Book Review: “The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue”
Calasandra Spray (TheLorian)
Have you ever lain in bed on a Saturday morning when you have nowhere to be and you decide to go back to sleep? Your body does not require more sleep, but your mind desires the haze of the unknown that lurks in the in-between of not quite awake and not quite asleep.
This book lies somewhere in that mist. A tribute to life. A call into the void. In a world rapidly descending into the mundane where we spend more time passively observing the lives of others through social media and T.V. Addie LaRue pushes your desire to live to a peak. I believe that deep down everyone desires to live forever. Addie receives her wish.
On her wedding day, when she is to be married off in an arranged matrimony to a man much older than herself, whom she doesn’t love, she prays to the gods to allow her to avoid marrying him. During her prayer, though, the sun sets and she is no longer praying to gods who wish to help humanity out of kindness. Instead, she finds herself praying to Death. He grants her wish to live forever, but it comes at a price: she is now a girl whom no one can remember. At first, she struggles but then she eventually learns to live life to the fullest outside of her small town.
The one thing she wishes to have is companionship, and she begins to crave the times that Death visits her because he is the only person who remembers her. That is, until Henry enters the picture. A cruel joke from Death where his deal with the devil negates her own.
In this way, it is not simply Addie and her vitality for life, her stubbornness, or her outright refusal to believe anything other than that more can be done and seen, that makes this book wonderful. Without Henry, I would have become discouraged and felt drawn into the void of self-deprecation because Addie is right and I would never be able to see it all.
Henry is a gentle reminder that we do not live forever. His deal is one year of life – one year in which everyone who sees him sees exactly what they desire him to be: the perfect friend, grandson, brother, handsome love interest. He quickly learns that this is not what he wants because when everyone sees what they want to see, no one sees his true self.
In tandem, the two characters demonstrate what it means to be human. To be human is to find people who appreciate the real you and to live every moment because one thing is true: we don’t live forever. So we must live. Now. Go out into the world and simply enjoy it. We cannot live forever, but we CAN live.
“But isn’t it wonderful,” she says, “to be an idea?” – Schwab, “The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue”