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The Suburban Strange (The Suburban Strange #1)

3.51 of 5 stars 3.51  ·  rating details  ·  247 ratings  ·  57 reviews
Shy Celia Balaustine is new to Suburban High, but a mysterious group of sophomores called the Rosary has befriended her. Friends aside, Celia soon discovers something is not quite right at Suburban. Girls at the school begin having near-fatal accidents on the eve of their sixteenth birthdays. Who is causing the accidents, and why? As Celia’s own birthday approaches, she is ...more
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published October 2nd 2012 by HMH Books for Young Readers
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Mysterious accidents the day before girls turn 16, a peculiar group of socialites, a unique paranormal aspect - The Suburban Strange was very promising. It started very intriguing too, with a very sophisticated, high-on-life feel that I found quite refreshing, though my excitement for it came to an quick halt when this high school clique started sounding like 100 year old teenagers, and the cultural references in the book were more persistent than door to door salesmen. Among other things.

A grou
Ask yourself this question:
Do I really want to read a book about pretentious teenagers who act like pretentious 40 year olds?
If your answer is Yes, then this is the book for you!

Shockingly, there's not much in the way of a plot. Unless you count the numerous references to music, art, books, and clothing.
It opens with Celia getting into a car with a girl, and then heading to her new high school. There were quite a few things I found confusing, because nothing these kids in this group do is remote
Kat Heckenbach
This is a book that SHOULD appeal to me. I was an overly tall, artistically talented girl who became part of the alternative subculture when I was a teen. All the references to 1980s alternative bands should have made me feel connected to the story (since that was my era, even though it is obviously not the era of this story), as should have the description of Celia's transformation.

Instead, it drove me nuts. The descriptions were emotionless info-dumps. The author did nothing to make me *feel*
Holy moly. The premise of this book looked oh so promising. But instead, the story's about as dull as a sack of potatoes.

First of all, Celia. I have no idea why, but this girl FURIATES me like no business. I cringe when she talks, and fortunately, that's not often. She's kind of creepy, too. I get it - you're shy, artistic. Woo wee woo. But I think the thing that made me NOPE was her first interaction with Regine. (view spoiler)
Before I say word one about this book, I feel I must provide a few disclaimers.

1. I know the author. So naturally my real or perceived impressions of the author as an individual may come into play.

2. I am also a writer. As such, I may approach the story much differently. (I'm not being arrogant here -- I don't think a writer's approach to reading is necessarily better or worse than any other reader, just different.)

3. I typically do not read young adult fiction.

Now for the sub-disclaimers to th
4.5 Stars
This book had me at "Sisters of Mercy," which I still listen to religiously (BTW), but no longer on vinyl or cassette, but on my slim ipod. As usual, I find myself on the opposite end of loving a book, but I predict this series will develop a tightly loyal cult-lit following. Based on this assessment, I can see why The Suburban Strange has received some rather mixed reviews from advanced readership. One point that I disagree with is that this book will generally only appeal to kids arou
Amy Jacobs
90210? Gossip Girl? Melrose Place? These are just some of things that came to my mind while wondering about this book. Was it going to have the drama of 90210? Was it going to have the clique's of Gossip Girl? Was it going to be suspenseful and dangerous like Melrose Place? Or was it going to be something that I grew bored with halfway through like I did with each of those shows?

Well, I can honestly say that the shows had more appeal than this book to me. Too blunt and harsh? Well, I am sorry bu
Giselle at Book Nerd Canada
Celia's starting the tenth grade at Suburban high school. The shy and quiet teenager befriends Regine during an art class and she finds herself being welcomed into their clique called The Rosary. Eccentric, sophisticated and unique, their group strives to be different and goes out of their way to help Celia navigate the icy waters of high school. On the first day of school she witnesses a girl go into shock due to her allergy with bees. Then more girls start to get hurt. Celia's caught in the mi ...more
Just as the back cover so adequately points out, Nathan Kotecki knows exactly what points to cover when illustrating the worries of a high-school sophomore. His character, Celia Baulastine, has just enrolled in Suburban High, and a girl once wishing to disappear into the background now has a group of mysterious friends who try their best to gain the curious eyes of their classmates. They carry a nonchalant and darkly cultured air about them but immediately embrace Celia as a sister.

