Customer Reviews for

Ballads of Suburbia

Average Rating 4.5
( 23 )
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(17)

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 23 Customer Reviews
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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2013

    Amazing Author

    I have read both of Stephanie Kuehnert's books and I love them. 1) it's an easy read 2) Although I grew up a metalhead the punk characters are super relatable 3) You really feel for these characters and you move through the book.

    Granted the characters are usually high school aged but even as an almost 30 year old I can still remember the feelings these kids go through. Waiting for book # 3.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 24, 2011

    AMAZING

    This book should be a movie. Its easy to fallow, fast to fall in love with, and so damn true! Reading this I was taken back by the truth of the story. It was like reliving my own life. There were a few small typos but nothing that you cant look past. I freaking love this book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 20, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    I have mixed feelings about Ballads of Suburbia. Though the stor

    I have mixed feelings about Ballads of Suburbia. Though the story is fairly interesting and the book is well written, I just didn’t find myself connecting to the characters and immersing myself in the story like I wanted.

    Since this book is of moderate length (~340 pages), I expected more than what I got. At times, the story seemed to drag and felt long-winded. While the “ballads” the characters wrote did break up the monotony, it didn’t do much to keep me focused. Concerning the characters, they all felt boring. They were too similar and their voices all blended together. Though it may make sense if this was done purposely, having the characters be nearly carbon copies makes for a more boring story.

    Though it may seem somewhat backwards, despite not loving Ballads of Suburbia, I believe this is a good book and I would recommend it. Just because it’s not for me, doesn’t mean that it’s not for a lot of people.

    You can read all of my reviews on my blog, KDH Reviews.

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  • Posted March 29, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    ~Reviewed by ANN & posted at Under the Covers Book Blog The

    ~Reviewed by ANN & posted at Under the Covers Book Blog

    The back story of each character was so well-done and intricate that reading their ballads seem to display them in their most raw state and seeing their internal struggles with themselves was sometimes hard to read, but very successful in creating that emotional bond between the reader and the characters. ~ Under the Covers

    Back when I was reading only YA books, I came upon this book while I was browsing the shelves at Indigo in Downtown Toronto between some of my classes. There was something about this book that caught my attention. Maybe it was the cover, maybe it was the title or the back blurb, but I knew I just had to read this book. I read and loved it then. And now, in the wake of the new boom of New Adult books, I remembered this special gem that caught my eye a long time ago. So I went back to revisit it for a reread and it’s just as good as I remembered.

    BALLADS OF SUBURBIA is a teen novel that deals with a lot of bad things. You’ve got suicide, depression, drug abuse, overdose, unsafe sex, teen pregnancy, abuse, grief and the works. That being said, it pushes the maturity level so that it feels more like a New Adult book than a simple YA novel. Of course, when it came out, NA wasn’t a thing yet but I thought I’d bring this back on the radar and hopefully get readers interested in this book because it is a great one.

    This book follows Kara who in her junior year of high school had a heroin overdose that nearly killed her. She left the school and moved to bigger and better things, but four years later, she returns to Scoville Park where her very dark past catches up with her. When she returns, she meets up with her old friends – and I use this term loosely – and revisits her old life. Drama unlike anything you’ve ever seen occurs and it’s both gripping and heartbreaking to watch. Not only do you find out what happened to her friends after the years she left, but you also get glimpses of what they are going thoroughly presently and it’s not always good.

    What’s unique about this book is the way it’s written. Kuehnert is heavily influenced by music and you can see that throughout the pages. But perhaps the best – and the most heartbreaking – thing about this book are the Ballads that each character writes. They’re almost like short tell-alls that reveal the innermost thoughts and secrets of each character. God, they were so consuming and reading some of them simply crushed my heart. The back story of each character was so well-done and intricate that reading their ballads seem to display them in their most raw state and seeing their internal struggles with themselves was sometimes hard to read, but very successful in creating that emotional bond between the reader and the characters.

    I loved this book so much and I’m hoping that this will convince readers to pick up this older book and give it to try. It’s emotional and angsty with a few twists along the way. And there’s a hero named Adrian whom I both loved and hated. Nevertheless, I couldn’t find myself putting this book down.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 8, 2013

    I thought this book was a pale, lifeless imitation of Perks of B

    I thought this book was a pale, lifeless imitation of Perks of Being a Wallflower. The characters were one-dimensional and their development was jerky and ham-handed. I wanted to like the book because the premise really drew me in, but frankly by the end I was just looking forward to being finished. I felt like it focused on the worst type of high-school drama and related it in visceral detail. Just doesn't make for exciting reading, in my opinion. Others obviously disagree.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 25, 2012

    Amazing!!

    it would be awesome if they made this into a movie

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 18, 2012

    !

    Absolutely loved this book. Read in one sitting.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2012

    LOVED IT!!

    couldn't put it down.

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  • Posted June 5, 2011

    Ballads

    from Murphy's Library

    Kara is an ordinary teenager girl who has some problems as any other teenager. Her best friend, Stacey, moves to another city-although they still live close to each other, they don't hang out together as before-and now Kara is alone again. She ends up getting close again to Liam, her little brother, who used to have Kara as a role model, until Stacey showed up. As close as they become again, as far their parents become to each other, and Kara starts to cut herself in an attempt to make her feel physical pain to forget how screwed up her feelings are.

