Saturday, August 29, 2009

Ballads of Suburbia

Ballads of Suburbia
by Stephanie Kuehnert
Rating: Incerdible
Difficulty: Normal
Pages: 398

Kara hasn't been back to Oak Park since the end of junior year, when a heroin overdose nearly killed her and sirens heralded her exit. Four years later, she returns to face the music. Her life changed forever back in high school: her family disintegrated, she ran around with a whole new crowd of friends, she partied a little too hard, and she fell in love with gorgeous bad-boy Adrian, who left her to die that day in Scoville Park....

Amid the music, the booze, the drugs, and the drama, her friends filled a notebook with heartbreakingly honest confessions of the moments that defined and shattered their young lives. Now, finally, Kara is ready to write her own.


Through out reading this book three words kept ringing in my head- raw, acidic and real. Stephanie perfectly portrays a  generation lost amidst drugs, depression and family troubles. It was really a great read! The characters in this book strike me as shockingly familiar to ALL teens through out ALL generations though, fighting against the heartaches and addictions the world has to offer.

Kara- the main character and primary narrarator of the story first struggles with a painfull loneliness brought on by her best friends sudden departure- soon she befriend another young girl Maya who has troubles all her own and consequently leads Kara into a world of drugs and addiction.

First of all Kara was a great character, her eerie portrayal of her addiction to cutting really hits home for alot of kids. You feel her pain and see her scars, its all very real for you but its so heartbreaking that you just can't look away. Her punk rock style and her "willing to try anything once" attitude really gets me hooked to her exciting yet thoughtfull narrative.

The rest of the characters in the story seem to mash so well together i can almost see them as real people living in the twisted suburbs of Chicago. Adrian the bad boy, Christian the good guy with a dark side, Maya the outgoing but innerly depressed free-spirit and Cassie the girl trying to escape her past. They all combine to make a wonderfull, interesting plot that shocks and disarms the readers, grabbing their attention and holding on for dear life.

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