What’s The Book About?
“The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue” by V.E. Schwab will make you question a lot about the way you live your life. This heart-breaking, thought-provoking novel follows the very interesting and very long life of a French girl named Adeline “Addie” LaRue, who lives her cursed days as a forgotten face.
The novel begins in 1714 France when, in a moment of desperation, Addie makes a deal with an apparent devil. However, Addie realizes quickly after the bargain is made that the evil entity twisted her original wish, which was to be free, and turned it into a curse that would spin her world in a complete one-eighty.
The first lesson Addie learns is to be careful what you wish for as she now has to navigate a world where she has the ultimate freedom of never being remembered. Oh, and she lives forever.
The reader follows Addie through 300 treacherous years of her life until 2014 New York City, when she stumbles into an old, rundown bookstore in the burrows and catches the eyes of someone who changes everything. Someone who remembers her.
The stand-alone novel is 442 pages long and was published on October 6, 2020, by Tor Books. At the time of writing this, it sits with an average rating of 4.38 stars out of 5 on Goodreads with over 90,000 ratings and 20,000 reviews.
V.E. Schwab, who publishes young-adult books under the name Victoria Schwab, has published numerous successful book series including the “Shades of Magic” series and the “Villains “series, both of which have received outstanding reviews.
In my opinion, “The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue “is a beautiful novel, not only in the way Schwab seamlessly stitches the story together, but also in the way, it makes the reader feel.
Throughout the novel you feel the suspense in your bones, the break in your heart, the wheels turning in your head all while the characters on the pages are replicating those same emotions. From beginning to end, you feel completely immersed in Addie’s story as well as the stories of those who she surrounds herself with.
I consider myself a very big plot person when it comes to books. I am much more interested in a story that will keep me on my toes than a predictable story that I feel comfortable while reading. I got the ‘on-my-toes’ feeling while reading this book. From Addie’s early years in Europe still navigating how to live life with the curse, to more present time New York City where she appears to have mastered, dare I say conquered, the curse, nothing is predictable and nothing comes expectedly in this novel.
While I do love this book, it does have its flaws (as all books do). I would say the biggest negative I find about the story of Addie is that it is a slow start for the reader. It can feel a bit hard to get into at the beginning when Schwab is setting the scene and laying the groundwork for the remainder of the story. This isn’t an unpopular opinion on my part; many people who reviewed this book said that it can take a while for the hooks to really sink in and draw in the reader. However, I believe whole-heartedly that the moment you get passed the introductory phase, the story takes over and carries you to the end.
I think one thing that is the most important about this novel however, is that there is a lesson to be learned. I don’t believe Schwab throws the lesson in the face of the reader as much as other authors do, however the message is still there: Start living your life and leaving your mark.
When reading a novel about someone who lives forever and reading about all the things they witnessed and experienced in 300 years of their life, it is a sobering realization when you remember that you don’t have 300 years.
When reading a novel about someone who can’t speak or write their own name and reading about someone who can’t leave an imprint on the world they live in, it is a welcoming realization when you remember that you can leave a mark on the world.
I think Schwab drives this message home throughout the novel. A message of not waiting to live your life. A message of living with the intent to leave a mark on the world, no matter how big or how small.
Long story short, you should read this book.
Claire Boughton can be contacted at: