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Brighter than Bright

Adele Griffin’s The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone tells the story of an unusual girl through the recollections of her friends, family and acquaintances.

Brighter than Bright

BOOK REPORT for The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone by Adele Griffin

Cover Story: Photo Negative
BFF Charm: Natalie Imbruglia
Swoonworthy Scale: 2
Talky Talk: Interview
Bonus Factors: Mixed Media
Relationship Status: Gone Too Soon

Cover Story: Photo Negative

Typically, photo negatives look a little creepy. But this one just makes me think there’s more than meets the eye about this novel. The X over the woman’s face, however, makes me think that this might have come from some disturbed stalker’s shrine. (I watch too much Criminal Minds.)

The Deal:

Addison Stone was always a commanding presence, and her talent for art was apparent from a very young age. At age 17, she became a darling of the New York City art scene, but before she turned 19, she was already dead. Stories from Addison’s friends, family and acquaintances, interview excerpts, candid photos, and Addison’s own art, explain more about who Addison was, and what led her to her untimely end.

BFF Charm: Natalie Imbruglia

Addison was a very troubled girl with a crappy home life. She left to try to make a name for herself, and got sucked in to the glitz and glamour of big city life. She had very few grounding presences in her life, and she really could have used someone to keep an eye on her better than her friends did. On the flip side, her friends really did try to take care of her the best they could; she was just too much for one person—or even multiple people, really—to handle. As much as I hate to say it, being Addison’s friend would have been exhausting. But she really did need solid, stable people in her life. Therein lies the rub.

Swoonworthy Scale: 2

Three of Addison’s boyfriends are interviewed throughout the course of The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone. Although their relationships were probably filled with moments of swoon, the way the book is written (see Talky Talk, below) doesn’t lend itself to swoony moments for the reader.

Talky Talk: Interview

Although The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone is about Addison, the character has already died when the book begins. Addison’s story is told in bits and pieces; through the eyes of other characters who knew her and/or came in contact with her, excerpts from interviews she did with magazines about herself and her art, photos and her own art. Although this sounds like a disjointed way of creating a narrative, it works surprisingly well. Adele Griffin paints (pun intended) a very clear picture of Addison through these stories. Addison is a complex girl with a lot of issues and an equally large amount of talent. Reading about her through her eyes would have, I think, been a less clear picture of who she was. And yet, the lack of personal insight leaves a bit of mystery to the character and the story as a whole.

Bonus Factor: Art

There’s reading about an artist, and then there’s experiencing the life of an artist. Through the inclusion of Addison’s art in the midst of the interviews, Addison becomes much more real than had Griffin just written a normal novel about her.

Casting Call:

Giza Lagarce as Addison Stone

I suppose this is sort of cheating, as Giza is the model who portrayed Addison in the book, but it would have been silly to choose someone else.

Relationship Status: Gone Too Soon

I did not expect to find you as fascinating as I did, Book. At first glance, you seemed a little strange, a little too artsy, a little too cool. I wasn’t sure we were going to get along. But I was pleasantly surprised at how well our date worked out, and your unusual nature actually made you that much more engaging.

FTC Full Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from Soho Teen. I received neither a private dance party with Tom Hiddleston nor money in exchange for this review. The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone is available now.
 

Mandy Curtis's photo About the Author: Mandy is a small town girl living in a nerdy world, or—if you want to get literal—an editor/writer living in Austin, TX. In addition to yearning for YA books—the more dystopian or fantastical, the better—she can also be found swooning over superheroes, dreaming of The Doctor and grinning at GIFs.
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