Ballads of Suburbia

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Simon and Schuster, Jul 21, 2009 - Fiction - 368 pages
6 Reviews
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.

Intensely powerful and utterly engaging, Ballads of Suburbia explores the heartbreaking moments when life changes unexpectedly, and reveals the consequences of being forced to grow up too soon.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - theepicrat - LibraryThing

I seriously loved I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone (review here), but my reaction after reading Ballads Of Suburbia makes Stephanie Kuehnert's debut a silly infatuation. Seriously. Stephanie has taken the ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - PureImagination - LibraryThing

This by no means was an easy story to read. Kara's life is hard. She parties all night long. She does multiple drugs and drinks herself into a stupor. If your looking for a quick feel good read, skip ... Read full review

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About the author (2009)

Stephanie Kuehnert got her start writing bad poetry about unrequited love and razor blades in eighth grade. In high school, she discovered punk rock and produced several D.I.Y. feminist Õzines. She received her MFA in creative writing from Columbia College Chicago and lives in Forest Park, Illinois. This novel is her first. Visit her website at

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