The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue
Author: V.E. Schwab
Page Count: 444
Publisher: Tor Books
Original Publication Date: 2020
Genre(s): Adult fiction, Fantasy
“After all, how can a thing be real if it cannot be remembered? . . . If a person cannot leave a mark, do they exist?
This is how it starts.
Adeline LaRue is born in 1691 in Villon, France. She was born here, she will live here, and she will die here, buried in a ten by ten plot with the rest of her family, generations before her. She will marry, have children, be the best wife and mother she can be. But Addie doesn’t want this life for herself. She wants to see the world. She wants to live. So on a desperate night when she’s twenty-three, she prays—and someone, or something, listens. And a deal is struck. Addie LaRue is free. She will live forever. But she is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets. Her curse goes much deeper than that, but she has 300 years to figure that out. Three hundred years to live, yet leave no mark. Until she meets a man in a bookshop who remembers.
I am new to the V.E./Victoria Schwab fan club. I just discovered her writing this year when a friend told me about a series I might like, and since then, I’ve been adding all her books (both adult and YA) to my TBR. Addie LaRue is a book my friend has been dying to read since it was announced, and I truly wanted to read this book along with her, but didn’t have the money to purchase my own copy. So my friend literally bought me a copy and had it delivered to my door, and that literally made me cry. Heather, you are the absolute best, and I’m sorry I couldn’t buddy read this with you because you are a maniac and finished it in practically one sitting. I hope you know I adored it, though, and was crying along with you in spirit!
The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue is told in third-person through chapters alternating in both time and perspective. It’s divided up into seven parts, and spans about 300 years. If you’re not crying by the end of this novel, you’re a psycho. We follow Addie through time—when she’s just a child, when she’s older and makes her deal, and then throughout history and throughout the world as she travels and lives, only to be forgotten. The only constant in her life is Luc, the name she has given to the god that cursed her. He returns to her year after year, hoping she’ll finally surrender her soul to him per their deal. But she does not. And thus continues a war than spans centuries.
I already want to read this book again, because I think I was more anticipating Addie’s relationship with Henry, the bookseller who remembers her, instead of Luc. I should have paid more attention to both. And I think her relationship with both the man and the god are fascinating, and I’d love to study them a bit more. By the end of the novel, I think many question if Addie loved Henry at all, or if it was just “simply a reprieve.” Someone who remembered. But I strongly believe she loved him, perhaps mostly because he could remember her, but also because I think she understood him, and truly cared about him—I mean, she loved him enough to do what she did at the end of the book, so don’t doubt her.
You also may doubt she loves Luc by the end, but trust me, she does. She’s always loved him, and she still does. She’s just too vengeful to let herself feel it. Too stubborn. She’s mad about a deal she made. And she chooses not to believe that Luc loves her. She was constantly comparing Henry to Luc, and when she keeps saying that thing about contentment versus passion, you know Luc is the passion. So yes, I do believe she loves Luc, she’s just too stubborn to admit it. And I’m not saying Luc is the best choice, because he is a god, and he does manipulate her, and he did take the form of Addie’s dream guy, so like…yeah, he’s a bad dude. But I honestly do think he loves her, in his own twisted way. The only way he can love her. And dammit I just love the enemies to lovers trope so MUCH that I needed it to happen.
Anyway. It was a fascinating thing to think about, in my opinion. Relationships aside, Addie is a strong, independent, free thinking woman, and I loved her, despite the mistakes she made, despite her flaws. She was a great character to follow around the world, through time. I know a lot of people said the beginning half was boring, or the whole thing was repetitive, but I didn’t feel that way at all. I thought the novel gave us a full perspective picture of Addie’s long life. I didn’t feel it was slow, just detailed. I didn’t feel it was repetitive in a bad way, just repetitive enough to really hit home how repetitive Addie’s life was, to make us feel the way she did—a new lover, a new bed, a new hello, no goodbye. I thought it was sad, yet interesting, and therefore never felt bored. I think if you truly love the characters like I did, you’ll love every minute of this story.
Addie LaRue was definitely worth the wait, and if you haven’t read it yet, you should do so now. It’s a lovely story to get wrapped up in on a rainy day.
–“What is a person, if not the marks they leave behind?”
–“Books, she has found, are a way to live a thousand lives—or to find strength in a very long one.”
–“…and on the rare occasion he’s managed to get up before dawn, it was a thrill: to watch the day begin, to feel, at least for a little while, like he was ahead instead of behind. But then a night would go long, and a day would start late, and now he feels like there’s no time at all. Like he is always late for something.”
–“Nothing is all good or all bad. Life is so much messier than that.”
–“They teach you growing up that you are only one thing at a time–angry, lonely, content–but he’s never found that to be true. He is a dozen things at once. He is lost and scared and grateful, he is sorry and happy and afraid.”