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Unidentified Suburban Object

3.52  ·  Rating details ·  674 ratings  ·  160 reviews
The next person who compares Chloe Cho with famous violinist Abigail Yang is going to HEAR it. Chloe has just about had it with people not knowing the difference between someone who's Chinese, Japanese, or Korean. She's had it with people thinking that everything she does well -- getting good grades, winning first chair in the orchestra, etCETera -- are because she's ASIAN ...more
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published April 26th 2016 by Arthur A. Levine Books/Scholastic (first published 2016)
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3.52  · 
Rating details
 ·  674 ratings  ·  160 reviews

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Feb 16, 2016 rated it it was ok
An interesting premise, but I'm afraid I couldn't get past two things:

One, the main character was just too unlikeable. I kept hoping she'd improve and she did... a tiny bit. Sometimes. But she kind of reliably kept losing her temper at people, shouting a lot, and treating others badly, and I just wasn't into it.

Two, the principle twist. I just... don't think it was necessary. This book could have just been about what it appears to be (at the start) rather than what it ends up being. It was even
Monica Edinger
Mar 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
Really liked this one. Delightful voice and such an authentic sensibility to Chloe's issues. Teasing out her assumptions regarding peer's and friends' responses to her --- is it about race and ethnicity or something else? --- is artfully done. And there is a delicious twist to boot. Difficult to say more without spoilage, but this is the sort of realistic fiction/sf that When You Reach Me is. That is, mostly rooted in the real but with...something else too.
Clare Lund
Aug 25, 2018 rated it liked it
Started as a story about Chloe Cho, the only Korean girl in her entire middle school who feels like her classmates only view her as an Asian stereotype. The book hooked me right away, but then took a WEIRD and unexpected turn about halfway through and... I’m not sure how I feel about it. The story was unique, I’ll give it that!
Niki Marion
Aug 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
Whip-smart, hilarious, and endearing, this book will win your heart and your funny bone. Chloe Cho feels alien as the only Korean kid at her middle school. She encounters casual racism daily, which fuels her already-short temper, but her BFF Shelley is a constant source of support and acceptance. When her parents reveal her true ancestry and it impacts her relationship with Shelley, Chloe realizes that she might not have been a very observant or kind friend. (Inter)Stellar work from #weneeddiver ...more
Apr 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: j
Chloe's parents have always been cagey about her heritage. Chloe wants to know why.

I read this with my 4-6th grade book club, and it was a really good discussion. (view spoiler) I was into the fish name-dropping and like that he was specific about where they came from.

Jung is a pretty solid author for me!

Prolly gonna booktalk this at local el
Abby Johnson
Oh, man, I really liked this one. I marked it as both contemporary and sci-fi because while it is definitely science fiction, the bulk of the story is written as contemporary fiction and I think that fans of contemporary fiction will gravitate to this one more than huge science-fiction fans.

This is a book about a middle school girl trying to figure out her identity and dealing with bigger issues than she could have ever imagined. While she's dealing with big identity issues, she's also dealing
Sarah Donovan
May 17, 2016 rated it liked it
So this one is mostly a realistic ya novel of a girl trying to connect with her Korean heritage while her parents resist saying it's "too hard" or "too painful" to think about the family's past. I had a few students in mind as I read this and thought of my own grandfather from Italy, whom I never had the chance to talk to about his reasons for leaving Italia. All this is until there is a shift in the story line, and the realistic cultural quest becomes more sci-fi. I can see how this will appeal ...more
Nov 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I thought this book was amazing! I loved how it was realistic fiction and then switch to fantasy. That was a big surprised and I thought I was not going to like the book any more, but I did. I think making the book fantasy half way though made the book better. If you like science fiction books you would probably like this one. This is what I thought about this amazing book.
Jan 09, 2018 rated it liked it
I really liked this one at first--Chloe is a great narrator, and I found myself chuckling at her sarcastic, dry inner voice. She's not perfect, but what middle school kid is?

But that twist...ugh.

