“The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue” Book Review


Have you ever felt invisible and forgotten? While it may be just a feeling for most, “The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue” presents this feeling as someone’s reality. “The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue” is a fantasy and historical fiction book by V.E. Schwab that was published in October 2020 by Tor Books.

The basic premise of the book is that Addie LaRue spent her childhood longing for more than her ordinary life. With her personal disconnection from everything deemed traditional, Addie sought out the “old” gods, which led her to make the questionable transaction of trading her soul and ability to be remembered by people in exchange for freedom and immortality. Her family no longer has any memory of her, anyone she meets forgets her within seconds, any trace she leaves behind disappears, any belonging she tries to hold onto will mysteriously disappear as well, and she cannot even say her own name, for it has been forgotten as well. Although Addie LaRue is free to live her life unordinarily by seeing and doing everything she has ever dreamed of, she is often isolated and alone, except for a yearly visit from the beautiful demon she sold her soul to. That is until someone remembers her. Henry is the seemingly ordinary 30-something-year-old bookstore owner in New York City. For once in her life, someone does not forget Addie’s face and name. Henry remembers her and her name. After 300 years of being invisible, Henry makes her visible. For the first time in 300 years, Addie has hope. But there is something besides this anomaly that ties Addie to Henry. A mutual acquaintance with a certain beautiful demon and a curse meant to free both Addie and Henry instead has trapped them.

     Despite the fact that Addie LaRue is meant to be forgotten, she is definitely a character that remains in your memory. She is a beautiful mess that the reader watches unravel as the book progresses. She is a girl doomed to live alone forever, but found company in someone other than the beautiful devil who cursed her. Readers that feel as though they have disappeared into the fringes of others’ lives, like Addie has, may find her story relatable. 

V.E. Schwab writes in a beautifully descriptive, detailed style that makes the book read like a classic. Her extensive vocabulary designs each chapter into a lovely piece of art.      Each of the characters have a depth to them that makes them step off the page. Their backgrounds are so effortlessly weaved into the story, it is almost as if you were getting to know them in real life. While there is beauty in the illustrative descriptions of the book, it can be a disadvantage for those who do not have the imagination to paint the scenes in their minds. It is best to not focus too hard on picturing the scenes in your head, because I assure you the author will draw it out for you. The subtleties of the characters’ sexualities are something that the reading community has been striving towards for years. In a lot of media, we make a characters’ sexuality their whole personality to help meet the requirement of diversity and inclusion, which makes their sexuality being such a casual part of these characters’ personalities feel like a win.

     This novel is intended for those who appreciate escapism. It is a wonderful option for someone who wants to read a fantasy fiction novel that does not dive too deep into the fantasy side. Also, for those wanting to read a novel, like one reads art, this is that book. Addie’s and the authors’ love for art are intertwined within this novel; each section of chapters is preceded by a piece of artwork that is usually referenced in the text. Art was all Addie had as a young girl and when she lost the ability to draw, watching others create became the way she marked the passing of time. The mysticism this book creates within a world we are familiar with, makes escaping into the reality of Addie LaRue as enjoyable as turning on a movie.