Book recs: ‘The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue’ explores fear of being forgotten


The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue intriguingly explores the fears of being forgotten

Gianna Cocovinis, Staff Writer

In a world where everyone is desperate to leave a mark, “The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue” tells the story of a girl who is forgotten by every person she meets. Addie LaRue comes from a backwater town in France where people live and die within the same small town, destined for a quiet life in a forgotten corner of the world. Addie has always been a dreamer, seeking a life beyond the confines of her village. One night, with a desperate and fear-driven wish to see the world and escape the quiet life closing in around her, she makes a deal with the Devil, sacrificing her own soul for what she’s after. He grants her wish, but there is a catch – she can live forever and see the world she is desperate to explore, but she will never leave a mark and will be wiped from the memory of every person she meets the instant she is out of their sight.   


As a college student, I’m beginning to wonder what the next chapter of my own life will bring. When “real life” starts and I’m expected to find a job, will I make it all count and leave my own mark on the world? As someone who doesn’t really know what that future may hold, this expectation can be intimidating, but the idea of never being able to leave your mark, or essentially not mattering, scares me even more. I don’t think I’m alone in that fear; we’re all trying to prove that we existed and that we did something for the world. Throughout the story, we see Addie’s struggle to enjoy her newfound freedom to explore the world yet also her deep melancholy because of her inability to settle down and grow roots. Despite her curse, she does manage to find loopholes that allow her to inspire artists, writers and musicians as they go on to produce beautiful work of their own, even if she cannot directly be a part of it . This is what made Addie such an inspiring character to me; her defiant spirit and hopeful nature show that she may be invisible, but she refuses to be silenced into submission and she leaves a phantom trace on the world she is ghosting through.   

For fans of “The Midnight Library” by Matt Haig and “Vicious,” which was also written by V.E. Schwab, “The Invisible Life of Addie Larue” will draw you in and sweep you away from the first page. This is certainly a character-driven story with an atmospheric and lyrical writing style that lifts the words right off the page in vivid color. From 18th century France right up to modern-day New York City, we see Addie navigate through the rise and fall of cities, deadly revolutions, literary movements and more with each time being as vibrant and rich as if looking through a mirror. Drawing on deep, relatable fears that everyone struggles with, V.E. Schwab manages to give you a protagonist to root for, a devil to swoon over and a love triangle that leaves you desperate for more. For a girl that cannot leave a mark, Addie’s soulful and defiant spirit comes alive on her journey and sticks in your mind even after you turn the final page.