Book Review: The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue

Book Review: The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue

Posted: February 27, 2021


The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue


V.E. Schwab


October 06, 2020



It’s 1714 France, and Adeline LaRue is about to be married off into a life she never wanted. She flees from the wedding and ends up trading her soul to the devil, Luc, in exchange for eternal life. He does some creative interpretation of her wish though, and in addition to eternal life she is cursed to be forgotten by anyone she meets. After returning to her village to learn that her family and lifelong friends have forgotten her, Adeline (now known as Addie, as the curse dictates she cannot speak her true name) departs on her immortal journey through the ages.

This book is pure escapism. Addie travels mainly throughout Europe and America, experiencing wars, regime changes, and the renaissances in between. There are times she is suffering from famine, hypothermia, and homelessness, but has to trudge through because the alternative is surrendering her soul. But she also encounters authors finding their voices, musicians discovering their melodies, and unsure painters developing into masters. There is heavy emphasis on the arts being the silver lining to a dark world (you can see why this storyline appeals to me- I totally think art has the power to change the world).

Paris at night
Hot tip: Never pray to the gods that answer after dark. Especially in rural France.

The storytelling was off the charts.There are time-jumps from chapter to chapter as the author fills us in on what Addie has been up to all this time, but it always feels seamless. The language and dialogue are gorgeous and engaging for all 400+ pages. This book went down easy. My one complaint with the narration was the fact that Addie’s freckles were described ad-nauseum. Every character that meets her mentions them, every portrait painted of her features them, ex-lovers dream of her freckles, side-characters write college dissertations on them. We get it. Freckles. Yes. Please move on.

The main romantic relationships that developed were both ones of convenience, and I do think they were lessened because of them. Addie attaches herself to Henry because he’s the only human being who doesn’t forget her, and Luc attaches himself to Addie for similar reasons.The book presents itself as a romance novel, but these characters are not together because they have life-altering connections. They are together because they have no other viable options. I do believe that genuine affection grows between the love-triangle participants at different points, but I felt more emotion for some of the hookups that forgot about her the next morning than I did for her ongoing relationships with Henry and Luc.

Addie and Henry are both bisexual, and their past romances are described in a casual, nonchalant way that feels refreshing. Love is shown without restrictions and borders, similar to how Addie has gone through her life unrestricted by time, and flowing between geographical borders and traditional gender roles.

A girl with freckles
The Freckled Life of Freckles McGee - ftfy

Instead of focusing on the romantic subplot though, I think there would have been more value added had the author attempted to answer the larger questions Addie’s unique existence presented. What constitutes a life well lived? Is there value in an eternal life if there’s no one to share it with? Is dying the same as being forgotten? It’s the sort of questions that keep us up at night, but this story didn’t bring us towards conclusive thoughts. The ending felt a bit unsatisfying, in that way.

All in all though, this is a book that I read months ago and still think about from time to time. It stays with you, and while I don’t think it succeeds as a romance it does succeed as a thought-provoking, haunting novel. The complaints I did have about the plot were only there because I wanted it to reach its full potential as a story. It was immersive and beautiful to read, and will keep its place on my favorites shelf for some time.





Entertainment Value




Stay Connected:

Follow Us On instagram
Follow Us On pinterest
Follow Us On goodreads
Join Book Of the Month

Recent Posts:

© 2021, Built with Gatsby