Don't get me wrong--I'm all for a good surprise. There's nothing better than "Oooh...things are happening that make me think this but BAM. Something else."

But this was more "Oooh...things are happening that make me think this but BAM. Now here's a recipe for meatballs."

It was just SO sudden and SO unexpe
Sep 29, 2016 rated it it was ok
I didn't particularly enjoy this book, but perhaps younger readers will. I admit that I don't think I read the jacket cover summary well, or didn't think the book would actually take it where it hints it would, because I was actually surprised by what Chloe learns about her family history.

Chloe's character -- her exaggerated sarcasm, her generalizations of other students and locals (as racists, etc.), her dramatic reactions -- bothered me. For example, when upset by even the smallest things, Chl
Ms. Yingling
Sep 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
E ARC from Edelweiss Above the Treeline

Chloe Cho isn't wild about being the only Asian student at her school, but she HATES that people can't tell that she's Korean and assume that she is Chinese. She's love to know more about her Korean family background, and tries cooking "authentic" food with her best friend, Shelley. When she asks her parents about anything to do with her heritage, however, they refuse to talk about it, saying that it's something they would rather not think about, and beside
Melanie Dulaney
This 2017 Texas Bluebonnet nominee was extremely promising for the first half of the book. Chloe Cho is a solid main character with a great mix of both positive and negative traits and with her supportive parents and solid best friend, I just knew that author Jung was going to use Chloe's intelligence and almost too strong work ethic to smooth the rough edges of her temper and superiority complex. But then he took the developing mystery of why Cho's parents refuse to acknowledge their Korean her ...more
Kimberly Sabatini
Jan 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mg-ya
Told through the lens of a middle school girl, desperately trying to connect with her Korean heritage and looking to better understand her place in the world, this book had an unexpected, super fun twist worthy of a Gordon Korman novel. Jung also provided an ending that left me wanting more.
Aug 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, middle-grade
Brandy Painter
4.5 Stars

Originally posted here at Random Musings of a Bibliophile.

The Painter household has been waiting for a new Mike Jung book since we first read Geeks, Girls, and Secret Identities when it first came out. Unidentified Suburban Object did not disappoint.

Chloe Cho is the only Asian girl in her school. When people aren't confusing her with being Chinese or Japanese (she's Korean), they are busy thinking she is first chair violin and the smartest kid in school simply because she's Asian. She i
May 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
Chloe is the only Korean kid in her small town. Actually, she's the only Asian kid, period, in her small town. Getting people to recognize that Korea, China, and Japan are all different countries with different cultures is already a huge hurdle. The problem is that her parents won't ever talk about their families or their past. They also seem strangely clueless about Korean culture, food, clothing, and language. This is infuriating for Chloe, who has cultivated a strong connection to her Korean ...more
Josianne Fitzgerald
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
UNIDENTIFIED SUBURBAN OBJECT by Mike Jung combines satire with a serious examination of racial stereotypes, family connections, and friendship.

Chloe Cho is frustrated by being the token minority in her all-white town. Her parents don’t seem interested in their asian ancestry. When a Korean American teacher moves to town, Chloe immediately connects with her. However when Chloe explores her family history as part of a class project, she finds unexpected results.

Librarians will find that the combin
Shay McClean
A fun book for middle grade readers! Chloe Cho was a fun character to tag along with - bossy, type A (and straight A, make no mistake about that), and desperate to learn more about the culture her parents came from.

