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I received this book for free from Provided by Publicist in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone #Blogtour

The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone by Adele Griffin

Published by SOHO Press, SOHO Teen on August 12, 2014
Genres: Girls & Women, Mystery, Social Issues
Pages: 256
Source: Provided by Publicist
4 Stars

Two-time National Book Award finalist Adele Griffin offers an ingenious fictional take on the "oral history" celebrity bio that defined a bestselling genre: Edie, American Girl by Jean Stein and George Plimpton. In presenting herself as interviewer and curator of memories, Adele paints the portrait of a tragic young celebrity who allegedly committed suicide—presented in a series of brief first-person recollections—that ultimately results in the solving of a murder.

Adele's words: "From the moment she burst into the downtown art scene, seventeen-year-old Addison Stone was someone to watch. Her trademark subversive street art and her violent drowning left her fans and critics craving to know more about this brilliant wild-child who shone so bright and was gone too soon. By means of more than one hundred interviews with those who knew her best—including close friends, family, teachers, mentors, art dealers, boyfriends, and critics—I have retraced the tumultuous path of Addison's life, with research that sheds new evidence on what really happened the night of July 28. With photo inserts and previously unpublished supplemental material."


PJV Quickie: Written in biography-style through interviews with family and friends, The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone is a chilling look at the life of a fictional teen whose talent burns brighter and brighter until it suddenly burns out, taking her young, promising life too soon. The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone is a fictionalized look at young fame, money, and mental illness that will leave you thinking about it long after you’ve read the last page.

Review:  I didn’t want to like this book as much as I did.  I’m using the word “like”, not “enjoy”, because I associate the word enjoy with fun. The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone was not fun, but it was compelling.

Addison showed talent at an early age but, like with so many artists, there was a downside to her amazing ability in the form of mental illness.  As we read accounts given by her friends, brother, parents, mentors, hangers-on, and haters, the picture that forms is compelling and sad as she goes from promising young artist to someone who’s spiraling out of control. We know how it ends before we start, but reading the bleak journey that this poor young woman takes brought out a lot of mixed emotions from me for the way it presents mental illness and suicide. We never really know if it was an accident or suicide that killed Addison, but the end effect is the same.  Not that it glamorizes suicide, but the way everyone is affected and obsessed with Addison after her death gives me concerns about a teen who is perhaps already troubled picking up this book and romanticising the aftermath of suicide.

The book is full of photos of Addison and “her” artwork, (black and white in the ARC but according to the press release there will be 63 full-color original paintings and artwork in the book) that give this story a realistic feel. There are pop-culture references and other details that make reading Addison Stone an engrossing experience that leaves the reader with the feeling that she was, indeed, a real person.

Recommendations: If you are looking for an engrossing story that touches on the perils of fame, mental illness, or enjoy documentary-style stories, The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone will probably be a good fit.  Or, if you just want to try “something different”, I would recommend giving this book a try.


The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone | Adele Griffin | Soho Teen | Hardcover | 8/12/14 | 9781616953607


As part of the Addison Stone blog tour, we’ve been asked to create something to memorialize Addison Stone.  I have created a poem from the POV of Addison’s BFF, Lucy Lim:


We were going to grow old together
Go on double-dates and  do those things besties do.
But you had another best friend that I just couldn’t compete with
and you allowed her to fill your empty spaces with lies


She took you away from me and I can’t even confront her about it


Are you with her now?
Is she allowing you the rest she wouldn’t grant you in life?
I miss you so much. I want you back.

And still, I feel relieved.



Adele GriffinAbout Adele Griffin

Adele Griffin is a two-time National Book Award finalist and the highly acclaimed author of numerous books for young adult and middle grade readers. Her works include Sons of Liberty and Where I Want to Be, and most recently, Loud Awake and Lost. Adele lives with her husband, Erich; their two young children; and their dog, Edith, in Brooklyn, New York.

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