Title: The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue
Author: V.E. Schwab
Published: October 6, 2020
I received an eARC from NetGalley and Library Journal in honor of Virtual Day of Dialog 2020 in exchange for an honest review.
V.E. Schwab has an amazing talent that leaves me not only in complete tears at the end of books but also questioning and thinking about them days after. I was blown away by The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue. Adeline LaRue is a young girl who is born in 1698 in a small village in France. She does not want an ordinary life, where she lives, marries, and dies in this town. She wants adventure and learning. Addie soon meets Estele who teaches Addie about the Old Gods. The one rule Estele tells Addie to follow is “no matter how desperate or dire, never pray to the gods that answer after dark.” Addie follows this. Yet when she finds out she is forced to marry Roger, she runs away to pray in the woods, before the wedding, and before dark; yet while she’s praying the sun goes down and a Dark God answers. Addie is granted her wish to be free, to have her own choices. In exchange, the Dark can have her soul when she doesn’t want it anymore. The one hitch, no one remembers Addie nor can she make her mark on anything.
So, Addie lives and the Dark, she soon names him Luc, comes yearly then sporadically to ask her to give him her soul. She refuses each time. She learns the limits of her curse and how she can make her mark, through art. It isn’t until 2014, that she finally meets someone who can remember her. Who is Henry Strauss? And why can he remember her?
This book is beautiful and extremely thought-provoking. What would we do with more time and how would we spend it? How would it feel to live forever but for everyone we know to automatically forget us once they leave the room, go behind a door, fall asleep? I was mesmerized from the first page.
The characters that Schwab creates are breathtaking and beautiful. Addie with her free spirit, willingness to learn, and her independent streak is reminiscent of Elizabeth Bennet and Jo March. I was especially drawn to Luc though. His devil may care attitude, but with a soft spot for this girl who continually defies him. There were also moments when he seemed to have a conscious. Luc wasn’t exactly like Death from The Book Thief but there were definitely shades of that as I read. The one character I didn’t really like, and this may be controversial, was Henry. I thought he was boring. He felt like most whiny, white boys today and I wanted something more from him, especially with how it ended. Even with that I still give this book a full 5 stars and definitely will buy my own copy once it’s out.
Happy Reading Darlings!