Review: ‘The Suburban Strange’ by Nathan Kotecki

I received this book for free from requested from publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: ‘The Suburban Strange’ by Nathan KoteckiThe Suburban Strange by Nathan Kotecki
Series: The Suburban Strange #1
Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt on October 2nd, 2012
Genres: Mystery, Paranormal, Supernatural, Young Adult
Pages: 368
Format: Hardcover
Source: requested from publisher
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 inexorably drawn into an underground conflict between good and evil—the Kind and the Unkind—that bubbles beneath Suburban High. Plentiful references to music and art—along with the intriguing underworld mythology—make this supernatural series debut a page-turner.

The Book DepositoryChapters/IndigoGood Reads


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 middle and doesn’t understand what’s going on.

The urban fantasy setting was wonderful. The club they hung out at sounded fabulous and every detail that Nathan wrote about was clear-cut in my head. The pacing on the other hand left much to be desired. I felt it was incredibly too long. Some chapters could have been edited down or even taken away because it didn’t help the story as much as it did. It wasn’t needed. Another thing that completely bugged me was the instant love. Her thoughts were completely one dimensional and I really wanted to shake Celia. You barely know the guy and you’re in love? (Booo, girlie you need to slow down!)

The writing was beautifully done, and Nathan writes so well but I just needed something more. That extra push to fall in love with the characters. Plot development was lacking in several areas, and I found it to develop so very slowly that I wasn’t even sure of I wanted to keep on going. Yet, I persevered and was immensely disappointed by the ending. I’m not going to rush out and find out what happens in the next book, because I felt this one could have been a stand-alone!

Pass on this one if you’re not into magic or long winded chapters. Read it if you love Nathan’s descriptive writing style or if you enjoy magic.


But that’s what makes it interesting—most people only think about dark things when they’re forced to, even though dark things can be very beautiful.
The more I read, the more I realize I’ve barely scratched the service.
Because growing up includes realizing that some people are stupid and cruel and you have to figure out how go deal with them.
You do what you want, wear what you want, listen to what you want, and if people don’t understand, screw them.





  1. Jessica

    November 18, 2012 at 2:10 PM

    Hmm, another one that just doesn’t seem to be for me. Thanks for explaining the good and the bad. The beautiful writing is tempting but overall it seems like it’d be too long-winded and slow for me.

  2. Grace Lo

    October 20, 2012 at 5:44 AM

    This certainly sounds like a magical read, if not lacking in some areas. I’m sorry that you didn’t enjoy it as much, but I definitely want to check it out for myself. And, oh, the insta-love. Always a YA cliché, and a bit . . . *shudders* Well, thank you so much for your review!

  3. Wayne Lecoy

    October 19, 2012 at 6:53 AM

    Thank You For Your Book Review Of
    The Suburban Strange by Nathan Kotecki.
    This Book Sounds Like It Would Be Very Interesting To Read.The Next Time I Am At A Bookstore I’ll Have To Look For It.

  4. amel armeliana

    October 19, 2012 at 1:09 AM

    Only 2 stars? Maybe I should think again about reading this book. Too bad, because the cover is awesome and the story sounds really interesting. But maybe I’ll try, just curious.

  5. Karina A.

    October 18, 2012 at 6:50 AM

    aww! It has a great cover and interesting storyline. