It is safe to say that one of the most hyped books of 2020 on Bookstagram and Booktube was the Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab. It was my October Book of the Month, and has been sitting on my shelf for a few months.
That is, until now.
The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue tells the story of Adeline, “Addie” LaRue. Addie lives in eighteenth century France, and wants to explore the world. At the start of the novel, she is in her early 20s, and by those standards, she is considered to be an old maid. On her wedding day, she runs out of the chapel to meet up with this man with curly black hair, and green eyes. Adeline has been dreaming of this man, and has been praying to them to avoid getting married.
She then makes a deal with this gentleman — her soul with the ability to live forever. However, there is a catch. As soon as she meets someone, they will forget her. Addie accepts.
The story is told in two different time frames — Addie’s life in the past and in New York City in 2014. She eventually meets Henry, who is the first person in 300 years to remember her. The two fall in love, until they realize that he has made a deal of that nature.
This book was really hyped, and with good reason. This story is definitely one of the most unique novels that I have read to date. Schwab’s writing was beautiful, and I loved reading the story about Addie’s relationship with both Henry and “Luc.”
Some may argue that this novel is a love story with the devil, but I personally do not agree. I think that Addie was lusting after Luc, however, I believe that Addie was truly in love with Henry. Addie’s relationship with Luc was more of the captor/captee type, while Addie fell in love with Henry.
I also loved the main character Addie. Addie was a true feminist, but she was born in the wrong time. She wanted to see the world, versus getting married with children, which is something that wasn’t allowed in that time period. I believe that was a realistic desire for women who lived in that time period. I also thought it was interesting that Addie had tip-toed on the line between right and wrong. Addie obviously couldn’t have a job because her boss would forget her on her second day, which resulted in her stealing food and clothing in the efforts to be fed and clothed. And, in a way it worked, because people forgot about her the second she left their site.
Furthermore, I can not imagine what it is like to be Addie. She can not leave her mark on the world, and everyone that she encounters will forget her. How can someone live with that knowledge and survive the mundane day to day tasks? I am sure that she leads a lonely life.
One final point that I would like to bring up is the different time lines. I’ve read on some reviews online that it is confusing. I disagree. I think that they are essential to the story, because each flashback sheds some light on what’s happening in the present. I personally enjoyed it, and I thought it added a great element to the book.
So, have you read the Invisible Life of Addie LaRue? Let me know in the comments below.