Fantasy / Historical Fiction

13 Magical Books Like The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue

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V. E. Schwab’s The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue builds a magical, philosophical world to enchant readers. Centuries ago, Addie made a deal with a dark being: she gets her freedom and immortality, but no one she meets will ever remember her. It’s a book full of questions about time, identity, memory, and how we leave our mark on each other. These 12 books cover similar themes and characters—and, in some cases, plenty of magic.

1. The Ten Thousand Doors of January, by Alix E. Harrow

In the early 1900s, young January Scaller discovers a strange book in her guardian’s mansion. There she learns about secret doors to other worlds and the magic ways that stories can reveal and unlock those doors. Determined to answer questions about her own past and family, January sets out on a curious quest. The Ten Thousand Doors of January is a lyrically written journey of self-discovery sure to strike some of the same unique chords as Addie LaRue.

2. Life After Life, by Kate Atkinson

Addie LaRue only lives one (immortal) life, while Atkinson’s heroine Ursula Todd lives seemingly infinite lives in Life After Life. Both stories, though, ask questions about mortality, memory, and what you’d do with infinite time. As Ursula realizes the extent of her gift, she tries to use it for the good of humanity. Whether she succeeds or not? Well, that’s the eternal question, so to speak.

3. How to Stop Time, by Matt Haig

Like Addie, Tom Hazard has magically lived for centuries. In fact, he actually has lived through many of the events he lectures about in his current job as a history teacher. He’s protected by a secret society with one rule for their supernatural protectees: don’t fall in love. If you loved Addie LaRue’s combination of magical mystery and life-shattering romance, How to Stop Time is for you.

4. The Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern

Addie may have asked for her dark magical bargain, but in The Night Circus, Celia and Marco did not. The young magicians are forced by their mentors into a years-long proxy battle. After several years, their rivalry hits a peak as their magic intersects at an enchanted circus. The bigger problem: Marco and Celia are falling deeply in love, but only one can survive their inescapable battle.

5. Kingdom of the Wicked, by Kerri Maniscalco

Where Addie makes her devilish deal for her own sake, Emilia, the heroine of Kingdom of the Wicked, has a different agenda. Emilia and her sister Vittoria are secretly witches, hiding among ordinary Sicilians. When Emilia discovers Vittoria has been murdered, she decides to seek out dark, forbidden magic to gain answers and revenge. Emilia meets a prince of Hell who promises to help her on her quest, but with this kind of magic, nothing is what it seems.

6. The Queen of the Night, by Alexander Chee

Despite lacking any outright magic, The Queen of the Night focuses on many of the same themes as Addie LaRue. There’s a woman trying to escape her past, her shifting identities to stay safe, and a secret that only a few people can know. Over the course of several years, we follow Lilliet Berne as she crafts her persona as a Parisian opera star. When she’s finally offered the chance at an original role, she’s thrilled—until she realizes the opera is based on a secret from her own past, and only a few people could possibly be behind it.

7. The Witch’s Heart, by Genevieve Gornichec

For another strong, complicated heroine whose fate is entwined with all-powerful beings, try this Norse mythology-inspired tale. Angrboda survives the wrath of Odin, but is banished. She falls in love with the trickster Loki, but they and their children have a role to play in a fast-approaching tragedy. Like Addie LaRue, Angrboda is a heroine who thinks she’s better off alone. When it comes down to it, however, she’ll do anything for those few who are in her heart.

8. The Kingdom of Back, by Marie Lu

The Kingdom of Back is one part deal-with-the-devil fantasy, one part alternate history. In eighteenth-century Europe, Nannerl Mozart is a brilliant young musician who longs for an acclaimed career. Instead, she’s overshadowed by her brother and knows that she’ll be forced into a career-ending marriage before long. One day, a mysterious and magical stranger arrives and offers Nannerl a deal. He can make her wish for fame and acclaim come true—but the cost of his help may be more than she can bear. Real history and lyrical fantasy combine for a thrilling and emotional tale.

9. A Witch in Time, by Constance Sayers

A Witch In Time features doomed love, a curse of immortality, and a devil in love with his charge—all perfect for fans of Addie LaRue. In Belle Epoque France, young Juliet has an affair with Auguste Marchant, a married painter. Her mother finds out and tries to curse Marchant, but makes a mistake. Instead, she binds them together and forces them both to relive their doomed affair for eternity. Meanwhile Luke, the demon tasked with maintaining the curse, has fallen in love with Juliet. In her most recent incarnation, she’s starting to remember her past, and it might be the key to breaking the curse forever.

10. Kingdom of Souls, by Rena Barron

Kingdom of Souls is a YA fantasy that offers a different take on the “deal with the devil” trope. Arrah is the heir to two powerful magical lines but possesses no power of her own. When her kingdom’s children begin vanishing, she turns to a dark ritual and an even darker bargain to gain the power she needs. Newly empowered, Arrah uncovers a terrible betrayal and a twisted plot. It’s up to her to unravel it and save them all before her bargain gets the best of her.

11. Circe, by Madeline Miller

You’ve read about the “witch” Circe, but do you really know her? This book deals with questions of identity and legacy in a slightly different way than Addie LaRue. Circe starts her life as an immortal but unfavored daughter of the Titans. Her powers and her fascination with humans lead Zeus to banish her to an island far away. There, she crosses paths with figures of myth, humans and gods alike. When Odysseus and his crew arrive, she becomes a legend herself, but her true story is not the one that’s remembered. 

12. A Song of Wraiths and Ruin, by Roseanne A. Brown

A deal with a vengeful spirit is only the beginning in A Song of Wraiths and Ruin inspired by West African folklore. Malik’s sister is abducted by a spirit, and he makes a deal: her freedom in exchange for Malik killing the crown princess. The princess Karina has plans of her own involving dark magic to resurrect her assassinated mother. When their paths collide, they both plan to use each other to fulfill their own promises. Instead, their growing bond might get in the way of everything they’ve planned.

13. One Last Stop, by Casey McQuiston

One Last Stop is a lighter take on time shenanigans, memory, and romance. August is instantly intrigued when she meets Jane on their shared subway ride in New York City. Soon they discover Jane has somehow been riding the train, trapped in time, since the 1970s. While Jane struggles to remember her own past, she and August start to fall in love. Now, as much as August wants to help Jane get her life back, she also really wants Jane to stay with her instead.

About Author

Amanda Prahl is a freelance contributor to Book Maverick and a lifelong pop culture lover. When she's not working, Amanda loves discovering new books, shows, podcasts, and music. She's a lifelong baker (thanks, Mom!) and has strong opinions about coffee, Broadway, and Oxford commas.

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