Notice for Review Requests

I receive review requests weekly. However, my personal schedule is hectic and I no longer review actively. (I also manage another blog called The Toronto Cafe and Food Blog). I do read every request sent but I apologize in advance that I do not reply to them all.

If I do take on a request, I will forewarn that it may take some time before I can review it. I am now looking to review adult fiction and self-help books instead of young adult fiction because I have grown out of it. If you are to request a review for either adult fiction or self-help, I will more likely to give it a shot.

In the meantime, Stop, Drop, and Read! serves as an archive book review blog. When I have the time, I may post a review. Thank you for understanding.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Ballads of Suburbia by Stephanie Kuehnert

Title: Ballads of Suburbia
Author: Stephanie Kuehnert
Age Group: Older Teens
# of Pages: 344
My Rating: 5/5

Life in the suburbs is not always as nice as you see it on TV, with a happy family and a perfect house.

Kara is a young woman with a painful past. When she looks back at her teen years, she will remember the hardships she endured. She struggled with drugs, cutting, and relationship problems, family, friends, and love alike.

During the time when Kara's friends were trying to cope with their own problems, they wrote down their bitter and moving stories of truth into a notebook. After four years, Kara will now tell you her ballad.

The perfect word to describe Ballads of Suburbia: raw. Never have I read a novel so brutally honest. I felt that Kara is a real person and I was reading her autobiography. This young adult novel is definitely one of the best of 2009.

Kara basically grew up with not a lot of friends throughout elementary school. Therefore in high school, she yearned to belong. With her family slowly falling apart, she became more desperate to be loved. It was not long before she started taking drugs a lot more than she first started out. She encountered Adrian, a bad boy who she could not stop thinking about. Along the way, their relationship went for an extremely bumpy ride. With that, Kara started running into trouble left and right as she attempted to help herself and the people around her.

Reading about Kara's life touched me quite a bit. I felt her every emotion off the page. It was like I was there with her as an invisible ghost, watching everything being unravelled. I disapproved of the things she did, like drugs and cutting. But with the way her life was spiralling out of control, I could understand why she did such. It made me want to reach out and help her.

Between the chapters, you will also get the short stories of Kara's friends' lives. They will tell you what had happened for them to be the person they are today. Each and every one of them is intense, making you pity the characters.

Although Ballads of Suburbia is not a happy-ending story, it will keep you enthralled from start to finish with Kuehnert's precise and detailed writing. Everyone should read this and learn.

Review copy provided by Stephanie Kuehnert.

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Vian said...

Sounds really sad and angsty but I'd read that :). On that note I'm pretty sure I have the book mark lol.

celi.a said...

Great review! If I know going in that it's a sad story, I have a really tough time making myself read it. I've heard from everyone that this rocks, but I don't know when I'll get to it...

Nice post!

Elena said...

Ohh this book sounds sad :(

But I must say, your blog is GORGEOUS! I just read your BBAW at BrownGirl Bookspeak ^_^

Happy Book Blogger Appreciation Week!

Thao said...

I worship this book~! Thanks for the review Diana.

addicted reader said...

I have been wanting a copy of this for a while! Great review!
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Jill of The O.W.L Blog said...

Thanks for the review. You helped me understand this book better. I will be getting it soon.