Book: “The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue” by V.E. Schwab
Genre: YA Historical Fiction/Fantasy
Rating: 4+/5 Stars
Blogger’s Note: Thank you to Macmillan Audio for the free audiobook in exchange for an honest review!
Addie LaRue makes a deal with the devil to help her escape from a life of monotony and a bland marriage where she has very little independence. Although she asks for her freedom, what she receives is a new life where she will never be known to others. Her family cannot remember her and no one will ever know her name. From day to day, Addie lives her everlasting life constantly in the shadows because no one can remember her. One day, she enters a book store and the young clerk tells her, “I remember you” and with those three little world, everything changes.
This book has been getting so much attention in the literary world! There’s such a large buzz around this novel, that I was a little hesitant to pick it up. Over hyped books can be such a disappointment and I was worried this one would let me down. Truth be told… it did and it didn’t. I enjoyed this book. It is a solid 4/5 and I would definitely recommend it to others. However, it just didn’t knock my socks off.
I enjoyed Addie’s character. I understood her motivations, her behavior and I was satisfied with her story. However, I didn’t care for Henry’s character too much. He was not a strong enough character to balance Addie. Her character overpowered his, so rather than a true partnership… Henry just paled into the background. I found that to be somewhat disappointing, but I understand why the novel was written that way. It really accentuated Addie’s character and made the book truly about her and less about their love story… which was refreshing in a way. I felt conflicted over Henry… unsure whether or not he was a likeable character or whether he was just a “throw away” that could be replaced easily by a different person. Side note: I loved Beatrice’s character and wish we would have seen and heard more from her perspective!
The novel features a non-linear timeline which was a little disorienting at times. I listened to the audiobook, so I think perhaps reading the physical book would have fixed this issue. I would have preferred to be able to flip back to the beginning of the section and remind myself of the date/year that the particular chapter occurred in. After a while, I settled into that format though and it became easier for me to remember the time period.
This audiobook stayed with me… even now after I’ve finished the book, I find myself contemplating the major themes of identity, mortality and morality. The book delves into some heavy topics but does so in a way that isn’t suffocating and allows the reader to decipher meaning without being force fed lessons.
Overall, this was a great book. I enjoyed it and it stimulated a lot of existential thinking. It wasn’t my ideal perfect 5/5 stars read but it certainly left an impression. “Addie LaRue” is worth the read and her story is anything but invisible.
Recommendations: Pick this one up if you enjoy YA Fantasy or Historical Fiction! This one packs an unexpected punch, so be ready for some heavier concepts like mortality.
Blogger’s Note: This audiobook format was excellent. The narration was stellar and was easy to listen to. I’d suggest picking up this audiobook and having a companion physical copy as well if possible… this would make the listening easier so you can quickly reference dates within that nonlinear time line.