Thursday, August 21, 2014
BLOG TOUR: The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone (Rachel)
The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone by Adele Griffin
National Book Award-finalist Adele Griffin tells the fully illustrated story of a brilliant young artist, her mysterious death, and the fandom that won't let her go.
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.
This blog tour isn't your typical blog tour! Instead of featuring reviews, interviews, or guest posts, bloggers were asked to get a little more creative. On this tour, over 50 bloggers are sharing stories about Addison, tributes to Addison, fan art of Addison, poetry inspired by Addison, or whatever else they can come up with! Obviously, none of us actually know Addison since she's a fictional character, but that doesn't mean we can't pretend, right? I'm so happy to be a part of this fun, creative, and unique blog tour, and I definitely recommend checking out the other stops if you haven't already!
I wrote the following piece from the perspective of a character of my own creation who knew Addison Stone. This piece is from a former classmate of Addison's who wishes to remain anonymous, and it's the transcript of an interview. I really enjoyed reading this book (expect a review soon!) and it was so much fun to write this piece. If you haven't read the book yet, you should definitely add it to your to-read list, but in the meantime, feel free to read this transcript because there aren't any spoilers.
ANONYMOUS: Addison Stone was in my first grade class. Before she came along, I had been the most artistic one. I was creative and talented and special. All the students knew it. All the teachers knew it. And I loved it. I loved feeling like I was better than everyone else. I was a seven-year-old on this wild power trip, and I flaunted my artistic talents like a total brat. Before Addison showed up, I would always spend recess beneath a tree with piles of paper and colored pencils spread around me, and usually an audience would gather to watch me draw.
I remember feeling so proud of my art, and I would create pieces special for my classmates. They would marvel at how good I was and I'd have this gigantic smile on my face because I knew that I had a achieved a position of power that normal first-graders rarely reached.
And then Addison--well, she was Allison back then--came along and ruined everything. I mean, sure, in hindsight, I needed to be knocked down a few pegs. But Allison--I mean Addison--just came out of nowhere and knocked me clear off the ladder, and I was flabbergasted.
It didn't happen immediately. I mean, at first, Addison was just a normal first-grader. She was new to the school, but so were all of us really, and she just fit in with the class the way any first grader would. At first, no one noticed anything special or different about her. It wasn't until we'd already been in school for a few weeks or maybe months that Addison started producing these art projects and doodles and drawings and people started realizing that she was good. Once everyone started noticing Addison, they stopped noticing me. Suddenly, it was all about Addison. My little drawing sessions on the playground came to an end because no one wanted to watch me draw anymore. "You're not as good as Addison," my classmates would tell me matter-of-factly. And then they'd shrug and go play tag on the other side of the playground while I sat underneath my tree by myself.
At the time, I hated Addison more than I'd ever hated anyone or anything in my life. She took everything from me and she didn't even notice or care. My art could never compare to hers, but she was so deeply unapologetic about her talent that I don't think she even realized what she was doing. And that just made it worse. Like...she didn't even have to try and she was a thousand times better than me. The jealousy just kept eating away at me throughout that entire school year, and I would come home and cry to my parents every day.
Eventually, it got so bad that my parents decided to move to a new school district so I wouldn't have to keep seeing Addison every day. We left Peacedale the summer after first grade and settled into a town only about forty minutes away. I had a fresh start at a new school and once again became the best art student in school. It was far enough away that I never had to see Addison again--well, at least until she started getting famous. I couldn't ignore her memory when her face and art were plastered all over the internet. I think a part of me hoped that as she got older, her art would become less remarkable, but of course she had to produce these stunning pieces that had the art community practically vibrating with excitement.
Once she got famous, there was no avoiding her, and every time I read an article about her I would be instantly transported back to first grade. She forced me to relive all these terrible childhood memories, and I mean, I know it's not really her fault that she's so good and I'm nowhere near as good as her, but I can't help but hate her for it, you know? Maybe that makes me a terrible person, but...whatever. I couldn't stand her, and I hated her even more for becoming famous. I know she's probably a nice person and all, and she's obviously very talented, and I feel kinda bad saying all this stuff about her since you're not supposed to say mean things about dead people, but...that's my story. That's my Addison Stone story.
Thanks for stopping by! Be sure to check out the other stops on this blog tour to read pieces from other characters' perspectives, tributes to Addison, and more!