Ballads Of Suburbia

Ballads Of Suburbia
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. . . .

Amidst 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.

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My Rating: 4.5/5

Ballads Of Suburbia is a novel that left me in complete awe. It is filled with multiple ups and downs much like real life and is filled with a large cast of fantastically developed characters all who have their own story to tell and whose lives you as the reader cannot help but be drawn into.

Honesty is a word that I use in a lot of my reviews when describing how the author portrays certain scenarios, particular characters and so on. I don't think I have ever read a novel more honest than Ballads Of Suburbia. Stephanie Kuehnert lays it all out there on the table, never sugarcoating or downplaying. These characters feel real and I'm sure many teens who read this novel will be taken aback by how much they can relate to the stories of those individual characters contained within this novel.

Kara is your protagonist and main storyteller in this book but what I really enjoyed and thought to be a great idea was how Kuehnert also had chapters in Ballads Of Suburbia that were dedicated to the supporting characters having an outlet to tell their story. In the book, these characters have an actual notebook that they write their ballads in and it was a cool idea to actually include these for the reader to see. It really made each character an individual with their own set of problems and conflicts.

Not only does this book have vivid and great characters but it also has a fantastic plot. There is so much that goes on mainly because you are following Kara and those around her from freshman year all the way until they're seniors. So many things happened, most of which I could not have predicted even if I'd tried. I'll be honest in saying that the beginning was a little slow just because the author had so much to set up but once Kara finds herself amongst a new circle of friends, you simply cannot turn the pages fast enough.

Overall: Ballads Of Suburbia is the kind of novel that will stick with you long after you've read it. Filled with angst and wonderful characters, it is a novel very much worth reading.


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