I received this galley in consideration for an honest review.The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone by Adele Griffin
Published by SoHo Press on August 12, 2014
Genres: Young Adult
From the moment she stepped foot in NYC, Addison Stone’s subversive street art made her someone to watch, and her violent drowning left her fans and critics craving to know more. I conducted interviews with those who knew her best—including close friends, family, teachers, mentors, art dealers, boyfriends, and critics—and retraced the tumultuous path of Addison's life. I hope I can shed new light on what really happened the night of July 28.
When I first started reading The Unfinished Life Of Addison Stone, I had to stop and look up whether this was actually a true story or not. (It’s fiction, by the way.) Complete with artwork, photos, and excerpts from interviews with friends, boyfriends, and family members, Addison Stone’s brief and tumultuous career is laid out like a tell-all book. The mystery surrounding her last hours is the impetus for the fictional investigation and it quickly paints a picture of a very talented artist, but one who suffers from mental illness. We also get to hear about Addison in her own words through old interviews from magazines that cover the New York art scene. It would have been very easy for Addison’s character to go the way of the “quirky, disturbed girl with the tragic ending” but I think the approach of this book saved her from becoming that. Rather, we get to know her from every angle; best friend, art student, lover, and ‘wild child’. That multi-angled view of her made the story of her unraveling extremely engrossing.
For those who love reading non-fiction, this is a perfect bridge book because, although it is fiction, it reads like investigative journalism. In fact, it’s so well done that I had to remind myself a few times that this didn’t actually happen. While the style made me feel a bit disconnected from Addison, I am awed by the amount of world building that had to go into writing this story. It’s one thing to write in a narrative style, but to create an event and drill down deeply enough to create an investigative story seems like an entirely different type of world creation. The photos and art samples that were a part of the book added to the feeling that you were reading about a real life that was cut short. The Unfinished Life Of Addison Stone was interesting and compelling. In the hands of any other author I’m not sure how it would have played out, but Adele Griffin managed to write something that made me wonder where the line between fiction and non-fiction was located or whether it even existed at all.