Wednesday, November 5, 2014

The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone by Adele Griffin

It seems as a society, we want people to be either good or bad, but people are complex and contain at least some of both. Imagine if people in your life were interviewed about you. Would it be an accurate portrayal? How well do people really know you? Does this book tell us about the real Addison Stone...we may never know, but its all we have.

Addison Stone was a hot young artist who exploded onto the New York scene when she was just 16. She quickly became a regular face at all the clubs and best parties. Her work hangs in important galleries and in the homes of the wealthy. Her stunts and public pieces helped make her famous through social media. It was during the installation of one of these that she fell to her death leaving many questions (including the whereabouts of two former boyfriends). She was 18 at the time.

We learn of Addison's life and quick rise to fame through from the people she knew (parents, best friend, teachers, benefactors, agent, artists).  The book is written as if a journalist conducted interviews and edited them to tell Addison's story. It is an effective method and makes the character seem more real. We also see photos of Addison, her friends and her art as well as magazine and newspaper articles. This is particularly helpful since the story is told through the first person accounts and lacks the description you find in the regular novel.

Addison is a small town girl who is anxious to leave and then makes good in the big city. Sadly, her issues stay with her no matter where she is living or working. We are given a few excerpts in Addison's own words, but it is difficult to know what is truly going on in her head. Genius often seems to walk a fine line between sanity and madness. Could anyone have saved Addison or was she ultimately destined to burn brightly and have a short life.

For more information, check out the Indianapolis Public Library catalog and the author's site.

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