Where I got it: ARC from Stephanie Kuehnert
Rating: 5 stars (Buy a billion copies when it comes out because you'll just keep reading it.)
Cover Rating: 5 stars (Love it!)
Genre: Young Adult Fiction
Publication Date: Jul 21, 2009
Publisher: MTV Books
Kara comes back to her hometown in the suburbs of Chicago. She's come back to finally meet her best friend's kid. She's come back because she's been gone too long. This book isn't about her coming back though; it's about why she had to leave. This is the Ballad of Kara McNaughton and her friends. A song about sex, drugs, punk rock, loss, death, running away, and trying to figure out who the hell you are.
This book hit me in the first few pages. I was zipped right back to my high school years. I'm reading and thinking, ' hey this is my story, my life'. I can totally relate to Kara going back home after being away from all the people and all the things from when she was a different person. A little while later while reading it though I was losing touch and relate-ability. No one I hung around with did hard drugs; I never really went to parties. In a sense though Kara did the same run through of emotions and mistakes we all do, just with a different backdrop. By the end of the book I was back on track feeling as Kara felt, crying hard for her and for myself. I enjoyed this book so much, I loved the whole concept and how everyone wrote their Ballads. I appreciated how heartfelt they could be when they knew that the only other people reading their words are people who spilled their own on the pages. Kuehnert did an epic job writing Kara's and the others. Most authors are older people trying to write a voice of a teen and some of the time that voice isn't real it doesn't sound like a teen really does. Stephanie hits the nail on the head here, her voices are spot on capturing the true teen essence of dialogue and thoughts. I applaud this book, it will be read and reread in years to come as a true coming-of-age tale that teens will really relate to. If you weren't already psyched about this book; let me tell you, you should be.