Today’s post is another book review! At the beginning of this year, I posted my Reading and Blog Goals post, which discussed writing more book reviews. My goal for this month was to do at least 2 so this post will make that goal! My first review of the month was Six of Crows. Here is my review of Six of Crows in case you missed it! 😊
This is a spoiler free review. However, this contains quotes from the book, none of which are spoiler-y but just thought I would let you know. 🙂
Book: The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue
Author: VE Schwab
Page Count: 442
Publication Date: Oct 2020
Before I get to the summary, here is the song I listened to when reading the book. I am not trying to toot my own horn here, but I came across a wonderful song to match with this book. The song feels as epic as Adeline’s story was! Feel free to listen to this during the review! I hope you like it. 😊
“And no matter how desperate or dire, never pray to the gods that answer after dark.“
Adeline LaRue wants more out of her life than the limits of her small town life in Villon, France and she certainly doesn’t want to marry. While Estelle, the lady who worships other gods in her small village, warns her not to pray to the gods that answer after dark, Addie finds herself forced to call upon the dark gods in a moment of need. After striking a deal, Addie will live forever with the unrestricted freedom she always yearned for. But there is a catch – she will never be remembered by everyone and anyone she meets. While she has the freedom she once longed for so desperately, Addie finds herself shackled with the new limits of her bargain.
I had heard so many good things about this book that I was so excited to read it. Faustian-like bargains, living forever, and navigating total freedom – but with a cost – intrigued me.
A while back, I watched The Age of Adeline in theaters and I loved that movie. The ideas are somewhat similar here with living forever and the main character’s name also being Adeline, but other than that… there is nothing else similar between them! I would highly recommend watching that movie, though. So good.
Time Jumps/Character Development
The time jumps throughout the novel were excellently put together… I think that they gave this novel an extra pull to the heartstrings. It was so impactful to go back and forth and compare the difference in Addie’s resilience, how she navigated her newfound struggles, and how her relationship with Luc (the dark god that she struck her bargain with) evolved.
*This novel was from a couple POVs, but I don’t want to risk spoiling anything, I won’t go into depth about the other character, Henry!
“What is a person, if not the marks they leave behind?”Addie LaRue, VE schwab
Adeline “Addie” LaRue: I found her character very likeable! Actually, I loved her character. She is wonderfully stubborn, defiant, and resilient. I enjoyed her evolution into a devilishly clever woman. I think one of my favorite parts of her character, though, was how she continued to discover – whether it be new places in the world, the meaning of life, what it is to truly live, etc–even after living for so long.
“Do not mistake this—any of it—for kindness, Adeline.” His eyes go bright with mischief. “I simply want to be the one who breaks you.”Luc
Luc is the dark god that Addie strikes a deal with. I loved him as the antagonist of the story. I found him intriguing and surprising – sometimes, even relatable! However, his character was also quite cruel, possessive and toxic. In a way, Luc’s undesirable attributes and his (sometimes) humorous games force and challenge Addie to think more creatively – albeit his ways were heartless and ruthless. Sometimes, his behavior even pushed Addie to further refuse him even though she felt like giving up. Luc’s attributes, in combination of Addie’s defiance and unwillingness to yield to him, makes their relationship dynamic, games, and story just that much more alluring.
I think this book touched on a lot of human nature – from the idea that our time in life is limited and we desire to make the most of it…to the innate, universal need to be remembered, to make our mark on this world. The way the author deals with the fear of being forgotten really brings into perspective what it would be like if those things were taken away and it hits home for all of us.
“…it is sad, of course, to forget.
But it is a lonely thing, to be forgotten.
To remember when no one else does.”
I loved the way art and the power of an idea was interwoven throughout the novel – that art and ideas can take root in the most unlikely of places. While this is certainly true for major movements throughout history to begin over an idea, Schwab turns this on its head and uses art and idea to give power to the individual, to the seemingly insignificant and inconsequential.
“Art is about ideas. And ideas are wilder than memories. They’re like weeds, always finding their way up.”
After reading the book, the best words I can use to describe the book are “poignant,” “soulwrenching,” and “unforgettable.” This book hit me right in the feels! Like a truck. The attention to detail added an extra punch to the feels and the way the author touched on human nature, time, remembrance, loneliness, art and history, made the reader not feel fully immersed and invested in Adeline’s story, but also led the reader to recognize the Addie (or Henry) inside of themselves. And that ending… it was not quite what I expected!
A book to truly be desired!