Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Ballads of Suburbia- Stephanie Kuehnert

Title: Ballads of Suburbia
Author: Stephanie Kuehnert
Source: Bought new
Series: No
Rating: 5/5

Ballads are the kind of songs that Kara McNaughton likes best. Not the clichÉd ones where a diva hits her dramatic high note or a rock band tones it down a couple of notches for the ladies, but the true ballads: the punk rocker or the country crooner reminding their listeners of the numerous ways to screw things up. In high school, Kara helped maintain the "Stories of Suburbia" notebook, which contained newspaper articles about bizarre, tragic events from suburbs all over America, and personal vignettes that Kara dubbed "ballads" written by her friends in Oak Park, just outside of Chicago. But Kara never wrote her own ballad. Before she could figure out what her song was about, she left town suddenly at the end of her junior year. Now, four years later, Kara returns to her hometown to face the music, needing to revisit the disastrous events that led to her leaving, in order to move on with her life.

Holy mother of all that is holy how do I even start to explain this book? I really do not know. To start I hope you have an easier time of tracking down a copy of this. This was another book my library did not carry and none of the local book stores had it either. I even check in Toronto when I was there for a book signing and there was only one copy at one Chapters in all of Toronto while I was there and of course it was far away from where I was. I finally ordered it and I have no idea which Chapters it came from.

Kara's story starts with her overdosing in the park. She leaves her hometown and comes back four years later. She sees her friends that she has left behind and the story of how she ended up in the park all alone starts to unwind.

All of the characters were complex and dark. There was secrets hidden in all of them, the characters you thought were the bad guys had a good side and the good ones were not as good as they first appeared. This book is very dark and honest. This is not a book I would recommend for the younger YA crowd.

The plot was crazy good. I thought when I read the synopsis that I got the gist of the story but I was completely wrong. Kuehnert throws all these amazing twists and turns in the plot that made me begging for more.  Kara's past rears it's ugly head when she is back visiting and she needs to fight to stay in control and not allow her past to swallow her whole.

This is a new favourite for me. It was so amazing and I cannot recommend it enough. I have already leant my copy out so that more people can discover how amazing this book is. I feel like it did not get as much credit as it should have.

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