I was definitely not expecting the major plot twist halfway through the book that puts it in an entirely different genre--I have to admit that it took me a few chapters to catch up. But I'm an adult with a few decades of story reading working against me, and I get the feeling that ki
Gabriela Montes
Nov 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
I think that this book was a really good book! I loved both the reality part and the science fiction twist when Chloe finds out about the truth of her family! One thing I think Mike Jung could've done better was the nemesis. It seemed like Lindsay Crisp, the "stupidest person in school" was kind of one. But she wasn't really mean. She was just oblivious to a lot of things and plain dim-witted. Still, every story should have an enemy, and it should show it. Whether the enemy is the coolest girl i ...more
Jan 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: al-read-y-read
Unidentified Suburban Object by: Mike Jung. The book was funny, it had a major plot twist, but it managed to keep it’s humor at its peak. It takes place in a small town in the United States, and Chloe Cho is dealing with a major problem, school. Everything goes wrong, she loses her best friend, and worst of all, she finds out she’s not even from earth.
I liked the frenemy relationship between the main character and the best friend. I disliked the plot twist, some of the “jokes” were a little rac
Jan 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kid-lit
A hilarious middle-grade tale about discovering and coming to terms with your personal identity, with a twist. Chloe desperately wants to embrace her Korean heritage but every time she asks her parents about their culture and traditions they are weirdly reluctant to talk about it. They're obviously hiding something, and when Chloe finds out what it is, her world is rocked. A lot of good stuff about race, identity, family and friendships is going on here, plus some serious library love, delivered ...more
Mar 14, 2016 rated it liked it
Well, that took a completely unexpected turn (I mean, I did not see that twist coming AT ALL), though I guess there were hints. I guess the lesson of self-acceptance did remain constant too. Also, interesting (unfortunate?) cover choice considering the book's discussion about book covers not featuring non-white characters.
Dec 23, 2016 rated it it was ok
Well, this was moving along OK and then about half way through it took a "wrong" turn.
I lost interest in the story, didn't care for the main character and wondered why the author chose to leave the multi-cultural theme that could have been developed into an OK read.
Sep 27, 2016 rated it did not like it
It was a good book. I did not know it would be about aliens though.
Jan 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Part of my personal Reading Challenge this year was to write a review for all the books I read, so I can't get away with my usual 4 or 5 score without really thinking about why, so here it goes...

I'll admit I got about halfway through this book and thought, "Hmmm... I don't know about this." The plot took a turn that I had kind of anticipated but still found weird and jolting. Looking at others' reviews, this seems to be the biggest complaint against the book. Although it was a little tough for
Mar 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Chloe is a star student: straight As and first chair violin. She works hard and takes her academic career very seriously. Her best friend, Shelley, whom she's known since she was three, is also highly motivated in school. Unfortunately, Chloe stands out in another way, as well. She is of Korean heritage in a place where there isn't much diversity. She's heard every stereotypical comment you can think of: "You're good at math, right?" "Are you Japanese or Chinese?" (no one even thinks about Korea ...more
Anastasia Tuckness
Chloe is super proud of her Korean heritage, and she does stand out in her small, mostly white, Indiana school/town. She's smart and a really good violin player--I loved how much the book talks about orchestra and the dynamics, including lots of drama about who's 1st chair and whose instrument is better. She also has a couple good friends and enjoys their company as well.

Spoiler alert ahead--it's kinda impossible to talk about this book without giving away the punch line, which happens about 1/
Perssis Namour
May 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
Odd enough I really liked it!
So this book is about a Korean girl, Chloe, who is good at everything in school. Nothing is challenging to her except this year when a new teacher assigns a project in the primary source. Meaning you get your parents to tell you a story about their life. will dad finally opens up and tells her her first story about an uncle she never knew she had. The project come back with a red large F. The teacher knows she has problems with getting her parents to open up about th
Mrs. Mosby
Jun 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Unexpected!! For the deeper thinker and the science fiction fan. Some reviewers didn't like the main character---found her too angsty. As a mom of teens, I think she was well written. Chloe says what some kids wish they could say. And she does get "in trouble" for getting out of line.

I was very surprised at the turn of events in the middle of the story, but the title did allude to some sort of surprise. And I think the idea added a layer to cultural identity that makes sense.

This book left me
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Mike Jung is the author of the middle-grade novels Geeks, Girls, and Secret Identities (Arthur A. Levine Books/Scholastic, 2012) and Unidentified Suburban Object (Arthur A. Levine Books/Scholastic, 2016). He is a founding member of We Need Diverse Books, and serves as a Grant Officer for the WNDB Internship Program. His essays can be found in the anthologies Dear Teen Me (Zest, 2012), Break These ...more