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The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue Hardcover – October 6, 2020
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Praise for The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue:
“For someone damned to be forgettable, Addie LaRue is a most delightfully unforgettable character, and her story is the most joyous evocation of unlikely immortality.”
― Neil Gaiman, author of American Gods and winner of multiple Nebula, Hugo, and Locus Awards
"Completely absorbed me enough to make me forget the real world." ― Jodie Picoult, Washington Post
“Victoria Schwab sends you whirling through a dizzying kaleidoscopic adventure through centuries filled with love, loss, art and war ― all the while dazzling your senses with hundreds of tiny magical moments along the way. The Invisible Life of Addie Larue will enchant readers as deeply as its heroine’s Faustian bargain; you will find yourself in quick turns both aching with heartbreak, and gleefully crowing at the truly delicious, wicked cleverness in store.”
― Naomi Novik, Nebula and Locus Award-winning author of Spinning Silver
“Addie Larue is a book perfectly suspended between darkness and light, myth and reality. [This novel] is―ironically―unforgettable.” ― Hugo Award winner Alix E. Harrow, author of The Ten Thousand Doors of January
“The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue is the kind of book you encounter only once in a lifetime. . . . A defiant, joyous rebellion against time, fate, and even death itself―and a powerful reminder that the only magic great enough to conquer all of it is love.”― Peng Shepherd, author of The Book of M
“Sweeping in its scope yet wonderfully intimate, it's dark and sexy yet romantic and heartbreaking.” ―Rebecca Roanhorse, Hugo and Nebula Award-winning author of Black Sun
“Rich and satisfying.” –Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review
“A knockout.” –Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
“Epic.” –Library Journal, Starred Review
“Deeply romantic, impossibly detailed.” –Booklist, Starred Review
“A delightful surprise and a balm in difficult times..” –BookPage, Starred Review
“Schwab’s page-turner is an achingly poignant romantic fantasy about the desperate desire to make one’s mark on the world.” ―Oprah.com, Best LGBTQ Books of 2020
“A beautiful, meditative novel with an ending that hit me right in the heart.” ―Buzzfeed, Best Fall Fantasy 2020
"It's a bit cheeky to call The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue Faust for romantic bisexual goths, but it's not wrong... I for one will most certainly remember her."―NPR
“Addie is unlike anything Schwab has written before―epic yet intimate, sweeping but not sprawling... If Addie shows anything, it’s that the impact of our actions and interactions can be vaster and longer-lasting than we can predict. Much like the seven freckles that sprinkle Addie’s face, we create our own constellations, and as we live through these darkened days, I feel brighter for having added Addie to mine.”―Slate
“Schwab beautifully explores what it means to be alone for so long that it's jarring and terrifying once you are finally seen...Addie is an independent and fascinating character who manages to make her mark in spite of the odds.”―USA Today
“Schwab’s writing is warm and intense, and the passages set in the past often make you feel as if you’re reading by candlelight...The book is an elegant comment on the erasure of women from recorded history, but not a pointed one; you never feel that Addie LaRue is a metaphor. She is a woman fighting literally to be seen while bearing witness to her own life, and I rooted for her throughout.”―New York Times Book Review
“One of the most propulsive, compulsive and captivating novels in recent memory.”―Washington Post
“There is no particular art to literary fiction that doesn’t exist in fiction of other genres, and V. E. Schwab’s new book The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue isn’t just an amazing book for its genre; it’s an amazing book, full stop...a gorgeous, immersive story...Schwab is an inclusive, ambitious, and exacting writer, and she doesn’t let either her characters or her readers off the hook...This book doesn’t blend genres, or even transcend genre.”―Chicago Review of Books
"This evocative and clever tale will leave you smiling, filled with love and longing for more magical moments in everyday life."―CNN, Best Books of October
"Expansive and utterly heart-wrenching...both heartbreaking and hopeful. I read the last hundred pages well into the night, gasping and sobbing. It’s a beautiful read."―Book Riot, 25 Must Read New Fantasy Books
“A remarkable, genre-defying epic of a woman fighting to thrive in a world that denies her existence....stunning.”―Shelf Awareness for Readers
"When I first finished Addie LaRue, I sat back with a deep sense of wonder. Schwab’s words had weaved their spell and left me starstruck... eloquent and beautiful...Addie LaRue sparks something internally as you read and what is the point of reading, if not to feel?"―The Nerd Daily
“[An] enthralling romantic adventure.”―Business Insider
"A career triumph...Her propulsive, lyric prose is here, her morally complex, entrancing characters, her unique shape of magic, all wrought within this entirely fresh premise that will no doubt become a long-lasting favorite...Addie defies genre, blending romance and history, fantasy and monstrosity, cresting through peaks of time, centered on a young (and also, technically very old) woman with both less and more agency than anyone alive...romantic, ambitious, and defiantly, deliberately hopeful. Epic and intimate at once, it asks what art is...Schwab is simply one of the most skilled writers working in her genre...The feat of this book is frankly awe-inspiring.”―Tor.com
