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The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone: A Novel Hardcover – August 12, 2014
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From School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—Addison Stone, a young and dynamic artist, fell from the Manhattan Bridge while plastering a billboard. Was it an accident? Suicide? Something more sinister? Griffin constructs this tale by blending narrative prose with newspaper articles describing Addison's career and death, and interviews with family and friends. Listeners will have to continually remind themselves that Addison, however real she may be, is a fictional character. A full cast of narrators, headed by Amy Rubinate, Caroline Shaffer, Hillary Huber, Jorjeana Marie, and Will Damron, bring this story to life. The audio version also contains a bonus disc featuring the artwork and photographs that are included in the print text. This unique book will be a welcome addition to young adult collections and should be recommended to listeners who enjoyed Marissa Pessl's Night Film.—Amanda Rollins, Northwest Village School, Plainville, CT --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
Praise for The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone
A Capitol Choices Selection
An Autumn 2014 Kids' Indie Next List Selection
A Junior Library Guild Selection
A School Library Journal Top Fiction Pick
A Romantic Times Top Pick and Finalist for Book of the Year
A Booklist Top Ten Arts Book for Youth
A Chicago Public Library Best-of-the-Best YA Book of the Year
An Amazon Best YA Book of the Year
A YALSA 2015 Best Fiction for Young Adults Selection
"[An] intricate, intoxicating novel . . . This compelling story can be read on many levels, from a multi-voiced meditation on a brief, bright life in the Big Apple to an exploration of the biographer’s almost impossible task: the discovery and distillation of another’s complex self."
—The Washington Post
"Written like a longform piece of journalism . . . A gripping read with a seriously ominous ending . . . One of the most unique books I’ve ever read."
"An acute examination of a young woman’s troubled mind as much as it’s a mystery . . . that she remains an enigma, even at the fascinating novel’s end, somehow makes Addison’s death all the more harrowing."
—The Boston Globe
"A layered homage to the tortured painter, but also an exercise in structure and discipline, complete with pictures, paintings, media clips and more."
"Addictive . . . Despite all of the photos and paintings and interviews, Stone remains an enigma . . . As characters debate the true nature of Addison Stone, they reveal just how little they know each other and themselves, and how much they project their own beliefs, fears, and hopes onto the world."
—The Daily Beast
"Photographs, interviews and articles tell the story of a girl caught up in the glamorous society art scene of Manhattan, spinning out of control . . . Brilliant and unforgettable."
"Here’s the thing I love about Addison Stone: she could so easily have become a manic pixie dream girl, but she didn’t . . . The Addison that emerges from [the interviews in the book] had both sides of creative genius—the gifts and all it took to feed them."
—Melissa Albert for BN.com
"Resembles an in-depth article one might read in The New Yorker . . . A compelling fictional biography."
—Shelf Awareness, Starred Review
"Like Gone Girl with another twist . . . A hot one."
"This book has the best of both genres: a gripping mystery and a fascinating biography."
—Chico Enterprise Record
"A compelling look at the dark underbelly of the Manic Pixie Dream Girl fantasy, an exploration of the way a magnetic personality can imbalance relationships, a portrait of an artist whose talent comes from the part of her that endangers her . . . There’s no shortage of romance in the portrayal of Addison, the brilliant beauty who captured all eyes and whose ghost still powers imaginations, but perceptive readers will see beyond the glamour to the simmering dysfunction."
—The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"Griffin's mixed media approach is fresh and welcome; art and photographs dot the pages of a compelling biography."
"Griffin presents readers with overlapping perspectives on Addison’s frenetic life of gallery openings, parties and performance art, and the doubt and self-destructive tendencies lurking beneath her fierce creativity . . . Multifaceted and thoroughly postmodern."
"A fast-paced, engaging read. Tormented by mental illness or possibly the supernatural, Addison is an unpredictable and compelling central figure."
"A thorough, multi-faceted picture of this one-of-a-kind girl, who was simultaneously sensitive and wild, selfish and loving, eclectic and vulnerable. I’d recommend it, wholly."
"An intimate and cohesive portrait of a complex girl . . . The whirlwind pace will have readers in its grip."
—Horn Book Magazine
"Captivating, original, brilliant, and so dangerously exhilarating that you'll find yourself addicted to the entire immersive experience. You will fly through this thriller, incapable of putting it down."
—Lauren Myracle, New York Times bestselling author of The Infinite Moment of Us
"Only a writer as fierce and imaginative as Adele Griffin could bring us the real story of Addison Stone, a true talent and a bona fide star."
—Daniel Handler, New York Times bestselling author of Why We Broke Up
"A beautifully executed and riveting novel from an extraordinarily talented writer. Addison Stone will haunt you. Hers is a story you do not want to miss."
