The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue, a review

So I finally picked up The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab. I’ve heard so much about this book, both positive and negative. But I think one thing most can agree on is that the way this book was pitched? Really didn’t help it. It claims that it’s a love story between an immortal girl and the devil. It’s not.

The real concept of this book is a girl who gives up the ability to make a mark on the world in order to escape a forced marriage and live forever. We discover her learning how to deal with this cursed gift, how she learns to adapt her life to survive. I think that if Schwab had focused in on that more, then this could’ve been perfect.

I did love this book though, I shouldn’t have. It’s not a work of literature. There are a million and one flaws. And yet I genuinely struggled to put this book down every day and enjoyed it immensely. I just needed to know what was going to happen. How Addie was adapting.

One aspect that helped me on a pure reading bases was that the books chapters are short. And then switch between time periods. This means that the book feels fast paced, constantly keeping you on your toes, and because Addie learns to cope with her new life over time we also get a reprieve from the negatives of her early days in the positives of the later ones.

Unfortunately, there wasn’t all that much character development from Addie herself. I feel like everyone else involved changed, whether for better or worse, but she remained locked in her state. I’m not sure if this was intentional by Schwab as part of the curse, but if so I think it was the wrong choice. Also, when talking about the curse, Addie doesn’t age. That’s very convenient. Enough so that Schwab mentions it in the plot. Another thing that could be written off as being because the Devil loves Addie, but it’s just a little too easy.

I really enjoyed the secondary POV that we got to read from, Henry, the first person to recognise her in 300 years. He’s such a pure character, and learns so much about himself. His story is heartbreaking, in more ways than one. One of the things I didn’t like about this book is that Henry felt like he was supposed to supply Addie’s character progression. She uses him, or at least that’s how it felt to me.

The ending of this book was also fucking awful. It feels like it just came out of nowhere, simply because the book was pitched as “Addie ❤ Devil” and they had to make it fit somehow. This book was over 500 pages long and yet it she was insistent on this storyline it needed at least another 150 pages. It was sudden. It took away from all the character progression we thought we’d seen. It was just… so bad.

My last negative is that despite Addie exploring the world in her 300 years. Despite her being teleported (essentially) by the Devil to new locations at his whim, and her travelling herself through various different countries, exploring so much… she only ever went to predominantly white and western countries? Most of the people she speaks to are all white? I understand that as a white author Schwab won’t want to write over an own-voices author, but given this specific premise of travelling it just seems… wrong that she only went to western countries.

On CAWPILE I rated this: Characters: 6, Atmosphere: 8, Writing: 7, Plot: 6, Intrigue: 8, Logic: 6, and Enjoyment: 9, which gives a score of 7.14 and a 4* rating. Which is weird.

Essentially, objectively this book is bad. But regardless of that I seem to have enjoyed the actual process of reading it. I have a feeling this is one I’m going to have to reread in the future to fully develop my feelings on it. Have you read this one? Please let me know which side you fell on!

Highlight here for trigger warnings: abusive relationship, alcohol abuse, assault (physical and sexual), death, depression, drugs, painful intercourse, prostitution, sexism, sexually explicit scenes, starvation, suicide (attempted), war.

My March Hopefuls!

I struggled to narrow down my TBR this month, I wanted to put so so many books on the list! But eventually I managed to narrow it down so let’s dive into the list.

First up I of course will be carrying on reading my chapter a day of The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas along with Olivia from Olivia’s Catastrophe. We’re both really enjoying our read of this (although a little less so in recent days) and we’re excited to see where the story goes next.

Then I am finally going to finish Fall of Giants by Ken Follett. I started this damn book in 2018? 2019? I can’t remember, but it’s taken me an age to get through. I really struggled with big books back then and it shows. But now I don’t have much issue with them so I want to get this finished off! I’ve got about 150 pages of this to read (at a guess) and hopefully that’ll be it finally done and dusted!

Of course I’m wanting to do my Skulduggery Pleasant reread of Dead or Alive by Derek Landy. This is the most recent Skulduggery novel and due to Until the End having its release date pushed back the Dead Famous Readalong has matched up nicely.

I always read the Illumicrate book of the month before too. I won’t say what it is here cause spoilers, and truth be told I’ve not gotten the box yet as I write this. But I think I know what the book is and I’m excited to read it along with the Discord group at the end of the month.

Next up I want to read Super Volcanoes by Robin George Andrews which is a non-fiction book. As you might know I adore volcanology (and focused on an aspect of that for my MSc thesis) so I’m super excited to delve into this book that was gifted to me by my MIL.

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab has been on my physical tbr for a few months and my overall tbr since I heard about it. So it’s high time I finally read it! I’ve heard very mixed things about this one and I’m still undecided about Schwab from the other writing I’ve read so it’ll be interesting to see with this one.

