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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone: A Novel

An intriguing mystery is sometimes all you need, #knowwhati'msayin'? This is Adele Griffin's The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone.

Addison Stone is a young ingenue who has taken the New York art world by storm. She is only 18 but her work is selling for exorbitant amounts of money. Why, then, did she fall from a great height one summer night? Was it the fault of her boyfriend? Or her ex? Was it the result of a creative genius off her medication? This "oral history" of Addison's life and death follows those in her life--both close family and friends and those who only knew her artwork--to discover who Addison truly was and what happened to her.

This was an interesting book of the likes I don't see very often. Each chapter is told by a different character who knew Addison and related to her in some way. Her childhood best friend who desperately wants Addison to stay on her medication and seek the help she needs; her oblivious small-town parents who don't understand whey their daughter can't just be a normal teenager; her art dealer who knows what her work is worth; her boyfriend, another art world up-and-comer. Each person shows the reader a different side of Addison Stone, the beautiful young woman who didn't get to finish out her life. We follow the story through--and you can determine if it was murder or if it was an accident.

The story is a bit unrealistic for sure, but that's celebrity for you. (Aren't real-life celebrities unrealistic?)  It is also what contributes to its uniqueness as a story and as a strong read; it allows you to buy in whole-hog knowing that, as outlandish as a young art ingenue from a small town seems, it's still an interesting story and one that will hopefully keep you as engaged as it kept me. Griffin does a great job of creating full characters who surround Addison; her best friend's anguish at losing someone who, knowingly, she was mentally losing for quite some time or her ex's inability to understand how to deal with Addison show fully developed secondary characters that are still at the center of the story. It shows a strong writing ability to be able to make a large amount of characters come alive on the page.

Hard copy for purchase below.

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