With this ne
Opening Line: At the quiet beginning of a clear day, a black sedan rolled slowly down the empty street and came to a stop in front of Celia's house.

The Suburban Strange wasn't the book that I thought it would be, based on the blurb provided. Essentially the story is about Celia, a sophomore transferring into Suburban High. She's shy, quiet and artistic. By chance she makes friends with a member of the Rosary and soon joins their little group. However, strange things are happening at her school,
I really enjoyed this book a lot. I always think it's interesting to read other people's reviews of books and see why they liked it or didn't like it. In the case of this book, several people had written that they didn't like it because there was too much description of clothing, music, etc., and that's precisely why I *did* like it. It just proves that old saw that there is something for everyone.

This book reminded me a little of reading Francesca Lia Block. Celia is the new girl in school and
Dennis Mahoney
I loved this book and cared about Celia all the way through. It's a coming-of-age story, both normal and paranormal, full of ambience, vivid supernatural invention, and deceptively sharp perceptions about adolescence. The central group of characters, brooding teens who call themselves The Rosary, seem almost unbelievably mature until you get to know them, at which point you see they really ARE like ordinary high-schoolers. They build their identities superficially at first--obsessing over music ...more
Celia Balustine is shy, unsure of herself, and new to Suburban High School. By chance, she meets a girl named Regine, who changes her life. At her new school, Celia is accepted into a small group called the Rosary who all act aloof, listen to music not on top 40 lists, dress in grey and black, and generally set themselves apart from the rest of the school population. Celia conforms to her group and has a good time at school for the first time in years. Then strange things start happening at her ...more
The rating is closer to a 4 than a 3, so like a 3.5. This was a good book to begin a series for many reasons. The writing is great. The characters are well developed and show a great deal of empathy. I have to say that in choosing the names of characters, it was right. The names were not all ones you are used to hearing everyday and that's refreshing. The amount of detail in the storyline was in high amounts. It was in the characters well as in the environment they were in. The reader could conn ...more
the golden witch.
I guess I'm in the minority when I say that I thought this book was pretty awesome. Yes, the maturity of the Rosary was a bit over-the-top at some points in the book, but otherwise? I really enjoyed this read - surprisingly so. And I definitely want to read more. Anyone looking for the way out of a traditional paranormal or PNR read should definitely check out "The Suburban Strange".

What I think I liked the most about this book was the sheer originality of it - yet at the same time it was very f
First off, the cover is absolutely stunning. I found an advance readers copy of this on my school's swap shelf in the English Dept, and just picked it up because it was there and I like YA fantasy/paranormal.I don't know if there are any major differences from the final copy and the advance readers, so if there are, please let me know.

The story was very different from what I was expecting,actually. Some crazy mysterious stuff happened, which definitely kept me intrigued. These characters were v
I really loved this book.
I know there were mixed reviews of it getting slow, seeming to go nowhere, etc, etc. But, being that this is a debut novel, I thought the characters were really strong. The dialog could get a bit awkward, but was appropriate and foretelling, which I enjoy. The story was interesting, and yes, a bit slow in spots losing it a star but very, very good.
The Suburban Strange is going to be a fantastic series - the first book has me hooked to Celia's life and I NEED to know what happens next. The first book follows her first year at Suburban High and her adjustment to living as a member of the elite clique The Rosary. It's the first time she's felt included and important and she hopes to make a whole new life for herself.

She does that and then some. Learning about the Kind and Unkind and finding out it's all true and part of her life. It's not j
Diane Ferbrache
Celia is now a sophomore at Suburban High and is hoping that this year will be a turning point. She’s now part of a group of teens who dress alike, like alternative music, and hang out at an exclusive dance club. Her grades are up, due at least in part to her Chem lab partner who is a bit strange. And there’s a cute guy who seems to be interested in her. The only problem is that something is happening to girls at SH on the day before their 16th birthdays – all the virgins are injured in some wa ...more
The Suburban Strange was an odd but pleasurable reading experience. I didn't really know what to expect, having not seen many reviews of it before reading but I suspected that it was not your typical YA paranormal romance. This suspicion is quite accurate. I feel like the best way to approach this review is to divide it into the two main parts of the book: the contemporary and the paranormal.

