V.E. Schwab’s 2020 fantasy novel, The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue, is a stand-alone. Tor Books released it on October 6th, 2020. In 1714, a young French lady makes a deal with the devil that gives her immortality, but also condemns her to be forgotten by everyone she comes into contact with. An award nomination for best fantasy novel for the 2020 Locus Awards was given to it.
The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue Storyline-
The novel alternates between a present-day narration in New York City and flashbacks to Addie’s youth in France and her travels around the world and observing significant historical events. Addie, a young lady trapped in an arranged marriage in the early 1700s, is introduced as she begs the gods for release.
After one meeting with a night deity named Luc, she is given the time she desires, but with the condition that no one will ever remember her. Throughout the years, she has had a subtle impact on many individuals, leaving a lasting impression on history and serving as an inspiration for music and art. Every year after they make their agreement, Luc returns to see her and begs for her soul.
Over the course of their time together, the two form a bond that lasts for approximately two decades. As Addie comes to the conclusion that their love was really a sham, Luc asks her once more for the sacrifice of her soul.
In 2014, Addie meets Henry Strauss, a guy who remembers and calls her by her first name despite having never met her before. When Addie learns that Henry only has 35 days left to live as a result of his pact with Luc, their romance takes a turn for the worst. Henry attempted suicide after a rejected proposal put him under a lot of strain from his family.
His request was realised by Luc, who visited him and made it such that anytime someone saw him, they would see what they desired most. Henry was able to recall Addie as a result of this, making her hope that someone had remembered her come true. Finally, Addie gives herself up to be Luc’s forever in the final chapter of the book.
She refuses to give over her soul since Luc claims he no longer desires it. As a condition of Henry’s release, Addie demands that Luc ensure Henry has a memory of her. The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue, Henry’s novel based on the things Addie told him about her past, becomes an instant hit. If she can just get Luc to let her go, Addie will finally be at peace.
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The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue Reception-
Through the month of July of the following year, the book The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue appeared on the New York Times Best Sellers list 37 times in a row.
In her review for NPR, Caitlyn Paxson complimented the novel’s devotion to art: “Her seven distinctive freckles are an effort to leave a lasting impression on the mind of an artist, evoking brief memories of an immortal long since forgotten. Together, they instil a sense of urgency in us, allowing us to grasp the depth of Addie’s need to be remembered.”
As a “spellbinding plot,” Kirkus Reviews described the work as “rich, gratifying, unusual, and masterfully written.”
It was dubbed a “tour de force” by The Washington Post’s Ellen Morton, who praised the film’s energy, thoughtful narrative, and explorations of personal identity.
Additionally, Megan Kallstrom of Slate noted the story’s careful attention to detail, ending her review by saying: “Much like the seven freckles that sprinkle Addie’s face, we create our own constellations, and as we live through these darkened days, I feel brighter for having added Addie to mine.”
In November 2021, it was announced that eOne will produce a film adaptation of the novel. Schwab is reported to have penned the early drafts of the screenplay before handing it off to husband-wife duo Augustine Frizzell and David Lowery; the former of the two will also direct the film. Alan Siegel, Danielle Robinson, Gerard Butler, as well as the author herself will act as producers on the project.
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