“[Schwab] flexes her beautiful prose and sets the stage for an unforgettable tale.”―SyFy Wire
"Poetic and heartrending, The Invisible Life of Addie Larue is perfect for fans of time travel stories, historical fiction, and fantasy alike." ―The Register-Herald
"This spellbinding story is destined to be a classic." ―Greatist
"A beautiful tale of star-crossed love, magic, and a dark Faustian Bargain makes The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue the perfect book for the fantasy lover in your life!" ―The Mary Sue
"A gender flip version of Faust, and also a haunting love story that will linger." ―New York Journal of Books
"A masterpiece that has been so many years in the making, but the wait was truly worth every page...a book that will stay with you long after you finish reading the last word." ―Seventeen Magazine
"Irresistibly contagious." ― Locus Magazine
“One of the most haunting and bittersweetly beautiful novels I have ever read...a mature, introspective love story, and a thoughtful examination of what it means to have a life well lived.” ―Manhattan Mercury News (Kansas)
"Schwab's brilliant epic novel blends fantasy and history, romance and art, as it moves back and forth through time. Addie, one of the author's most morally complex and riveting creations, embarks on adventures both grand and lowly, as she travels, ghostlike, through the centuries." ―Bookmarks Magazine
“I was caught in the emotion, the demanded pound of flesh as I considered my own attachments and inherent sense of self, my notions of love and ache and need.” ―Historical Novel Society
- Publisher : Tor Books; Illustrated edition (October 6, 2020)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 448 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0765387565
- ISBN-13 : 978-0765387561
- Lexile measure : 900L
- Item Weight : 1.4 pounds
- Dimensions : 6.61 x 1.45 x 9.44 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #607 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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That is the emotional equivalent of reading The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue.
I am so very disappointed in this book. I was so stoked about the premise, and I thought it’d be dark and gritty and cool and we’d get a complex plot with a sprinkle of a love story.
But, instead, it was a 300 year slog through the endless emotional cycle of regret and loneliness of a 300 year old girl, her emotionally manipulative demon lover, and her clinically depressed, unbearably boring boyfriend. I could not get through it fast enough.
This entire book feels like a missed opportunity. Instead of going from beginning to end, letting time and consequence shape this character, we skate over the tiny detail of our Addie’s immortality by jumping back and forth along the timeline. And I know Victoria Schwab loooves jumping timelines. It’s her jam, and that’s fine, when it’s done well and with purpose. In this book, they’re literally spoilers, even going as far as using the phrase, “Later, she will learn...” Oh, good, then there’s no point in telling this story? Great. Glad I’m here. The timeline jumps not only ruin any tension in the story due to their poor timing, they serve as a mere acknowledgement of the passing of time, and gives us a rushed, topical rundown of the historical events the character has lived through that, while they shape the entire foundation of the world Addie lives in, don’t seem to affect her at all.
The other problem is Addie. She is a miserable, honestly pretty whiny, weirdly stubborn character from start to finish, and the author really grinds that misery in at every opportunity. It’s hard to follow her around and not be bored with her, “I’m lonely and sad all the time, but I’m also pointlessly stubborn about staying that way” narrative.
I could go on, but I’ll just say, I’m disappointed and I wanted it to be better.
I get that the premise was supposed to show how invisible Addie wasn’t. I understand truly that the way chapters skipped from past to present and sideways should have been soothing and easy. None of this was the case. I found the title character somewhat annoying, I found the skipping between past and present jarring and not at all well done.
I wanted to love this book and for the first 32% of it I tried. I really tried. The hype you know? But I just couldn’t. I slogged my way through the remainder wishing every time I opened it that it would get better and it just didn’t.
I am sure there will be others and indeed there have been others who enjoy this book. It just dragged on and on for me from lackluster beginning to dissatisfying end.
This is a very slow-paced novel. Ms. Schwab takes her time to fully introduce Addie so you can understand her character-- why Addie makes a deal in the first place. She then takes her time to allow you to feel what Addie feels-- the unrelenting loneliness and what it means to live for 300 years. I found myself overtime emphasizing Addie's burden, and was happy when she finally meets Henry. I couldn't help but ship them together in hopes of a sweet romance with a happy ending. Then there is the mystery of why Henry can remember her-- why does a man 300 years from Addie's original life have this ability? Is it fate that they met? The technique that Ms. Schwab uses to slowly reveal all the mysteries is by alternating chapters between the past to present, which in this case is the year 2014. I've always wanted a good story involving both past and present point-of-views to show how a past from long ago affects the present, and the order of everything told here helped me understand Addie's motivations, feelings, and responses. I really appreciated the execution.
