|A page in The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone showing both a photo of Addison and her art work.|
The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone by Adele Griffin is a very unique book. It is a fiction book that reads like nonfiction. From the outset readers know that Addison Stone, an up-and-coming artist on the New York art scene, has died from a tragic accident. The "writer" of the book plays the role of a journalist collecting interviews from friends, colleagues, teachers, and other people who all played a role in Addison's life. In addition, the book is full of color photos of Addison and of her art. It also includes some communication between Addison and her friends, saved in the form of emails or text messages.
It is really a very clever book and I had to remind myself quite often that Addison was a fictional character. The photos, in particular, gave me the impression that Addison was a real person. (An actress/model actually allowed Ms. Griffin to use her Facebook photos so she would have authentic photos of the type people put on social media.)
Addison Stone was a very troubled girl who was tremendously talented. She also had a dysfunctional family life and by the time she hit the New York art scene there was no looking back on her past life. But like a lot of young proteges, she really needed adults in her life who were concerned for her welfare, not just what they could get out of her. She didn't have this and her life spiraled out of control without it.
I enjoyed the format of the book with it's ever shifting narrators, though I did wonder why everyone's voice sounded so much alike. I can't even imagine how hard the task would be to right a book with 50 narrators and have them all sound unique. But that is a quibble.
If you are up for a YA book that is a little different I think you might enjoy The Unfinished life of Addison Stone.