Ballads of Suburbia
by Stephanie Kuehnert
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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Ratings and Difficulty!
Rating: Incredible- A book that I rate as incredible is both captivating and creative! It is highly recommended and a definite must read!
Great- A great book has some bad parts but mostly a bunch of strong points. It is interesting but seems to lag at some points.
So So- A book labeled as So So is not recommended unless you are highly interested in the topic or author. It has a few good parts but a ton of bad parts.
Total Bomb- A book that is a total bomb is not recommended under any circumstances. Usually I like to find the good in every book but a bomb is just a waste of time!
Difficulty: Advanced- Everyone’s reading abilities are different but an advanced book is exactly that…advanced! This may have dialogue from another era or highly developed words.
Normal- A normal book is a book that has everyday dialogue and vocabulary but also may have a few “big words” scattered here or there.
Easy- An easy book has basic vocabulary and can be read by anyone over the age of ten.
I love this quote...
"I know this is going to sound strange, but would you mind being my girlfriend for the next five minutes?" -Nick in Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist
"Someday, you do not know when, you will be driving down the road and someday, you do not now when, you will make a wrong tun. At the end of the road, when you're least expecting it, he (or indeed she) will be there." -Margarettown
Books Into Movies!
Coming Soon! New Moon- November 20, 2009
Dear John- February 2010
The Lovely Bones- December 11, 2009
Twilight- Starring Robert Pattinson and Kirsten Stewart
Speak- Starring Kirsten Stewart
Nick and Norahs Infinite Playlist- Starring Michael Cera and Kat Dennings
Coraline- Starring Dakota Fanning
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas- Starring Asa Butterfield