The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue – VE Schwab

“A girl is running for her life.”

This book. Wow.

I was starting to get really concerned that it couldn’t live up to hype. I follow V on social media, and every time she told us that she’d poured her heart out into it I was equally desperate to finally read the book and terrified that I wouldn’t love it. Well, dear reader, love it I did.

So much, in fact, that I put it down at the 90% mark and took three days – THREE DAYS – to pick it back up again. I don’t do this, I really don’t, but I  didn’t want to face the end (in case it disappointed – it did not), and I wasn’t willing to read it when I was tired or only had five minutes. Finally I had a half hour to focus and… wow.

There. I have – I hope – conveyed how much I *loved* this freakin’ book!! 🙂

Adeline LaRue was born in 17th Century rural France. She wants a life full of small joys, of drawing and freedom to roam. So when it is announced that she is to marry an older widower and look after his children, she ends up making a pact with a devil for that freedom. He grants her eternal life and youth, but with a twist: no one will ever remember her.

And so Addie spends 300 years unable to be much more than a ghost. As soon as she is out of eyeline everyone forgets her instantly. It means being thrown out of rooms she has paid for, having to steal to survive as jobs are impossible. And of course the worst: never being able to have more than a day’s relationship. Until…

Well, I’ll leave that to the reader to discover. I had feared the hype was too high, but it was not: this book, this story, is amazing and so well told. We flit back and forth between Addie’s ‘now’ and flashbacks to her past, both her normal life and then the dance with her devil through the centuries

I maybe took a little while to settle in. I wished V had chosen any name but ‘Adeline’ (it reminded me too much of a movie with a few parallels) and if there was one thing I didn’t like it was the discomfort of that ‘duties of a woman’, which was the point. But the words are so well strung together, the pictures start to form so well, and it was impossible not to get caught up in not just Addie but other characters and their lives and loves and just how it all fits together so perfectly.

And underneath, it hits so hard because these are such universal human fears being explored: that your life, your existence, will leave no mark on the world. That people don’t see you, or don’t see the real you. That you’re never ‘enough’.

Ironically, this is not a book you’re likely to ever forget. Read it now! 🙂

NetGalley eARC: 560 pages / 101 chapters
First published: October 2020
Series: none
Read from 25th September – 9th October 2020

My rating: 10/10

3 thoughts on “The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue – VE Schwab

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