—Courtney Summers, author of the Cybil-award winner Cracked Up to Be
"Compelling and tragic from the very first page . . . [the interspersed media layers] level upon level of reality to the story. Readers will be fascinated with the novel and caught up in the drama right up to the end."
—School Library Journal, Starred Review
“Griffin, a two-time National Book Award finalist and one of the best YA authors around, attempts something very different here: a Rashomon-like take on a young girl’s life, highlighted by photos of the girl and her art, all in an attempt to put the unknowable Addison more within the reader’s grasp . . . A terrific experiment, something fresh and hard to put down. It gives a sense of both the artistic temperament and the nature of madness—and the sometimes thin line in between.”
—Booklist, Starred Review
“Snippets of interviews sprinkled with color photographs and paintings form a portrait of a sassy and troubled young woman . . . [an] indictment of the shallowness of contemporary cultural life.”
"A faux biography of a deceased teenage rising star in the art world, [built] around interviews from people involved in Addison’s life before she died, excerpts from media coverage of her rapidly growing fame, photographs of Addison and her friends, and images of her artwork . . . Griffin offers incisive commentary on mental illness and the frenzy around (and pressures induced by) celebrity, especially surrounding young women. Defined primarily by the contradictory accounts of those around her, Addison remains something of a cipher even by book’s end."
"As readers learn more about Addison’s life, struggles, and the night she died, they will be pulled in by her story and be left with the sense that maybe the biggest question isn’t what happened the night Addison died . . . but who Addison really was. A moving story of art, fame, and tragedy."
"Adele Griffin takes the concept of epistolary fiction and turns it upside down . . . a unique and captivating fictional documentary. The strong cautionary message about mental health, medication, and obsession is quite powerful. I can't recommend The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone highly enough!"
"Even though we all know how this story turns out from the first page (a newspaper article about Addison’s death kicks off the story), that doesn’t make the book any less of a page-turner.... The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone is a perfect mystery."
"Addison Stone is legendary . . . Who are these people to tell us who Addison is? What do their concepts of her as a person—and her as an artist—do to render a full person? Can they? What of their biases and connections with and to her do to getting at the heart of who she was? . . . Griffin's novel is experimental but exceptionally successful at being so."
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Top Customer Reviews
This is a fictional account of a prodigy who died young and left behind questions of how she truly died along with questions of who she really was. Gifted. Troubled. Both in more ways than one. I loved, loved, loved the story just as much as I loved all of the characters and hearing straight from the people who knew Addison talk about their memories of Addison - both the good and the bad and the gray. As well as the good and the bad of each other while in Addison's world. Because most everyone's lives revolved around this girl.
The story is told in the form of interviews that a journalist has gathered for a biography of Addison Stone, including a few excerpts of interviews Addison once conducted and much of Addison's art. Photos of Addison and those close to her are also intertwined and it's just so fascinating and mesmerizing seeing how much this fictional world and these fictional characters have been brought to life. The way that this story is told is so masterful and when you see it, when you experience this greatness, you'll see exactly what I mean.
Addison Stone is a gifted artist haunted by ghosts, burdened by her mental illness, and freed by art. This story means so much to me and I can't even begin to express how happy it makes me to know that this book exists, to know that it's constantly getting into the right readers' hands. This book is absolutely fantastic and is easily one of my favorite reads of the year - and the first month of the year hasn't even come to an end. This book is a true work of art and this piece is one I'll never forget.
Very early on, it was clear Addison Stone was different. Her art was mature and passionate, deep and revelatory. Though coming from a poor, deeply dysfunctional family, Addison and her talent are nurtured by her best friend's family and high school art teachers, who eventually get her into the art world of New York. Already tinged by mental illness, Addison takes the city by storm, but her genius proves too much to handle. No one knows if her death was suicide, murder, or an accident, but she left her mark on the world.
Griffin paints an astonishingly real portrait of a girl who we hear very little from. At first it seems as if she's idolized, seen through a lens of a fan, but this idea was quickly shattered, as her imperfections and flaws were brought to light. She was talented but becomes too confident, with an established idea of who she should be, even if that meant trampling others on the way. It's a nuanced depiction that makes Addison truly feel like a real person, gone too soon. The whole book is alive with her essence.
The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone is a completely unique reading experience that you don't want to miss. As it intricately explores how Addison left those in her life behind, it paints a riveting picture of a talented, fascinating girl who left her indelible mark on the world.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone
Amazon / Goodreads
A YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults Selection
An Amazon...Read more
This review is not in the same format as my others mainly because the book was so different. When I say different it's totally a good thing.Read more