The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone

Adele Griffin. Soho Teen, $17.99 (256p) ISBN 978-1-61695-360-7
In a faux biography of a deceased teenage rising star in the art world, Griffin (Loud Awake and Lost) builds a novel around interviews from people involved in Addison’s life before she died, excerpts from media coverage of her rapidly growing fame, photographs of Addison and her friends, and images of her artwork. The myriad voices include her friends and neighbors from back home in Rhode Island, the teachers who helped engineer her success, the boys she became involved with, the hard-partying crowd she ran with in New York City, her high-powered art dealer, and the psychiatrist who prescribed her antipsychotic medication. As they recount how talented, beautiful, cruel, difficult, or tragic Addison was in life, they often reveal their own insecurities, arrogance, ulterior motives, and desire to share Addison’s fame. Griffin offers incisive commentary on mental illness and the frenzy around (and pressures induced by) celebrity, especially surrounding young women. Defined primarily by the contradictory accounts of those around her, Addison remains something of a cipher even by book’s end. Ages 14–up. Agent: Emily Van Beek, Folio Literary Management. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 06/02/2014
Release date: 08/12/2014
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