Good Afternoon Bookish Folk!
Today my post will be a little different than my usual review, and a wee pre-warning ‘The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue’ was not for me sadly and rather than write up a review of sorts I am taking advice from the lovely Alex from The Martian Chronicle who advised I post my thoughts on the book instead of a flat out review.
I will still start with all the usual facts and did bits but this won’t be ranked.
A few facts about .:
- Title: The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue
- Author: V. E. Schwab
- Series: Standalone
- Published by Tor Books
- Pages: 448
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.
Here are a few things you can expect from The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue :
- Love triangle;
- 18th century France setting;
- LGBT; and
- nice writing.
On to the my thoughts from reading this book…
I really don’t know how to start this post, and I am honestly a little worried I am going to just point out the bad because as I think about typing this up more and more things I found lacking about the book are coming to light.
The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue was quite frankly an unmissable read, it teased us with a deal with the devil, a possible angsty enemies to lovers plot, a life lived over three centuries and 18th century France. I was really keen to read this book, and for once myself and my mood reader soul were walking hand in hand to this book, but alas what I expected and what I got were not the same.
Schwab’s writing is quite lovely, at times I was so swept away by it and utterly immersed. There was something about it that really kept me captivated, it was leading us somewhere and I was really excited as to where it was leading us.
For the first half of the book I was happy reading along and quite enjoying it. It was just magical enough to tickle that fancy and was hinting at some really cool things. We were seeing these beautiful episodes in the past, and seeing a young girl struggle to understand the boundaries of her life and her wanting to live it by her own rules in a time that simply didn’t allow nor approve of such.
I liked the characters when we were at the start of their journeys and I really enjoyed the whole idea of discovering something new even after so much time. The idea that so many of these creative and amazing places where from Addie planting seeds in the minds of artists and creatives alike throughout time was a lovely way to show she still left her mark on the world.
And then came the moment I realised it wasn’t getting better than what it already was..it was simply going on and on and on…Anddd this is where it goes tits up sadly! It stays like that, all the way through to the end, which fast becomes uninteresting.
This book is slow, really slow but I really didn’t mind that for the first half of the book or so, we were getting to know the world, the characters and the boundaries of Addie’s curse and with lovely teasing injections of 18th century France, but somewhere on or around the fifty per cent mark it slows even more and stays at the pace until the end.
I looked at the book percentage a few times throughout my read and thought to myself ‘ahh ok we are heading into 70% area, you still have time to shake it up a little’ and then I was at 80% it was a case of ‘ok, Schwab you have to pull this out of the park and give this an absolute epic ending‘ then at 90% I was forced to realise it for what I was, and my thought were along the lines of ‘this is it, this is the extent of the book‘ and finally 100% ‘WTF, just what!’.
What started off as quite cool characters soon became uninteresting and unchanging.
Yes, that is it I think. One of the issues I had with this book…nothing changed.
Addie who was meant to have lived through so much was the same character in all her flashbacks, the exact same. To say she was immortal and had lived an age there seemed to be no progression or development through the ages. Where was the acceptance and almost arrogance when she found the rhythm of her curse, she could be reckless and spontaneous. Where was the fear of the curse, the book hinted to her going mad on ore than one occasion but this was not elaborated on, and such madness especially could have been an amazing opportunity for further development with her and Luc.
Henry was another cool at the start character, but then showed very little progression and seemingly learnt nothing from his whole experience.
Luc, the same. Luc could have been such a huge part of this story and such a complex and utterly intriguing character but he was not, he was left to be a side piece who popped up every now and again.
This book has an incredibly smaller cast than i’m used to and in a book that could have flaunted some of histories most memorable people and moments were but mere mentions in the background. This world was not filled out, not in the present nor in 18th century France or well any other century Addie lived through.
Far more interesting storylines such as times of madness, times of war and of revolution, times so low Addie was in the bowels of a ship for weeks and more were simply hinted at and left at that. We were told of these things and then left wanting. Instead we were given somewhat repetitive episodes in rather mundane situations (compared to the above) which then had the barest injection of the devil into them. Who Addie was meant to have fallen for and have such a deep and long lasting bond with but we didn’t see any of that develop at all.
This book could have been great, could have been an absolute masterpiece but instead it lacked in its execution and sadly did not fulfil its potential.
I realise I have written quite a negative post here and I stand by my points , as these are my thoughts about this book but I do appreciate many who seem to adore this book, so I would like to push you to have look at several reviews Bothe the that gush and this that criticise and just get a feel for if this book is for you or not..
As I said above I have not treated this post as a review and so won’t be categorising it into my ranking system.