Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Review - The Invisible Life of Addie La Rue by V.E. Schwab




 Title: The Invisible Life of Addie La Rue

Author: V.E. Schwab

Pages: 560

Publisher: Titan Books

Release Date: 6th October 2020


Blurb from Goodreads:

When Addie La Rue makes a pact with the devil, she trades her soul for immortality. But there's always a price - the devil takes away her place in the world, cursing her to be forgotten by everyone.

Addie flees her tiny home town in 18th-Century France, beginning a journey that takes her across the world, learning to live a life where no one remembers her and everything she owns is lost and broken. Existing only as a muse for artists throughout history, she learns to fall in love anew every single day.

Her only companion on this journey is her dark devil with hypnotic green eyes, who visits her each year on the anniversary of their deal. Alone in the world, Addie has no choice but to confront him, to understand him, maybe to beat him.

Until one day, in a second hand bookshop in Manhattan, Addie meets someone who remembers her. Suddenly thrust back into a real, normal life, Addie realises she can't escape her fate forever.

Goodreads | Amazon UK | Amazon US

My Review:

*I received an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thanks to Titan Books and NetGalley*

It is the 18th Century and Addie LaRue lives in a small French town with her parents.

Addie longs for more than a life of being stuck in the same town, of being a wife and a mother.

So Addie makes a deal with the devil for more time, more time to live. But in doing so, Addie is cursed to be forgotten by everyone.

Addie leaves her home, trying to live her life and work around the curse.

Throughout the years, Addie receives visits from the devil on the anniversary of their deal, and he tries to convince Addie to give in, to surrender.

Then one day, the unthinkable happens, and Addie hears the words "I remember you".

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue was one of my most anticipated reads of 2020, and I thought it might end up being the first Schwab book to really blow me away, something none of her others have done before. However, I am left feeling undoubtedly disappointed, deflated and underwhelmed. Maybe I let myself be drawn in by the hype too much. Maybe I expected too much. All I know is, while I did enjoy this overall, I have very mixed feelings about Schwab's latest novel.

I liked Addie most of the time and did feel sorry for her - being forgotten by everyone must have been unbearable, and she was very strong to keep going. Despite the length of the novel, I don't feel that I really got to know that much about Addie herself and would have liked to have read more scenes where she was alone instead of there being so many of her with romantic partners, as it felt like I only got to see her in relation to other people and that she didn't get a chance to grow as a person. It was also a little repetitive.

Henry was a character who it was as if I was being told that I should feel sorry for him, and I did, but only a little. I didn't particularly like Henry as a character, and found him a bit annoying at times.

The devil was a bit of a disappointing character and almost seemed two-dimensional. I felt that there should have been a lot more to him, and I didn't buy the way he was with Addie.

I don't feel that I connected with any of characters, which made it hard to care about what happened/be invested in them. However, I did really like Bea and Estele and would like to read more about them. Maybe reading about Addie in her 'mad years' would have helped me connect with her more.

I enjoyed the chapters set pre-2000s a lot more than the ones set in 2013/14, and would have liked there to have been more as I did lose interest a little when things focused on 2013/14.

Given the length of the book, it didn't feel like much actually happened and I have mixed feelings about the ending.

The themes of being remembered and loved were intriguing and thought-provoking, and I liked the representation included in the book.

This was without a doubt some of Schwab's best writing, but, for me, the novel fell short both plot-wise and character-wise.

I am extremely disappointed that I didn't enjoy this more, especially as everyone seems to have loved it.

Overall, this was an enjoyable but mixed read.

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