The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue

Amie Samson Reviews "The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue"

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue was written by V. E. Schwab, also known as Victoria Schwab, who is a queer author. Schwab’s debut novel, The Near Witch, was sold to Disney her second year in university and later published in 2011. She graduated from Washington University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2009. The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue, like many of Schwab’s other works, was a great success; it was on the New York Times Best Seller list for 37 consecutive weeks in July 2021 and was nominated for the 2020 Locus Award for Best Fantasy Novel.

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue, follows Addie LaRue, a French girl who makes a deal with the God of the night. However, her deal turns out to be more of a curse, as Addie becomes immortal, though everyone she meets forgets her within seconds of leaving her presence. The novel alternates timelines between the 1700s and 2014. In 2014, Addie meets Henry, the first person to remember who she is. The story then follows Addie and Henry’s new and romantic relationship. However, Addie cannot escape the God of the night who frequently visits her. Soon, she discovers that this God plays a bigger role in her life than she initially realized, and Schwab explores themes of hope, love, and heartbreak in detailed prose.

The book is descriptive enough to engage all five senses, while not boring the reader with unnecessary narrative. The plotline may seem slow, but this is compensated by how fast this book can be consumed. It is that enthralling. The writing is poetic and speaks to the heart. The implicit lessons throughout this novel make the heart ache with how eye-opening and true they can be. Additionally, the idea behind this book is clever. At first it may seem simple, the deal with the devil cliché; it is so much more than that. There are many hidden nuances and profound layers to the plot. Even readers who are masterminds at predicting plots will find themselves shocked by many moments in the novel. Plus, the ending will leave readers feeling just as heartbroken and empty as the main character. If you are looking for a good cry that is way better and goes deeper than a jarring sad scene, then this is the novel for you. The reason why the plot works so well is that there are great characters to guide it. Addie has become such a believable character, with flaws much like our own. The book also follows Henry, who is just as lovable. Luc, the name given by Addie to the God of night, is complex and such a fascinating character that readers can find themselves leaning forwards and reading faster when he graces the pages. Overall, this book is a must read for fantasy lovers and really anyone who likes to read.

However, I do have to note that I noticed one weakness. In the middle of the book, the point of view switches form Addie to Henry, where we then continue reading alternating between the two POVs. I think that once the book is set up with one narrator it should stay that way to not jar the audience with a different take on the book. It was slightly harder to retain the same high level of interest when I had to get used to the second narrator and learn about this new character from their POV. I admire the dual point of view style, although, I believe Schwab could have started the novel off that way to keep the flow throughout the whole story. Other than this one aspect, this book is a masterpiece.

Amie Samson