Thursday, August 28, 2014

Rachel Rambles About The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone

The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone by Adele Griffin
From Goodreads:
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.
—Adele Griffin

*A copy of this book was given to me by the publisher in exchange for my participation in a blog tour.*

The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone is unlike anything I've ever read. It's dark and gritty and unsatisfying in the best way possible.

The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone is about a teenage artist named Addison Stone who dies one summer at age eighteen. This novel is composed of stories about Addison told by her family, friends, and fans. The novel jumps around from one story to another, with different characters and different perspectives shedding light on Addison's life. The format is unlinear, with a collection of stories that take place at different points on Addison's timeline, so the reader has to gradually piece everything together as new details are revealed.

Not only is this book intriguing and mysterious, but it also touches on a lot of heavy topics. Addison's struggles with mental illness make this story a dark and gritty one, not to mention her death, which is the main focus of the novel. The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone definitely isn't a fun and light book to fly through in one sitting. I think this is the kind of book that should be read in small doses, so the reader has lots of time to think about it.

Even though Adele Griffin assures readers that Addison is entirely fictional, the book reads like it's nonfiction, so its easy to get caught up in the drama and forget that you're not reading the tragic biography of an artist who died young. The format and topic of this book make it seem like it's a true story about a real girl named Addison Stone, and at times, it's hard to believe that The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone is actually fictional. One of the most interesting things about this novel is that it includes a lot of photos of Addison, her friends, and her art, and the photos definitely make everything about Addison Stone's life feel more real. When reading, it is rare to be able to attach a face to a name, but The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone gives you a real girl to match the description of Addison. This format makes the reading experience much more unique and interesting than it would be without the pictures.

Art plays a big role in this book, and I love the glimpses of the "art scene" Addison becomes a part of when she moves to New York City. I'm not an artist, but I was totally sucked into the intriguing, gritty world of artists in New York. The "art scene" is a very rich setting and community that comes across so vividly through various characters' descriptions. Art is a huge part of Addison's life, and it's a huge part of the book, too. Addison's art is very creative and unique and unprecedented, as is the format of the story, so Addison's art and the format of this book are reflective of each other.

The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone is dark, mysterious, and unlike anything I've ever read before. Adele Griffin has created something amazing here, folks. The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone blew me away, and I recommend this book to anyone looking for a story that is totally different from anything else in the Young Adult category.

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