Ballads of Suburbia by Stephanie Kuehnert.
Reading Level: Young Adult
Pages: 368 pages
Publisher: MTV Books
My Rating: 5/5
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.
I finished this book this morning and all I can say is, wow! First of all, I couldn't put it down; I kept telling myself, "one more page and then you have to go to bed" but I would keep reading. You become so engrossed in the characters lives and feel like you're struggling with them. This book is seriously heartbreaking and relatable on so many levels. Kara, the main character, reminded me of myself; I could feel her pain and I knew what she was going through a lot of the time. This book is so poignant and... well, honest. This book actually made me cry, yes I cried. I never cry when reading a book. It's just so deep, raw, and emotional. All the characters have such horrible things they're dealing with or have dealt with and it's tough to read about, mainly because it's so true and pertains to a lot of teens, like myself, nowadays.
Once I finished reading the whole book I had to sit for a minute and take it all in. I am definitely going to re-read this book many times. I loved it. Stephanie is a really talented writer and she knows what she's talking about. Oh, another thing I really liked about this book was the musical references. There were some good ones - Hole, Nirvana, Johnny Cash, etc. So I really loved how she incorporated music into the theme of this book. Books and music are my favorite things in the world so I was so happy to see so many musical references and stuff in here.
Go buy this book now. Support Stephanie and get word of this book out there; it's amazing and should definitely be more well-known.