The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue

Book - 2020 | First U.S. edition.
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Making a Faustian bargain to live forever but never be remembered, a woman from early eighteenth-century France endures unacknowledged centuries before meeting a man who remembers her name.
Publisher: New York : Tor, 2020.
Edition: First U.S. edition.
ISBN: 9780765387561
0765387565
Characteristics: 444 pages : illustration ; 25 cm

Opinion

From Library Staff

In order to escape an arranged marriage in a small French village in the early 1700s, Addie makes a deal with the devil: a life of freedom and relative immortality for the price of her soul. Unfortunately, Addie is also cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets. She settles for a lonely, trans... Read More »

In order to escape an arranged marriage in a small French village in the early 1700s, Addie makes a deal with the devil: a life of freedom and relative immortality for the price of her soul. Unfortunately, Addie is also cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets. She settles for a lonely, trans... Read More »

In order to escape an arranged marriage in a small French village in the early 1700s, Addie makes a deal with the devil: a life of freedom and relative immortality for the price of her soul. Unfortunately, Addie is also cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets. She settles for a lonely, trans... Read More »


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c
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.

j
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.

d
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.

k
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.

m
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.

c
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.

w
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.

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Quotes

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LCPL_Krystyna Feb 22, 2021

“But if you only walk in other people's steps, you cannot make your own way. You cannot leave a mark.”

LCPL_Krystyna Feb 22, 2021

“Live long enough, and you learn how to read a person. To ease them open like a book, some passages underlined and others hidden between the lines.”

LCPL_Krystyna Feb 22, 2021

“The first mark she left upon the world, long before she knew the truth, that ideas are so much wilder than memories, that they long and look for ways of taking root”

LCPL_Krystyna Feb 22, 2021

“Do you know how to live three hundred years?” she says. And when he asks how, she smiles. “The same way you live one. A second at a time.”

LCPL_Krystyna Feb 22, 2021

“Blink, and the years fall away like leaves.”

LCPL_Krystyna Feb 22, 2021

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

LCPL_Krystyna Feb 22, 2021

“What is a person, if not the marks they leave behind?”

LCPL_Krystyna Feb 22, 2021

“Books, she has found, are a way to live a thousand lives--or to find strength in a very long one.”

y
yulker
Jan 03, 2021

"Nothing is all good or all bad," she says. "Life is so much messier than that."

y
yulker
Jan 03, 2021

History is a thing designed in retrospect.

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