V.E. Schwab’s The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue has spent weeks on the New York Times Bestseller list, and for good reason.
The book follows the titular character, Addie, who, although a whopping three hundred and twenty-three years old, hasn’t aged a day since the night of her wedding when she made a fateful deal with a god that allowed her to live as long as she wanted.
But those aren’t the only terms of Addie’s deal; now, she can never be remembered by anyone. As soon as the new person steps away, as soon as a door closes between the two of them, Addie is forgotten. She’s had a lot of time to get used to her new situation, but one day in New York City, a man named Henry changes everything- because he remembers her name.
The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue incorporates an intriguing plotline, excellent storytelling, and witty banter to create one of the best books of the past year.
A Unique, Interesting Plot
There are many books, TV shows, and movies that incorporate immortality into their plotlines, but The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue brings in a new element, which is the element of being “invisible.” Addie has the privilege of living for as long as she pleases, but there are several strings attached.
She cannot say her name, tell her story, or be remembered by anyone she comes across. Watching Addie figure out the details of her new life is fascinating, and readers will delight in her clever ways around her trap. Addie’s travels around the world lend themselves to the intrigue of the plot; although most of the novel takes place in France and New York City, it also gives glimpses of Addie’s time in London, Venice, New Orleans, and Chicago. Addie’s developing relationship with Henry, as well as the secrets he holds, will have readers on the edge of their seats.
Addie’s Relationship With Luc
Because she cannot be remembered, Addie does not form relationships that last more than a day- with the exception of Henry and Luc. She does not meet Henry until 2014, hundreds of years after she makes her deal, but in the meantime, she forms a peculiar relationship with Luc, the god with whom she made her fateful deal.
At first, Addie is angry and confused, and the relationship is antagonistic. But slowly, Luc and Addie’s relationship evolves into one defined by witty banter, and the constant game of who will win the deal. Each year, Luc comes to visit Addie, wherever she may be, to ask if she is ready to give up her soul, and each year Addie refuses. Luc becomes Addie’s sole source of consistency, and their relationship is one of the most captivating parts of the novel.
Because Addie LaRue has lived such a long time, the novel makes use of flashbacks to showcase her many adventures, and to take readers back to the various time periods that she has experienced. Schwab’s detailed, vivid descriptions of the settings create a dreamy visual experience for the readers.
Slowly, the limitations and loopholes of Addie’s fate are revealed, and glimmers of hope begin to appear for the protagonist. Schwab is deliberate in revealing the loopholes, so readers don’t get all the information at once. For example, Addie cannot leave any legacy that she creates on her own; she cannot write, paint, or draw. But, she can act as an inspiration for artists and finds herself woven into famous pieces throughout history.
Schwab’s writing creates a beautiful, spellbinding story that readers won’t want to put down. The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue is an excellent new addition to fantasy. Addie’s unique story, coupled with the beautiful prose and interesting relationships with characters, makes sure that even if Addie is forgotten, her story never will be.