The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue: A journey through the harsh reality of humanity


Natalie Anderson

“What is a person, if not the marks they leave behind?” One of the most memorable quotes in the book.

Natalie Anderson, Staff Writer

A girl, a boy, and a devil. A story of humanity, desperation, love, hope, and despair. When everything seems lost, what are the lengths someone would go to to be free, to be enough? Is the soul a worthy price? 

Words can not describe the masterpiece that is the book, The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab. The layers of this story are seamlessly woven together to create complex characters who could almost leap off the page.

Addie: A girl with seven freckles, spattered across her face like a constellation, one for every lover she will have. Born in a small town in France in 1714, she feels trapped. The only future she can see for herself is the future of everyone else. Marry, have children, die. 

On the day of her wedding, when her time is running out, she makes a deal. Her time will never run out again. But, what are the consequences? To be wiped from the memory of everyone she knows and will ever meet. She is free, but she is alone.

Henry: A boy living in the shadow of the accomplishments of his siblings. A boy burdened by the weight of choice. He needs something new. He can not stand to do the same thing every day of his life. It is not enough. He is not enough. 

How does his life change, when one day, he remembers a girl who has never been remembered before? 

Luc: The god you should not pray to after dark. When everything seems lost and hopeless, when there is nothing left, he will offer what you want most. That is, if you are willing to pay the price.

Bouncing between 1714 France and 2014 New York, we see how Addie has grown over the course of 300 years. She makes the most of her curse, while yearning for a life of remembrance.  She yearns for love, knowledge, art, and friendship. She fully embraces her curse while searching for a loophole around it. She learns how to leave her mark on the world even though no one will remember who she was.

During this time, Addie attempts to gain power over Luc, the god who cursed her. However, with Luc holding all the cards in their relationship, this unhealthy power dynamic spirals Addie into games of manipulation and deceit.

People’s lives are messy. This book portrays this mess through the tangles of Addie’s bargain, and particularly through Henry. Henry is a great representation of the effects of mental health. 

Feeling like you will never be enough. Feeling like something is wrong with you. Feeling like you are a disappointment. Feeling like people will never take the time to actually get to know the real you and love you for who you actually are. 

The unwinding of this complex web of stories is truly a work of art. It explores the deepest sides of what it means to be human. It is thought provoking in a way that it makes you change the way you think about the simplest things such as happiness. 

It makes you realize, we do not really get to choose what we are known for. But, when you have an insatiable hunger to leave your mark on the world, how much time will you spend, and what lengths will you go to to make sure you are remembered?

This book definitely left its mark on me. It touched on the human experience in such an incredibly raw and beautiful way. Through the feelings of feeling lonely, cursed, and abandoned, it pays tribute to enjoying life and finding all that life can offer. 

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue traps your soul from the very beginning to the very end.