Mini Reviews: Feb 2023

While I get back into the swing of things, in terms of regular reviews on this blog again, I am sticking to my mini reviews every once in a while. Plus this helps if I want to review a couple of books I read in quick succession.

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue – V.E. Schwab

  • Author: V.E. Schwab
  • Series: Standalone
  • Genre: Contemporary/Historical Fantasy
  • No. of pages: 560
  • Dates read: 31.01.2023 – 02.02.2023
  • Star Rating: DNF

Plot: When Addie La Rue makes a pact with the devil, she trades her soul for immortality. But there’s always a price – the devil takes away her place in the world, cursing her to be forgotten by everyone. Addie flees her tiny home town in 18th-Century France, beginning a journey that takes her across the world, learning to live a life where no one remembers her and everything she owns is lost and broken. Existing only as a muse for artists throughout history, she learns to fall in love anew every single day. Her only companion on this journey is her dark devil with hypnotic green eyes, who visits her each year on the anniversary of their deal. Alone in the world, Addie has no choice but to confront him, to understand him, maybe to beat him. Until one day, in a second hand bookshop in Manhattan, Addie meets someone who remembers her. Suddenly thrust back into a real, normal life, Addie realises she can’t escape her fate forever.

Now, going into this book I knew there was a good chance I wouldn’t love this. After I bought the book, I saw so many average reviews but I wanted to reserve judgement until I read it myself. Unfortunately, despite it starting off very strong I ended up losing interest.

I loved the premise. I thought it was super interesting. I loved the first 100 or so pages. I was drawn into the character of Addie, her life and her curse. I loved watching her navigate the curse and also experiencing 1600s France. All incredibly engaging. Until we got to the chapters in New York. I found the setting to be boring, it was literally just Addie wandering around the city and it got tiring very fast. With the scenes of her making her way through France we got to experience an unfamiliar setting while watching Addie try to understand how her curse works and what the limitations are. But by the time we get to her New York scenes it just felt super repetitive.

When Henry got introduced I was hoping this would switch up how I felt about modern day Addie but I found him to also quite boring and I didn’t really care about him and Addie together. I also could see a big plot point happening from a mile away so when the reveal happened I was not shocked at all which again just meant I was just super un-satisfied. I ultimately ended up DNFing it and skipping to the end to see if I liked the ending. I also didn’t like the ending.

The Last Tale of the Flower Bride – Roshani Chokshi

  • Author: Roshani Chokshi
  • Series: Standalone
  • Genre: Contemporary/Magical Realism
  • No. of pages: 304
  • Dates read: 30.01.2023 – 03.02.2023
  • Star Rating: 3.5

Plot: Once upon a time, a man who believed in fairy tales married a beautiful, mysterious woman named Indigo Maxwell-Casteñada. He was a scholar of myths. She was heiress to a fortune. They exchanged gifts and stories and believed they would live happily ever after—and in exchange for her love, Indigo extracted a promise: that her bridegroom would never pry into her past. But when Indigo learns that her estranged aunt is dying and the couple is forced to return to her childhood home, the House of Dreams, the bridegroom will soon find himself unable to resist. For within the crumbling manor’s extravagant rooms and musty halls, there lurks the shadow of another girl: Azure, Indigo’s dearest childhood friend who suddenly disappeared. As the house slowly reveals his wife’s secrets, the bridegroom will be forced to choose between reality and fantasy, even if doing so threatens to destroy their marriage . . . or their lives.

I had very conflicting feelings towards this book. Overall, I would say I enjoyed it but I had a lot of things that didn’t work for me.

I want to start off with the things I loved. Azure. All her chapters were by the far the most engaging and interesting. I really connected with her character and her growth as she gets older. I loved her. I also loved delving into the complexities of certain types of female friendship specifically the cases where it’s all-consuming and toxic. The co-dependency, the very strong sapphic vibes was super interesting. I felt it was written really well.

I also felt that Chokshi did a great job of writing unlikable characters. Indigo was insufferable at times. She grated on me. She was written so well.

That being said, I felt while Chokshi did a great job writing and developing Azure and Indigo, I felt she did an average job with Indigo’s husband. He felt very surface level and I felt like he was only there to further the plot along. His relationship with Indigo felt very under-developed and rushed, pacing-wise.

I will also say that I found the constant reference and discussions of fairytales and folklore to be great at the start but it got old very quickly. It was over-saturation by the end of the book and I found myself skimming those paragraphs so I could get to the actual meat of the story.

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