The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue

Book - 2020
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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 ; 25 cm
Call Number: SCHWAB, V

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DCLadults Oct 07, 2020

A New & Noteworthy staff pick 2020. Adeline LaRue wishes to become immortal, and she does. But at the cost that no person will ever remember her. A lonely journey through centuries, where she is cursed to be forgotten, until one day a boy does remember her. This is storytelling at its best.

List - Wicked Good Tales
DCLadults Sep 25, 2020

In 1750s France, Addie LaRue makes a deal with the devil to escape an arranged marriage. Don’t plan on getting anything else done once you pick this up.


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w
WeBeYYC
Jun 16, 2021

bev

t
t_lynschm77
Jun 07, 2021

I really loved the writing style of this book. The author doesn't write in a conversational, easy-to-read style like most modern books. Her style is more poetic and artful; a nod to classics. The constant conflict with the god of darkness was complex and well-done. I loved how the author always kept the evil one evil even though he softened as a way of being cunning. I kind of figured it would end the way it did, but it was different enough to not disappoint me. I was surprised by the fluid sexuality of the main characters and it threw me off a bit at first. I wasn't a fan of that but it wasn't a huge part of the story so it didn't distract me too much. I also had to ignore the logical fallacy that Addie would be forgotten once she was out of sight, yet she would get to spend a whole day with someone. Did neither person ever go to the bathroom? Those were little details to ignore, but my bigger take away was thinking about my own life up to this point. What have a I seen and experienced? What do I like and don't like? If tomorrow is the end, did I do it well? I love when fiction stories stir the heart and mind.

b
becker
May 29, 2021

Loved this. It made me think of Life After Life, which I also loved. I'm not sure why because it is a very different story but there was something about the style and structure that kept me reminiscing about Life After Life.

m
mbecelia
May 28, 2021

I enjoyed this book and plowed right through it but much like Ramona Quimby's kindergarten class (bear with me) who all wanted to know how Mike Mulligan took bathroom breaks during an all-day steam shoveling job, I started to wonder how Addie's relationships lasted even a day, an evening, or both unless she followed each person into the rest room. There was a good bit of drinking going on in a lot of her encounters, and there's no way the characters got through the many hours without a bio break (hate that term but it serves the purpose). All one needed to do to forget Addie was to step outside a door, or around a corner so...my hyper-analytical mind (in cases like this, ha) had a hard time with suspension of reality & I wish the author had figured out a work around or altered her curse a bit.

For the curious, lovely piece here about Ramona: http://annieandaunt.blogspot.com/2010/05/i-love-peggy-orenstein-piece-cant.html

Kstobo May 25, 2021

Ehh, the execution of the premise wasn't what I was expecting. I've heard good things about V.E. Schwab, but I don't know if I'd continue with her if this is more of that I'd get. I didn't much care for the ending, either.

liljables May 24, 2021

This novel was exactly what I needed to read when it came to me: it's an interesting blend of contemporary and historical fiction, since we meet Addie in present day, but her 300 year-long story unfolds through flashbacks; and, the premise of the novel involves magical realism, but it's a straight-forward conceit, so it's easy to follow, and probably not "too much magic" for folks who don't dig that genre. I can't say I loved Addie as a character - in fact, I found her Satanic counterpart much more compelling - but her journey is an interesting one, with equal parts tragedy and triumph.

This is a long read, at around 450 pages, but it doesn't feel like it - the chapters are short, and the back-and-forth-through-time format kept me wanting more, especially when the central conflict of the story was revealed.

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

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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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