The contemporary falls main character Celia falling in with slightly older kids (junior and senior to her
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this novel from the publisher in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

My Summary: Celia is just your average quirky art student... until she's forced to transfer schools and finds herself at Suburban High. Within a few days she starts to notice things are a little out of the ordinary in her new school...

As she is accepted into the mysterious group known as the Rosary, Celia begins to realize that girls have been disappearing... and her new friends may hav
Stacey B.

OVERALL IMPRESSION: I really enjoyed this book a lot. It had a great balance between the intense, exciting parts and the normal everyday teenager troubles that everyone faces.

I felt like all of the pieces of this book were slowly trying really hard to come together in my mind as the story went on, but I just couldn't figure it out. It was a "work-out" for my brain. It was fun and I enjoyed trying to figure out who was responsible and what was going to happen next.

The book had a great endi
Chapter by Chapter
Well, when I first started reading the Suburban Strange I judged the book by its cover and assumed that because of how pretty the cover is that the rest of the novel would follow off from there. Was I correct? Definitely, in some areas. But honestly, the one thing that had me wanting to even give the story a try was the bit of titling that tells readers about how Celia’s sixteenth birthday could be the end of her life as she knows it. Dun, dun, dun! That being said I expected the story to be thi ...more
Oct 20, 2014 Trish rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: own

More like 3.5 stars - this is a great start to a series. The characters have a great depth and as a reader I could feel the emotion on each page as I read. From Celia to Ivo, from Mariette to Regine...the characters are wonderfully complex but in a way that a reader can still connect to them. Kotecki does a bang up job of depicting the details of the high school culture. At the same time he creates this beautiful, mysterious place - Diaboliques where the Rosary can hang out. The only reason the
Step Into Fiction
This cover really reminds me of that song that's really popular "Royals" by Lorde. This song was running through my head almost the entire time I read the book because it seems like The Rosary, Celia's group, fits right in. I relaly like how Celia on the cover is portrayed as someone who is more like a fashion model, because that's sort of the way we are supposed to be looking at her. Her, and all of the Rosary for that matter are beautiful, and unique, sophisticated. Interesting for high school ...more
Young Celia is new to Suburban High School, a somewhat prestigious high school full of the haves and have-nots. And most importantly, an influential group of sophomores known as the Rosary, who seem to know what darkness is unfolding at the school. Young girls are having near-fatal accidents on the night before their sixteenth birthdays. No one seems to known what is happening or why, and as Celia nears her sixteenth birthday, she is drawn into a mysterious conflict between good and evil.

When I saw the cover of this book, coupled alongside an interesting synopsis, I was instantly drawn in. However, after having finished the book my feelings are not unlike they were when I was drawn into another book by it's pretty cover, "Tris & Izzie" by Mette Ivie Harrison.

My largest complaint about this book was how contradictory it was- on the one hand it was extremely sophisticated, with how the characters dressed, what they read, and what music they listened to (in that regard, despite
I heard Nathan Kotecki speak at a local bookstore in NC. I think the best thing I can say about his debut novel is this: I’d already bought the Kindle version when I went to the reading, but forgot to bring my Kindle. I got so wrapped up in reading a display hardcover while I was waiting for the author to begin that I ended up purchasing it again.

YA is a very, very crowded genre. There’s such a glut, that I rarely follow a YA story through to the end, not unless it has more substance than a popu
Klaudia Janek
Highly Recommended [return][return]Celia Balaustine transferred to Suburban High at the start of her 10th grade year. She wants to reinvent herself and not be the same person she was at her old school. Celia is a highly talented artist, who catches the attention of a girl named Regine. Regine introduces Celia to her tight knit group of friends who call themselves The Rosary. Celia become part of this group and for the first time in her life, has a place to belong. The Rosary wants everyone in th ...more
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