Cover art for The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V. E. Schwab is not the sort of novel I would usually read - falling somewhere between the fuzzy boundaries of chick lit and fantasy - I enjoyed it anyway.

The book was recommended to me by my wife’s sister and I went with it because she has previously demonstrated her good taste in literature, and put me on to some absolute bangers.

The heroine is your typical, spirited independent woman in 17th century rural France - she loves to draw, she loves to read, she loves her dad, and she doesn’t need no man. Think Belle from Beauty and the Beast.

The Beast in this case is the physical embodiment of darkness (in the form a sexy man named Luc), with whom our protagonist makes a pact - her soul in exchange for living independently forever.

There are catches. Of course there are catches - Addie can’t say her name out loud, create anything permanent, and people immediately forget her as soon as she is out of sight. Nonetheless, Addie manages to make her mark on history as we see her in revolutions, in wars, and travelling the world.

There’s romance, and sacrifice, and almost everything needed to make this a great book.

But it falls down on pace - it’s very gentle, and aside from the actual conflicts, there is virtually no conflict. As the title suggests, it’s an account of Addie’s life.

It’s an OK book with an interesting premise, but it could have been great.

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue is available from Amazon.

David Rutland’s rating 6/10