The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue will not be forgotten


Jocelyn Leal, Editor-in-Chief

A girl is running.

Running away from a life lacking wonder and void of dreams. She is running through 1714 France on a night that will change her life forever.

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue tells the story of Adeline LaRue, born on Mar. 14, 1691 in Villon-sur-Sarthe, France. A small girl in a small town who learned how to be a dreamer. She dreamed of a life outside Villon-sur-Sarthe, traveling the world to see the beautiful sights of the ocean and Paris and tigers. This was a stark contrast to the life she was given. One of tradition and young marriage. Of a family that she does not want. For this reason, she decides to make a deal with a god that answers after dark.

Despite all the warnings against entering a contract with this type of god, she does anyway, and gets everything she wants- she never ages and cannot die, giving her the chance to live her life and see the world- and everything she doesn’t.

No one will remember Addie LaRue.

V.E Schwab spins a tale that includes both historical fiction and fantasy to create a constellation of LaRue’s 300-year-long life. Flipping between different years to show how she adapts to her newfound immortality and sees the world for what it really is, not only what she imagines it to be. The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue presents a story of the tiny moments throughout her life, ones filled with love and loss in a world where no one remembers her.

One prominent image in the story that attests to the quality of Schwab’s writing is at the beginning of the novel, where Addie dreams of Paris, with its beautiful streets and white buildings. While she would eventually live to see Paris in all its glory- the Paris we know today- in 1714, it is still an 18th-century city that is dirty and poor and where people who died from sickness fill the streets. This scene is a true testament to this story’s writing, as while the prose is beautiful, it can still be harsh as it is true to history. 

While this story is historical fantasy, it does not glorify history. Addie sees the world for what it is through the ages that she lives.

Schwab, who writes mostly Young Adult to Adult Fiction, steps out of her usual realm to write this historical fantasy story. Readers have to make sure to read the chapter titles, which indicate the year and the date of Addie’s life that the chapter is focusing on, and it can get confusing if not paid attention to.

Addie is also an interesting protagonist, as the reader cannot help but feel bad for her as she walks through life unnoticed. She is quiet and keeps to herself while also being resilient enough to continue fighting for the life that she chooses. Even when she resorts to stealing to get clothes, food and books to read, the audience cannot help but root for her as she is absolutely charming and has seen so much.

Readers of fantasy and historical fiction alike will enjoy this novel that reads like a classic. With charming, relatable characters and an air of mystery, The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue will leave people wondering what they would really sacrifice to follow their dreams and the weight of having someone that knows you.

Rating: ★★★★★