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Posts tagged “1990’s

Book Review: Ballads of Suburbia by Stephanie Kuehnert

Ballads of suburbia

I totally would have loved this book as a 15 year-old. At my library it’s cataloged as an adult title, and I don’t think that fits. It’s about Kara– our protagonist– and her coming-of-agey teenage times dealing with sex, drugs, music, divorce, independence, and more. Ultimately things go bad at home, she meets some new kids, gets into some bad relationships, falls into using heroin, and OD’s. The bulk of the book is her looking back on these happenings as a now-sober youngish adult. The story itself is pretty captivating, and those of us who grew up in the 1990’s will appreciate the alternative pop culture nostalgia.

For me, it got a little too Go Ask Alice-y near the end, which was kind of a drag. But hey, it’s only one story.

I think it would do really well as a series of interconnected artistic short films.

Find a copy here.

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Book Review: Girls I’ve Run Away with by Rhiannon Argo

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Totally worth it!

So Lo’s a teenage girl who skates with the dudes in some NorCal suburb in the 90’s.

Everything around her is pretty boring and her family life kinda sucks, and in the midst of it all a crazy reciprocated crush starts happening with a girl from school. They become total BFF’s, but in the meantime something totally nuts happens in the family realm, some other things happen, and Lo ends up going on a wild runaway adventure and tons of interesting stuff happens.

This book is often poetic, and always a little magical. Argo’s capture of the onset of first crushes and queer identity and discovery of identity-shaping things is ridiculously spot-on. She nails how it works in your (ok, my) head. There’s drugs, action, sex, music, ADVENTURE, and a solid story line that keeps you reading until the last page (apparently there’s a sequel in the works, and this is a good thing). Though under 300 pages, the story is dense and you’ll definitely probably take a couple of days to read it.

This book is super enjoyable and well written. BUY a copy here cuz it’s self published and you’ll probably want it for your bookshelf anyway.