The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab Review

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V. E. Schwab

Published by: Tor Books on October 6, 2020

Genres: New Adult Romance, Historical Fantasy

Pages: 448

My Rating: ★★★



A Life No One Will Remember. A Story You Will Never Forget.

France, 1714: in a moment of desperation, a young woman makes a Faustian bargain to live forever and is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets.

Thus begins the extraordinary life of Addie LaRue, and a dazzling adventure that will play out across centuries and continents, across history and art, as a young woman learns how far she will go to leave her mark on the world.

But everything changes when, after nearly 300 years, Addie stumbles across a young man in a hidden bookstore and he remembers her name. 


❝She’s had no loves, she’s lived no lives, she’s met no gods, and now she is out of time.❞

This is the rare type of book where I finished it and immediately want to reread it — composed of the most effortlessly beautiful prose and complex characters, The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue is one of my favourite books . . . ever. It is filled with hope and heart, telling the story of a girl who still finds wonder in a world of war and famine. I didn’t anticipate to be left in a wreckage of emotions, but Addie LaRue somehow left me empowered and heartbroken. Towards the end, I dreaded Addie’s story concluding because it’s so rich and interesting that there could’ve been another five hundred pages about her and I would’ve gladly devoured every one.

❝Books, she has found, are a way to live a thousand lives—or to find strength in a very long one.❞

Reviews can be strange for me — some take hours, some takes days — but this one is pouring out of me as I frantically search for adjectives that can capture the magic of reading The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue. I don’t think it’s possible to simplify the way this book made me feel into a few sentences, but I can promise you will never forget meeting Addie LaRue. After reading about her, you will understand why she is the muse to so many. In some ways, I was surprised by how much I related to her. Although, before this is a fantasy, it’s about connection — those connections that transcend time and the ones that wither time. Everything Addie and Henry feel is human. Nobody wants to be forgotten or unloveable, yet nothing in life comes without a price either and we sometimes need to make the most with what we have.

❝You deserve someone who loves you as you are. The good and the bad and the maddening.❞


❝Seven freckles. One for every love she’d have.❞

Addie LaRue is one of my favourite female characters now. She is stubborn, headstrong and full of hope despite being cursed. It would have been easy for her to become cold and jaded after she was cursed, but she continues to find beauty in the changing world and it was so refreshing to see how she continued to rise above her circumstances — the act of being alive was enough for her. I admired that she was still a dreamer after all those years, but she was far from stupid and was so astute. Even though she couldn’t die, she was still a survivor and that was heavily down to her wits. To an extent, she reminded me of Katherine Pierce. Addie is such a strong protagonist and she epitomises everything I want to be and definitely what I hope other girls would want to be too.

❝We can’t help who we fall in love with. (And who we don’t.)❞

The common thread between the relationships I like on screen and in books is they’re all about balance. Henry is a great foil and equaliser to Addie. Both of them are good for each other because Henry is able to hear Addie’s story and Addie is able to see Henry for what he is, which allows him to then grow and become somebody better. Whilst she still savours each day, he’s always rushing to make the most of his time. And for all that they contrast each other, they have a lot in common too. I especially liked the glimpses into their domestic life with the cat, Book. I also think Henry is a type of male character we don’t see often enough — he’s insecure, sensitive and a little lost — and it was refreshing to see such a pure romance for once. Not to say there weren’t challenges, but the love and respect shared was uncomplicated even if their individual stories were quite the opposite.

❝As old and inevitable as the turning of the world, the passing of an era, the collision of a girl and the dark.❞

Then we have Luc. Now, Luc looks like every other fantasy antagonist — Rhysand, Maven, the Darkling . . . you know the type — so of course I was swooning the entire book. Arrogant, but charismatic and caring in an unconventional way is practically my kryptonite when it comes to love interests. I really enjoyed all of his interactions with Addie and I do think he genuinely loved her in his own way, but going back to what I said about balance — the two of them were always in a power struggle. From a reader’s perspective, it was thrilling and fun, but both of them were too sharp-tongued, too domineering, too alike to work on a practical level. If anything, their relationship was toxic.


❝With her flawless memory, she became a student of his machinations, a scholar of his cruelty. She has had three hundred years to study, and she will make a masterpiece of his regret.❞

A part of me was unsure if it was possible to end this book in a way that would leave me content — Henry and Addie ending up together would’ve been too easy whilst Addie’s story being told and her accepting her new life with Luc would’ve been too neat. Somehow, Schwab created the most perfect and satisfying ending that solidified my love for Addie as a character and it ended up being my favourite part. Addie is unrelenting and didn’t necessarily do the noble thing by sacrificing herself for Henry — she did the cunning thing. Three hundred years has taught her a lot and seeing her use the traits Luc armed the once hopeful village girl with made the bittersweet ending all the more gratifying. In all her years, Addie never stopped fighting and I adored that.


The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue had me enraptured, so there weren’t many moments that I didn’t like. However, the start was a little slow. It was necessary for the plot, but it made me question if the book would really live up to the hype and I spent a few days telling myself to read a few more pages. By part two, it picked up and by part three, I didn’t want to put the book down.


Overall, this book has left a handprint of my heart and I know the echoes of what I read will always stay with me. At the core, this is a book about grief and legacies — when we die, what is left of us? In some respects, it didn’t feel like a fantasy because it was focused on human interaction and the pacing was leisurely. All that being said, it was one of the most emotionally intense books I’ve read in a long time. I think everyone should read this book, it’s as thought provoking as it’s entertaining and I can’t even be mad that Schwab pulled my already bleeding heart through the wringer — repeatedly and violently.

read it and weep,

6 replies on “The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab Review”

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