“The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue” by V.E. Schwab takes the world on an unforgettable journey. The novel is a USA TODAY Bestseller, National Indie Bestseller, The Washington Post Bestseller and has been recommended by Entertainment Weekly and Oprah Magazine, among others.
Spending weeks on the New York Times’ best-sellers list and popping up all over media platforms, in book clubs and captivating its vast audience, Schwab’s 20th published novel is one for the ages.
The story starts off in France in 1714 with Addie LaRue, a woman in a desperate situation. Feeling trapped, she finds herself with an opportunity to make a deal with a god of darkness as a means to escape her life. When the deal is done, Addie has immortality, but like all dark magic deals, it comes with a price. Though she can live forever, with each new day Addie is forgotten by the people she meets. Her name can’t be written, or said, relinquishing Addie’s identity to the confines of her own mind and a life of solitude. For Addie, leaving a mark upon the world is quite literally impossible. For hundreds of years, Addie is on a lone adventure across time and place with no one but herself and an occasional god to remember her. That is, until she walks into a bookstore one day, and the man working there remembers her name. Suddenly, Addie’s immortal world is turned upside down and the meaning of a life remembered is at the tip of her fingers—if only she can figure out how to break her curse.
The novel is a sweeping, lush tale of adventure, love, loss and deep yearning. Schwab’s writing gives the novel a deeply poetic tone. The book is split up into sections based on pieces of artwork which Addie has been a muse for or influenced in some way. The connection to art, to Addie’s love of art and her inability to draw and leave a mark, plays into the poeticism of the piece.
The novel also has LGBTQ+ representation. Two of the main characters, Addie included, are bisexual, and other characters of various sexualities are written in as well. It is a refreshing read due to the intricate and real depictions of LGBTQ+ individuals, not falling prey to stereotypical roles or tropes these characters are often written for.
What popularized this book, beyond anything, was how it makes readers think. Diving into philosophical pondering and ripping at the core of the very questions each of us think about while in the shower or lying in bed at night, “The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue '' brings to the forefront thoughts that we often think make us all alone. There is a deep relatability and perspective gained from reading a story about someone trying to find the meaning of her story when it cannot be remembered.
V.E. Schwab is popular for multiple books and series, most notably her “Vicious” series. Currently, multiple works are being adapted for the big screen.