    And then Kara meets Maya, a new girl in town. Maya has her own problems too-and who doesn't?-, her mother died and her father is trying to make her feel closer to family. Maya and Kara start to go to Scoville Park, where they meet another kids like them. But it's one of the boys who gets Kara's attention: Adrian. He's this gorgeous guy who, for Kara's surprise, seems to be interested on her. Adrian shows Kara the "Stories of Suburbia", a notebook him and his friends have been writing on. There's only one rule: to read the stories on that notebook first you must write your own. Is Kara who suggests the stories are their ballads, and from then and on they start calling it "Ballads of Suburbia". We read the ballads along the chapters-and be aware: life isn't easy, or fair, or even bearable sometimes.

    Kara falls for Adrian, and that's just the beginning of the end-or not, according to Kara-, so I'm not going to spoil the story, not more than the synopsys already did! What can I tell about Ballads of Suburbia? This book broke my heart, in a way that took me a while to recover. I can't find words to describe how I feel about it, because Kara could be me. I faced some of the problems she faces on this book-but I made different choices than hers. So, somehow, Ballads of Suburbia was a reality shock for me, one that I wasn't really expecting. I got this book on my mail because a Brazilian blogger won a signed copy of it and she asked me to forward her the book-and that was the first time I heard about it.

    It's a heavy reading, for sure, so it isn't for everyone. I told Guta about the story right after I've finished reading it and she told me it isn't exactly her cup of tea, she wouldn't even give it a try. There's a lot of drugs on it, and Kara's feelings are so, so real, that you feel it all with her-and that includes her depression. I'm probably going to look for more Kuehnert's books in the future, not exactly right now. I think I need a break from reality before trying this again LOL

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  • Posted January 15, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Wow

    Stephanie Kuehnert has done it again! i couldn't put this eye-opening, scary, dark, everything novle. i cried, laughed, and wanted to go back to my past(I self-injured for a while like Kara) cause of the main character Kara. I never related to a character this much EVER(i read A LOT too). This book shows the nonsense of the late 90's and shows how drugs and self-injury's effect on people. BALLADS OF SURBURBIA is a wild ride that takes you by the hand and doesnt let go untill the last page of the story is read. If you really like the truth read this book or forever wish you did

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 12, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Ballads of Suburbia

    This was the first book I read by Stephanie Kuehnert. When I read what the book was about I had to buy it. This was by far the best book I have ever read (& I have read a lot) I absolutely loved it. The characters seemed so real, and I felt that I could relate in many ways with Kara. Stephanie Kuehnert crafted this story amazingly. While reading this book, I laughed and I cried, and I never wanted to put it down. Wonderful book, I'd recommened to anyone.

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  • Posted April 8, 2010

    ballads of suburbia

    a very dark and scary story that delves into drug and sex abuse of our forgotten and out of touch youth and the overall state of our children. a total eye opener for all parents of teenagers. a tale to let us know how important it is to maintain family values.

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  • Posted August 9, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Jaglvr for TeensReadToo.com

    Ms. Kuehnert has written another powerful and hard-hitting novel to follow up her stunning debut, I WANNA BE YOUR JOEY RAMONE.

    Kara is friendless when her BFF Stacey has to move to another less expensive suburb of Chicago. So when new girl Maya enters Chemistry class and sits down beside her, she's excited to see a kindred soul. Soon the two take to hanging out after school in Scoville Park. Maya is everything Kara isn't, first and foremost outgoing. Maya jumps right in and creates a spot for them with the gang at Scoville. It isn't until Kara becomes associated with fire that she truly feels she's part of the crowd.

    Kara uses Scoville to help escape life at home. Her parents are constantly at odds and her younger brother, Liam, is as desperate for attention as Kara is. She begins to bring Liam with her to Scoville and he soon becomes another member of the group.

    BALLADS OF SUBURBIA explores Kara's connections with the others that hang out at Scoville. These kids know how to party, and slowly Kara gets sucked into the world of drugs by those around here. She's attracted to bad boy Adrian and is told that he must really like her because he treats her differently than all the other girls. But she knows she should be with Christian, the good guy. It isn't until Christian turns dark that Kara's world truly blows up. Friendships are tested and emotions flare.

    Interspersed throughout the novel, Ms. Kuehnert inserts the "ballads" of various characters. Adrian has in his possession a journal that anyone can read, with the condition that you must first write your own story. Kara can never bring herself to write her story, even when tragedy hits...more than once. It isn't until Kara ventures home after escaping the negativity of Oak Park that life comes full circle for Kara.

    BALLADS OF SUBURBIA is a dark, desperate look at teenage life in the suburbs in the early 1990s. Ms. Kuehnert gets right to the heart of the teenage angst and struggles to fit in to any crowd. Though a bleak look, the ending leaves the reader filled with hope at the future Kara is trying to create for herself.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 14, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 18, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 19, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 10, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 4, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2010

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