Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Release Date: August 12, 2014
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Word Rating: Beyond brilliant
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*Thanks to Soho Teen for the ARC!*
After BEA this year, I found that I had a copy of The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone. To be completely honest, I don't know how I got it - I don't remember picking it up and I don't remember ever seeing it until I was home going through the books.
When I started The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone, I wasn't sure what to make of it. I mostly decided to read it because I thought the cover was really cool (Shout out to the cover design team because it's even better once you understand the meaning behind it!), so I had no idea what to expect when reading it. What I got was not something I would have ever expected.
The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone is about Addison Stone, an artist who fell to her death on July 28, 2013, but almost none of the book is in Addison's point of view. The story is actually told through quotes from interviews Adele Griffin had with people who knew Addison, whether very well, like family, or not as well, like journalists who wrote articles about her.
So you're probably wondering what's up with these interviews - I was too when I started reading. The most incredible thing about The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone is that while the book is fiction, it reads so much like non-fiction. It's actually kind of scary how real the story feels. There was actually a point when I genuinely thought this was a biography about a young artist, but then I remembered the whole "A Novel" thing on the cover and I was even more awestruck by how incredible the story is. Adele Griffin covers all the details - from author's notes about interviewing different people and getting statements, to the mention of lawyers and rights to articles - to make this novel feel as much like a biography as possible. There were even photographs of Addison and her friends and pictures of her artwork.
Within the pages of this fictional work, Adele Griffin has created so many incredibly real characters, all with voices of their own. There are so many different points of view in this story and all of their different experiences and emotions regarding Addison were beautifully captured. All of the characters felt somewhat responsible for Addison's fate and it was so beautiful, and tragic, to know that the circumstance of the story was that she was already dead.
I'm seriously in awe over how Griffin was not only able to capture Addison's mind - her art, insecurities, opinions, habits, manic episodes, and hysteria - but she was able to capture Addison's mind through the eyes of so many different people. No one in the story saw Addison exactly the same, allowing her to mesmerize the reader. Addison's character really does leap off the page - Adele Griffin brilliantly captured the feeling of a girl on the edge, the art scene and subculture, and New York City high life. Addison's mind is so complex and Griffin builds it up little by little through second hand experiences. The whole time I read the book I couldn't help wishing I could have more of Addison's point of view, but at the same time, I know it would have taken away from the magic and brilliance of this story. I really do wish Addison was real and alive though - while I'm no fine artist like Addison, I do some art and design work and I found Addison to be truly inspiring.
I cannot even explain to you the effect this book had on me. I actually found myself obsessing over Addison, wishing I could read all of the interviews mentioned in the story and just see everything related to her being. I was so skeptical when I started reading this book, thinking I wouldn't enjoy it and it wouldn't be for me, but now that feels strange to me because of the enormous effect it had on me. I cannot stress enough how much I recommend this. The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone is absolutely, incredibly brilliant and it's my favorite book I've read this year (so far).
I wasn't the only one who got an ARC of The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone at BEA, so we'll be giving away one of our extra ARCs!
To enter, just fill out the Rafflecopter below. The giveaway is open US only, unless you are willing to pay the shipping, and is open through August 21st. The winner will be selected shortly after and will have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is selected. ENTER THIS GIVEAWAY. THIS BOOK IS AMAZING. I'm sorry, I just have so much love for this book. Good luck! :)
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