Book Review: The Invisible Life of Addie Larue

The story of a spirited, carefree girl in 1714 Villion, France


Olivia O'Dell

The Invisible Life of Addie Larue was written by V.E. Schwab. This is a story of a spirited, carefree girl in 1714 Villion, France. Adeline is independent, stubborn, and adventurous. She wants to live a full life and make her own decisions. She longs to travel outside of her small village and see and have new experiences. Addie is very different from the other girls. Most of them want to be married, have children, and be the traditional stay-at-home wife. Adeline’s mother tries to push her into that role, but the harder her mother pushes, the more Addie resits. 

There is a woman in the village named Estele. She and Addie are very much alike. When Adeline comes to her with the problem of not sharing the same religion as her mother, Estele teaches her about the different gods she believes in. Estele warns her that they are not kind or merciful, and you must be prepared to pay the price of an answered prayer. She also makes it clear to never pray to the gods that answer after dark. 

Adeline spends her days at the river, offering the gods personal items in exchange for answered prayers. When Addie’s life takes an unexpected turn, she runs to the forest to pray to the gods. She prays and prays, the sun slowly setting, and when one finally answers, it is after dark. Adeline realizes her mistake, but she is desperate. She asks for a life of freedom and without limited time, but when her prayer is answered, she wants nothing more than to take it back. 

No one remembers her for longer than a night. Every person met and every relationship built was forgotten. She would never be able to leave a mark or tell her story. Her life became a marathon, and with every step taken, two are taken backward. That is, until almost three hundred years later, when she meets a man who remembers her name.

This was a beautifully written novel. There is so much art in her words. It switches between Addie’s present-day and past. It slowly takes us through Adeline’s long and eventful life and we share the burden of her curse. She adapts to her new life, finding ways to have a warm bed and plenty of food each night. The reader sees different aspects of all kinds of people and how they go about their days. The author describes in such detail how it feels to be forgotten by your loved ones. I feel the characters are relatable and well developed throughout the story. However, there were parts of the book that felt repetitive. Certain phrases would be seen on a page and three pages after it would show up again. This took away from the flow of the novel. The flaws are minor, though, and I strongly recommend this book. It dabbles in a few different genres, like fantasy, historical fiction, and romance. If you do decide to read this book, be aware that there is some mature language.