The Invisible Life of Addie La Rue by V.E Schwab
The Invisible Life of Addie La Rue begins in Villon, France 1714 as Addie is trying to escape a life that she does not want. In a time of need she makes the rash decision of bargaining with a god and is bound to become immortal but not be remembered by anyone she meets. She travels the world through all eras trying to find the right life, attempting to make her mark on her world. Addie’s life suddenly changes in New York City, New York in 2014 when she meets Henry, a boy who actually remembers her. Why? We don’t know but Addie is planning to go to great lengths to figure out why this bookstore worker remembers her.
I would give this book seven stars, like the constellation on Addie’s face, but that is not an option. V.E Schwab spins a story that is fictional but touches on all too real subjects such as identity, remembrance, and depression. Not only is it well written, but the struggles of the characters are relatable creating a true connection with the reader. The Invisible Life of Addie La Rue makes you feel magical, and I hope that is a feeling that everyone is able to experience at some point in their lives, because in this book, all you have is time.
Island in the Stream by Ernest Hemingway
Island in the stream is a story full of life and adventure. Artist and painter Thomas Hudson lives in the Gulf Stream island of Bimini by himself. In the summers, his three sons come to break up his loneliness and embark on adventures in the ocean and on land. The boys are the highlight of Hudson’s years and keep him young because when they are there, he finally has someone to share his life with. When an unexpected turn of events occurs, Hudson is left to ponder his experiences and regrets. In a bar in Havana, Hudson meets a vivid woman who will liven him up once more. Who is she and how will she change him?
I read this book this summer and it was perfect because the dialogue is rich and makes you constantly feel like you are on vacation. Although there are lows like any story, Hemingway develops the characters in a way that makes you feel the growth. It took me a bit to get into the story, but once I was a few chapters in, I could not put it down.
The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
Nora Seed lives a life of regret. What if she had been an olympic swimmer? What if she had never left the band and had become famous? Instead, she is working in a music store and lives alone with her cat named Voltaire. Overcome with despair, Nora decides to end her life for all the things that have gone wrong. What she did not know was that there would be a place between life and death, the Midnight Library. The shelves here are never ending with an infinite amount of books. Each book is a possible direction her life could have gone in if she had made a different decision. She has the chance to try these alternative lives and see how her life may have changed. We all have regrets, but would any of these alternate lives really be better than the one we already have? That is what Nora needs to find out for herself, what life will truly be fulfilling?
What if I had never taken Journalism? What if I had never befriended the artsy girl in my Biotech class? What if I didn’t worry as much about school? Would my life be different? Would my life be better? The Midnight Library makes you question the decisions you have made, but also what is really important in life. We could always live our lives based on the what ifs but that will never fix what we currently have. Each decision leads us on a new path, whether it is good or bad, it is the path we have chosen and it is one we should stand by. The Midnight Library is written in a thought provoking way that enlightens you on what and who really matters in life.