I know the year isn’t over yet, but I’m confident in saying I’ve found my favorite book of 2020. V.E. Schwab has crafted such a compelling story that hit me right in the feels.
The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue opens with a young girl who wants more than a simple life in her small French village. To escape an unwanted marriage, she makes one mistake and suddenly finds herself with endless freedom but no permanence. As the years tick by, Addie must learn how to live with the consequences. Her only other option is to give up and let her devil win.
Chance seems to lead Addie to Henry Strauss, who seems to be everything she’s been aching for. Addie tries to brace herself for when reality sets in, but she could never imagine the truth that awaits her.
I’ve loved every book I’ve read by Schwab. The way she builds her worlds, weaves her stories, and creates characters that are relatable and complex makes it so easy to lose yourself in the story. Addie LaRue is no different. You get invested very quickly.
It could simply be where I’m at in life, or my own experiences, but there was an emotional depth that pulled me in to the story. Knowing how it feels to walk through life invisible. And she captured perfectly the ache and anxiety of knowing how soon you’ll have to say goodbye. Though Addie and Henry go through things quite different than I have, Schwab captures perfectly the idea that emotions are common ground, even when experiences aren’t.
Addie didn’t want a boring life, and the trade off seemed to be that she could experience anything but never leave a mark. Her journey seemed to be one of searching for purpose, of finding a way to matter, even when no one remembers you. These ideas are very poignant and I think very relevant to my generation.
In short, read the book. You may not feel it the same way I did, and that’s OK. Because the story speaks for itself.