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THE INVISIBLE LIFE OF ADDIE LARUE by V. E. Schwab – double review!

A Life No One Will Remember. A Story You Will Never Forget.

France, 1714: in a moment of desperation, a young woman makes a Faustian bargain to live forever and is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets.

Thus begins the extraordinary life of Addie LaRue, and a dazzling adventure that will play out across centuries and continents, across history and art, as a young woman learns how far she will go to leave her mark on the world.

But everything changes when, after nearly 300 years, Addie stumbles across a young man in a hidden bookstore and he remembers her name.

Title : The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue
Author : V.E. Schwab
Format : eARC
Page Count : 448
Genre : fantasy
Publisher : Tor Books/Titan Books
Release Date : October 6, 2020

Reviewer : Hollis/Micky
Rating : ★ ★ ★ ★ .5/★ ★ ★ ★

Hollis’ 4.5 star review

I don’t know how to start this review — I’ve watched the cursor blink for a while now — or even how to go about explaining how I knew I was enjoying this story throughout, was likely to rate it a four, but kept waiting to be blown away. It was an almost love, complete with admiration for the creativity, the detail, everything the author researched; it was a maybe reread, but equally maybe not, which is a distinction not many books get, as we all know.

Being forgotten, she thinks, is a bit like going mad. You begin to wonder what is real, if you are real. After all, how can a thing be real if it cannot be remembered?

And then suddenly I’m crying. Then I’m marveling at.. something. Then I knew I loved it.

Time has no face, no form, nothing to fight against. But in his mocking smile, his toying words, the darkness has given her the one thing she truly needs : an enemy.

Even knowing the premise of what this book was about, I didn’t think long enough on the mechanics of it, the complexities and caveats created by the bargain. And I thought that was wonderfully done. I’ll admit certain bits did feel a bit repetitive in the beginning, and I wasn’t always totally immersed in Addie’s mind or perspective (though I couldn’t tell you why), but neither of those things take away from the fact that the way this was written, the choice of words, the passages, the.. everything.. was just so beautiful. I don’t know if maybe the sheer loveliness or the sheer loneliness is to blame for sometimes pulling me out of the story, instead of pulling me under, but I mean.. that’s still kind of a good thing?

This should definitely be on your radar and, incase you couldn’t tell, I can’t wait to read this one again.

** I received an ARC from NetGalley and the publisher (thank you!) in exchange for an honest review. **

Micky’s 4 star review

This was a book of two definite halves for me. The first half I found morose, depressing and inexpliably sad. I told my buddy that it needed to be called The Hopeless Life of Addie LaRue. But on reflection, VE Schwab knows best.

The story was compelling, even in the first half, no doubt about that. But, it was hard to read about Addie’s life, her struggle, the moments she had to get through. The past and present timelines were so clearly outlined that I never faltered with the jumps back and forth.

“Are you lost?”
Déjà vu. Déjà su. Déjà vecu. Already seen. Already known. Already lived.

The second half did a number on me, it won me around in a way I didn’t see coming. It made the first half fall into place and as a whole it was 100% memorable. I found hope, I found fear and everything came with an aftertaste of bittersweet. This wasn’t a neatly tied story, it was incredibly melancholy but I do welcome a read that takes you out of a normal format of story strucure and expectations.

I’ve told you nothing about the story in this review but the characters were exceptional. Addie in particular was humbly endearing with necessary grey facets to that character. I’m left feeling unsure how I feel about Luc, how believing I was of him, but I know this, Henry was a beautiful creation who won my heart.

“Three hundred years,” she whispers. “And you can still find something new.”

There were illustrations at the start of the seven parts to this book and they took my breath away, none more than the start of Part Seven where tears gently welled.

VE Schwab wrote uniquely, with imagination that is rare. This was some story that definitely needed to be told. If you do struggle with that first half, hold on, because there are words to pull you through.

I remember you.

Thank you to Titan Books for the gifted review copy.

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