The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
2020 NYPL Best Books of the Year
2020 Oprah.com Best Books of the Year
2020 NPR Best Book of the Year
2020 Amazon.com Best Books of the Year
2020 Kirkus Reviews Best Books of the Year
2021 Locus Awards - Nominee
2020 Barnes and Noble Best New Books of the Year
"[Narrator Julia] Whelan's performance is unforgettable in this darkly romantic fantasy about one young woman cursed always to be forgotten.... Her depiction of the darkness is smooth with a low cadence, capturing listeners' attention and their heart strings." (Booklist)
In the vein of The Time Traveler’s Wife and Life After Life, The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue is New York Times best-selling author V. E. Schwab’s genre-defying tour de force.
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.
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A Macmillan Audio production from Tor Books
"This epic story, spanning three centuries and two continents, is expertly narrated by Julia Whelan.... This is a transporting listen, and these characters will stick with you for a long time." (Bookpage, starred review)
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|Listening Length||17 hours and 10 minutes|
|Author||V. E. Schwab|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com Release Date||October 06, 2020|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #98 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#3 in Historical Fantasy (Audible Books & Originals)
#8 in Historical Fantasy (Books)
#11 in Epic Fantasy (Audible Books & Originals)
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Top reviews from the United States
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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.