The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue


V.E. Schwab

I always hesitate when I learn about a book that deals with time travel and mystical issues, but I had heard so many good things about The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab that I just had to read it.  The story is compelling and travels through three hundred years from 1917 - 2017.  The time travel is not chronological which keeps the reader on her toes.

Addie LaRue is being forced by her parents to marry a man that she does not love.  On the evening Addie is to be handed over to her future husband, she runs away.  She prays to the Gods of the Dark to let her be free and a nighttime spirit (the reader can choose to determine is this is the Devil) gives Addie her wish in exchange for her soul when she is tired of being free.

Addie is free to travel wherever she wants but there is a catch.  No one can remember who she is.  Luke, the evil nighttime spirit, tells Addie that to be free means that you are never tethered to anyone and therefore, they have no memory of you.  As such Addie roams through the years without loving anyone or being loved in return.

Addie and Luke have a complicated love-hate relationship.  Luke constantly pressures Addie to succumb and give up her soul but she is unwilling to do so.  Their relationship takes many turns over the three hundred years and keeps the reader guessing as to where this relationship is headed.

In the meantime, Addie finally meets someone (Henry) in the present day who remembers her.  She is thrilled to hear someone say her name and she and Henry grow closer.  But Henry is human and all good things must come to an end.

This book reinforces the concept of “be careful what you wish for” and serves as a constant reminder that all humans struggle at some point in their lives.  Regardless of the struggle it is important to move forward and not sell yourself short.

Readers who enjoy time travel and are not off put by stories about making a pact with the Devil will enjoy this travel through history with a lot of life lessons along the way.