I am not really in love with this novel, although I rate it as a reading pleasure. But it took me too many chapters to get into the story and to adjust to the sad and very melancholic tone and style.

Das Unsichtbare Leben Der Addie LaRue*
by V. E. Schwab
Translation Petra Huber, Sara Riffel
Original Title The Invisible Life Of Addie LaRue
Publisher Fischer Tor on May 26, 2021
Genre Fantasy
Pages 588
Format Paperback
Source Fischer Tor

France in 1714. The young Addie LaRue only wants one thing: to escape the restrictions of the province and lead a self-determined life. In a moment of desperation, she makes a pact with the devil that promises her freedom and eternal youth. But the price is high: no one she meets will remember her. And so begins her journey through the centuries, which Addie takes to the most fascinating places in European history, but also to the limits of loneliness and despair. Until she met a young man in New York in 2014 that she could never forget … (personal translation by ©Vi at Inkvotary).
Addie wants more time. To explore things and to find out what she really wants in life. For her parents a problem because they want Addie to marry a man, Addie doesn´t love nor want. And her best friend can give her only one piece of advice. Don´t pray to the gods at night. Can Addie turn things around and please everyone?

It took me a few chapters to get used to the very melancholic tone and the somewhat weird style. Addie is struggling with her life. The people around her expect her to abide by the rules of society, get married and have a family. But Addie wants more. More life, more freedom, more time more of everything. But what she really wants is being granted to her in a very twisted way. And it quickly becomes clear that a new kind of homelessness is being shown here. Addie must get creative to survive and does it the only way she´s left.

The way in which the author wrote this novel and how she designed the main character is very unusual. Lying is made socially acceptable, stealing is developed to perfection and the art of representation is skillfully made the idea of others.

Addie is a wonderful woman. Over the years she has learned that words have power. And that every word has its own meaning and power. And that she just must use them carefully and precisely to get what she wants. I was so happy when she met Henry and the world gave her a new perspective. Oh yes, Addie has an incomparable way of immortalizing herself in the world.

The story ends the way it started. Melancholic and with a twist. But the best thing is that love wins. Although I didn´t expect that kind of end. But any other ending, even a wonderful happy end would have been cheesy and not appropriate for Addie or her life. I might not be as thrilled over this novel, as other readers have been, but in the end, I count it as a reading pleasure. Love won, and that is all that matters.

Happy reading

*This book was kindly provided to me by Fischer Tor in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. Thank you. Therefore, the cover of the German edition is shown first in this review.

Deutsche Rezension

Ich habe einige Kapitel gebraucht, um mich an den sehr melancholischen Ton und den etwas schrägen Stil zu gewöhnen. Addie kämpft mit ihrem Leben. Die Menschen um sie herum erwarten von ihr, dass sie sich an die Regeln der Gesellschaft hält, heiratet und eine Familie hat. Aber Addie will mehr. Mehr Leben, mehr Freiheit, mehr Zeit, mehr von allem. Aber was sie wirklich will, wird ihr eigentlich auf sehr verdrehte Weise gewährt. Und schnell wird klar, dass hier eine neue Art von Obdachlosigkeit gezeigt wird. Addie muss kreativ werden, um zu überleben und tut dies auf die einzige Art, die ihr bleibt.

Die Art und Weise, wie die Autorin diesen Roman geschrieben hat und wie sie die Hauptfigur gestaltet hat, ist sehr ungewöhnlich. Das Lügen wird salonfähig gemacht, Stehlen wird perfektioniert und die Kunst der Darstellung geschickt zur Idee anderer gemacht.

Addie ist eine wundervolle Frau. Im Laufe der Jahre hat sie gelernt, dass Worte Macht haben. Und dass jedes Wort seine eigene Bedeutung und Kraft hat. Und dass sie sie nur sorgfältig und präzise verwenden muss, um zu bekommen, was sie will. Ich war so glücklich, als sie Henry traf und die Welt ihr eine neue Perspektive bot. Oh ja, Addie hat eine unvergleichliche Art, sich auf der Welt zu verewigen.

Die Geschichte endet so, wie sie begonnen hat. Melancholisch und mit einem Twist. Aber das Beste ist, dass die Liebe gewinnt. Obwohl ich mit so einem Ende nicht gerechnet habe. Aber jedes andere Ende, sogar ein wundervolles Happy End, wäre kitschig und für Addie oder ihr Leben nicht angemessen gewesen. Ich bin vielleicht nicht so begeistert von diesem Roman wie andere Leser, aber am Ende zähle ich ihn als Lesevergnügen. Die Liebe hat gewonnen, und das ist alles, was zählt.

*This book was published in the English language by Titan Books on October 6, 2020 

Victoria Schwab
Victoria Schwab ©Jenna Maurice

Victoria (V.E.) Schwab is the author of the »World Walker« trilogy and the New York Times bestseller series »Vicious & Vengeful«. Born in 1987 she is the product of a British mother, a Beverly Hills father, and a southern upbringing. Schwab has a penchant for tea and BBC shows and a serious and well-documented case of insatiable wanderlust. When she's not wandering the streets of Paris or climbing any hill in England, she's sitting in the back of a café, spinning on her stories.


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