Book Briefs: The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue: parts 5–7


V.E. Schwab

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab is a fantasy novel that follows the life of Adeline LaRue, a woman living in 1714 France. The story follows LaRue as she chases her dreams to see the world.

Christina Huang, Guest Contributor

Parts five and six are the longest of the seven, while the last is the shortest. Altogether, they account for 143 of the 442-page book. Only towards the end of the sixth part are the chapters solely fixed on the present. 

The fifth part goes back to Addie’s point of view and is dedicated to her relationship with the god she made her deal with, and Henry, giving readers a look at them. What she has with each of them, and how different they are from each other. 

There are hints of what is to come as well, with Addie wondering if this strained peace she has found will last, details of certain characters, and one’s patience growing thin. 

It’s in the sixth part where everything seems to fall apart. 

Her past, the imprints she left behind, fading; a small bridge between enemies, one she refuses to cross; and a special day, spent in different places with all too different people. The happiness she found in a day she felt so alone, before. A happiness that is broken in the end. Not by the presence of someone unwelcome, not entirely, but by the things he reveals. The secrets, of a mysterious boy. The reason they’re left alone in the end. 

Only one chapter, a mere two pages, is told from Henry’s perspective in this part. Following the revelation, it’s an opportunity for readers to see the desperation. To understand the reasoning or, rather, the lack of one. 

After, readers are once again thrown into the past. This time expanding on Addie’s connection to Luc, the increasing dependence, and increasing comfortability. Words she dismisses, a question rising of if they are truly false. The shared past they’ve developed becomes a way to bargain, a desperate wish to stop what’s coming. 

More questions rise, how much of this he saw, if this was all a trap after all, and if they will be able to find a way out. And then, it feels like surrender. The very thing she’s refused for three hundred years. One that means goodbyes and final thoughts. Final things to do, final moments to cherish. And then, it all changes. The significance of a detail passed over, of another deal made, one that sacrifices all for one. 

The end of the book shows what they did. The imprint they made, though that was once thought impossible. The ability to delight in being known, after lifetimes as a ghost. 

The book was heavily focused on the past and on the backstories of the characters. However, with the substantial emphasis on the characters, readers may argue that it sacrificed other elements, such as an engaging plot. For a 442-page novel, not much happened in the present. The story took place mostly in the past, building up to something that happened fairly quickly. 

Once again, it’s a popular book that some readers may enjoy more than others. For one so popular, many readers may go into it with higher expectations, only to find that it isn’t quite what they were looking for. In the course of the entire story, some readers have taken complaints about the amount of time she spends traveling and the missed opportunity of doing something more substantial through all the history she lives through. Additionally, others have said that the relationships seemed to only depend on their need for each other. In the case of one, they’re one of the only ones that can see each other for who they really are—or at all, in Addie’s case. 

Readers should be aware of this, taking their personal preferences into account, before choosing to read this book. Some readers might agree with the complaint of others, while others might find this book a story utterly unforgettable.