I believe I heard this novel pitched as a hate to love romance between a human and a devil. I would like to clarify that it is much more complex than that. The devil character himself is never necessarily referred to as such, and he is a very dark character that you'll meet through Addie's past. He is dangerous and not to be taken lightly.
I'm very happy that I read this book. I've read a few of Ms. Schwab's other novels and while the pitch behind them have been amazing, the execution has been a little flat for me personally. Ms. Schwab has really grown as a writer with this one however, and I will definitely continue to pick up her books.
Top reviews from other countries
This is a very character driven book, and Addie as a character is wonderful, because she is flawed. She spends her life forgotten, and so she has picked up a lot of bad habits in order to survive. I really liked the fact that Addie is not perfect, because she is a reflection of human existence. She has gone through so much and yet never loses her love for art, or for life. She has goes through the best and worst of human existence, and still finds joy in the world. She finds something new, and I feel like we all need a bit of Addie in our lives to remind us that joy can be found in the strangest of places. There are so many incredible characters in this book, predominately Henry the person who remembers her and Luc, the devil who cursed her. But each person that Addie meets adds a new layer to the story, and a new outlook and insight into this world. Each chapter was a new exploration, a new idea, explored through encounters with the people surrounding Addie.
The plot seems like a simple ‘person sold their soul to the devil to live forever’ kind of story, but it is so much more than that. There is so much to this book, but it is best left discovered in your own time. This book starts slow, in that it slowly pulls you into its rhythm, flipping backwards and forwards in time between events that all build upon each other. This creates the feeling that it’s weaving you into the story, dropping hints here and there until you’re so caught up in what will happen next that you can’t think of much else and don’t want to stop reading. This is definitely a book that will stay with me for a long time, and keeps haunting my thoughts.
‘The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue’ is thought provoking, and brings up a lot of thoughts about the nature of existence and what it means to live. Can we really live without making a mark on the world, or is it the impression we have on others that makes us real? I wasn’t expecting this book to raise a lot of philosophical questions, and make me rethink the nature of existence, relationship with art and the meaning of life but it did! It made me think a lot about my own insecurities about life, being forgotten and the nature of art and reality. I’m sure a lot of readers won’t be quite so plagued by these thoughts but they were such an important part of the book in my opinion and they have left an impression on me in the most interesting way! There’s also such a focus on art in the book, which ties the whole thing together in such a wonderful way. There was such a love of art that came across in the pages, it felt like a love letter to creativity at times, which I found really inspiring.
Overall, I absolutely adored this book. It was beautiful, lyrical, incredibly written and haunting. It took me through such a range of emotions, and left me wanting more. The characters were fantastic, the story was gripping and it lived up to and then exceeded every one of my hopes. Schwab is a master storyteller and this is her best book to date. This book is special, fully of joy and I hope everyone who reads it loves it as much as I do.
Reviewed in Brazil on November 19, 2020
(A quick side note about the very poor editing. So many words missing, or extra words that I noticed. And continuity errors! Just one example is that she drapes her coat over a kitchen chair, but later mentions that there are no kitchen chairs! Also, at one point she's talking with someone in the kitchen, then in the next sentence she stands from the bed??? It drove me mad!!!)
I love Addie LaRue. I am awestruck at the resilience and strength she has. If I were her, I'd have surrendered my soul to the devil on the first night is Paris. She has a hunger to live and be free that is intoxicating. And she's not the only character that I loved. Even the fleeting ones were deep and lovable.
The writing is so beautiful. I love Schwab's style! She pulls you into the scene and it's so easy to feel everything the characters are feeling. It's an emersive experience.
Plot is where the book stumbles a little for me. The main plot, Addie making a deal with a God for her soul and the other main plot points (which I won't spoil), is wonderful!!! I loved every second. But there were far, far too many bits in between. I think this book could have been at least 100 pages shorter and you'd still get the entire experience without the parts that drag and make you wonder why everyone is saying such wonderful things about this book!!
But you get past those parts, the main plot takes over and... I shattered. I completely shattered, I'm still crying, I may be crying for a while. It's absolutely devistating and yet stunningly beautiful. I will, happily, read this book again in a few year and still cry my eyes out! At least the second time I'll know to have tissues at the ready!
I have a couple more of the authors books on my shelf, unread, and I'm really looking forward to them now!
Until one day, someone remembers her.
This book has been hyped all over Bookstagram. Whilst I did enjoy it. I do not think it is equal to the hype. Whilst loads of people say they cried at the end, I was indifferent.
Schwab's use of language is so perfect that you feel like reading every sentence ten times over and I will always remember Addie LaRue.