush
Apr 27, 2021

I read the first 100 pages and this book failed to engage me. Extremely tedious. The plot is original and I expected so much more hence I broke my 50-page rule. I did my best to give it a try. Chapter after chapter the author describes same thoughts, same worries, same disappointments, same hopes, same tricks, same relationships, same descriptions....the list goes on.

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Cayteadid
Apr 16, 2021

The premise of the story was so interesting, and the writing had really beautiful moments, but I had so much trouble getting into the book. It took a long time to finally get to the point, and many of the details about her situation and the "rules" of it were repeated in various scenarios. The chapters were short, so I thought I would speed through it, but it was a struggle. I wish they had cut the repetition and foreshadowing to just tell the story.

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whit_w
Apr 13, 2021

Ugh.
When you want to find out the plot twist but the writing style and characters make you not want to read the book.
I thought the premise of this book sounded interesting but I could NOT get into it. The voice of the writer was not at all compelling and in fact irritated me. Like they were trying too hard to be artistic. I don’t mind a slow book if it’s worth it, this one wasn’t. The character development and likability was very low for me as well.
I read the first 20 pages, skimmed until she met Henry, and skipped to the end. Honestly feel like I didn’t miss anything important in those 200+ pages I missed.
Also, stealing and sleeping around to find places to live and things to eat is basically the most uncreative way to sustain an immortal life. It felt like a way for the author to live out her own sexual and kleptomaniac fantasies. The only part of the book I found myself enjoying was when she snuck into the actors apartment.
Like I said I just skimmed the end so didn’t read this closely, but the end relationship with Luc is TOXIC. I have no idea why modern authors are romanticizing toxic relationships, especially toxic sexual relationships, and aiding their perpetuation.
Do we not all want better?

I loved this book, and it was a tear jerker for me at the end. I loved the different POVs, and how we got glimpses into Addie's past and the struggles she endured with her curse. The relationship he develops with Henry is such a special connection for the two that thought they'd never break the bonds of their curse again, and the ending continued to show Addie's spirit.

JCLS_Ashland_Kristin Mar 15, 2021

A centuries-spanning tale of a woman cursed for wanting more. A love story, with a stinger at the end.

JCLPiepieB Mar 09, 2021

I usually don't do fantasy, but I'm a sucker for books about immortality/characters living a really, REALLY long time.

This was my first V.E. Schwab book. The writing is smooth and lovely, and the storyline is painfully beautiful.

I did get a little confused on all the bouncing back and forth between time periods, but that's probably just my fault and hopefully you can pay attention better ;)

Addie will take hold of your heart and not let go. I loved how layers were subtly unfolded and revealed to the reader. And that ending was PERFECT.

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Rubytuzday77
Mar 03, 2021

I don't read fiction much (typically biographies) but I loved this book! Even though the story jumps back & forth in time, the author did so artistically and with purpose, to help build the story & suspense.  The premise is not flawless, but that's easily forgivable since the story is so unique and captivating.  Great character development and perfectly timed plot twists.  Made me think about how I would survive in a world of reverse dementia where I remembered everything but no one remembered me. 

LCPL_Krystyna Feb 22, 2021

There are no words to put together to form a proper review for this work of art. This book is literal perfection. I loved this book so much and it is definitely a favorite book of all-time for me. The writing is beautiful and the story is unforgettable. I will always remember you Addie Larue.


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