Featured New Release: Ballads of Suburbia


If you’ve been hanging at Win a Book at all lately, you’ll know that author Stephanie Kuehnert has been hosting authors to come and talk about their ballad, a song that affected them deeply and has altered who they are. This has been the way in which she’s been gearing up for today’s release of her second novel, Ballads of Suburbia.
Ballads of Suburbia
So. Being me, I turned the tables on Ms. Kuehnert and asked her THE question: What song makes you think of your book?

Here’s what she said:

Choosing just one song that I associate with Ballads of Suburbia is difficult. After all I put together an entire 33-song soundtrack for the book. I was leaning toward “Suburban Perfume” by Office, which I used in my book trailer for Ballads and I think captures the feeling of innocence lost in the book. Office is a Chicago band and so is Screeching Weasel and their song “Hey Suburbia” I think captures the flipside of the lost innocence feeling– the I just don’t care and I’m gonna have fun aspect of the book. Or there are a couple punk songs that inspired the whole ballad/storytelling aspect of the book: “Story of My Life” by Social Distortion and “The Young Crazed Peeling” by The Distillers. But honestly, the book that I think would capture the overall feeling of the book best and that I listened to repeatedly while doing revisions is “The Kids Aren’t Alright” by the Offspring. In fact, the song used to frustrate me because they distilled what I was trying to say in 300+ pages into a 3 minute song with a catchy chorus. But there it is.

Here’s the link to the song. I sorta dig the Offspring, myself. Okay, more than sorta dig.

Need to know more about Ballads of Suburbia? Me, too!

Here’s the blurb:

There are so many ballads. Achy breaky country songs. Mournful pop songs. Then there’s the rare punk ballad, the ballad of suburbia: louder, faster, angrier . . . till it drowns out the silence.

Kara hasn’t been back to Oak Park since the end of junior year, when a heroin overdose nearly killed her and sirens heralded her exit. Four years later, she returns to face the music. Her life changed forever back in high school: her family disintegrated, she ran around with a whole new crowd of friends, she partied a little too hard, and she fell in love with gorgeous bad boy Adrian, who left her to die that day in Scoville Park. . . .

Amidst the music, the booze, the drugs, and the drama, her friends filled a notebook with heartbreakingly honest confessions of the moments that defined and shattered their young lives. Now, finally, Kara is ready to write her own.

You guys know what a music junkie I am. I’ve GOT to read both of Stephanie’s books. She and I are, I suspect, cut from similar cloth.

Check ’em both out. Ballads of Suburbia and the debut, I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone.


1 Comment

  1. Helen Ginger

    July 22, 2009 1:59 pm

    I like the blurb. It makes me want to read the book!

    Straight From Hel

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