Another long time tbr-er is The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater. This YA fantasy with ghosts and friendship is one that’s been raved about for years online and it’s time for me to delve in and see what I think.

American Gods by Neil Gaiman is one that I’d been putting off for a few years because of how big it is (600+ pages) but I’m vastly better with longer books now. Also I’ve heard mixed things, with some in my “real” life stating that this is a brilliant book, and some of my online bookish friends saying it’s one of the worst things they’ve ever read. Might as well dive in while the intrigue is hot!

Then I’m wanting to finally finish up a series with Cathy’s Ring by Stewart, Weisman and Brigg. This is a series I bought way back when (no seriously, in like 2013 or earlier) and I want to be able to tick off! It’s a fun series too with immortal beings and doodles on every page. This should be a nice quick read.

Second last and we’ve got I Am A Cat by Natsume Soseki which was one of the books my boyfriend got me this past Christmas. It’s the first “Japanese cat book” and he bought me three of the other books that were inspired by this one so I’m wanting to read the original first! It’s reasonably long which is a little intimidating for a translated book but I’m hoping that I’ll love it.

And finally. I own this book in paperback but I think I’m going to read it via audiobook, and that’s Champion by Marie Lu. Another finishing book in a trilogy, it would be nice to cross this one off the list and seeing as I have it on audiobook I can listen while I work.

And that’s the stupidly big tbr I’ve made for myself for March! Do you think I’ll manage it? Have you read any of these? What books do you want to read in March? Let me know in the comments!!

Fourth Chance Author?

How many chances do you give an author before you give up on them?

A question I’ve been asking myself a few times lately. The first author I asked myself this for is Cassandra Clare. I’ve recently unhauled all of her books from my shelves bar one. That one being Clockwork Angel. It’s the last chance book for me.

Her writing is… fine? But seems a little juvenile and whilst the stories are entertaining, it’s in a bad and cheesy way. And with so many books in the world that I need to read, they don’t quite reach the priority list!

I’ve heard that some people really gel with her historical fantasy vs her urban fantasy, hence why I’m giving Clockwork Angel a shot. But I’m truthfully not expecting wonderful things and this is likely to be the last book I read from Clare (I’m sure she’ll be devastated with all her millions of fans)

And then there’s V.E. Schwab. Victoria Schwab. I’ve read A Darker Shade of Magic twice now. And both times I still don’t know what I actually rate it. And recently I’d tried to pick up This Savage Song, gotten 50 pages in and then lived in a reading slump for weeks.

I really don’t know why that is. And I have so many of her books on my shelves! And she seems lovely too! The few interactions I’ve had with her online and being able to meet her at a signing, she’s so kind, and I love seeing her online content. So I really want her books to be for me! But I can’t lie I seem to be struggling.

Fingers crossed that I’m able to get through some more of her books and really love her writing! But if not? Well at least I’ve supported a nice person and some others will be able to pick her books up in the charity shops and hopefully love them!!

Which authors have you given multiple chances to? And has it worked out for you? Let me know! Give me the motivation to keep picking books up by these two!!

First Lines Friday #7

It’s time for another First Lines Friday! Hosted by Wandering Words!!

What if, instead of judging a book by its cover or its author, we judged the book by its opening lines?

Here is how it works:

– Pick a book and open to the first page.

– Copy the first few lines without revealing which book it is.

– Reveal the book!

So… do these first lines entice you?

The night Kate Harker decided to burn down the school chapel, she wasn’t angry or drunk. She was desperate.
Burning down the church was really a last resort; she’d already broken a girl’s nose, smoked in the dormitories, cheated on her first exam, and verbally harassed three of the nuns. But no matter what she did, St. Agnes Academy kept forgiving her. That was the problem with Catholic schools. They saw her as someone to be saved.
But Kate didn’t need salvation; she simply needed out.

Scroll down to reveal the book!

arrow-pointing-down-animation-with-transparent-background_sao3efrlx_thumbnail-full04  | Arrow painting, Arrow pointing down, Transparent background
arrow-pointing-down-animation-with-transparent-background_sao3efrlx_thumbnail-full04  | Arrow painting, Arrow pointing down, Transparent backgroundarrow-pointing-down-animation-with-transparent-background_sao3efrlx_thumbnail-full04  | Arrow painting, Arrow pointing down, Transparent background
30249934. sy475
This Savage Song by V.E. Schwab

I’ll be honest, this wasn’t the start I expected to this book! I picked it up at a signing I went to because I’ve heard so many great things about her writing and about this book, but I was expecting a much more fantastical start! I’m not mad though, it’s definitely intrigued me and pushed the book up my tbr!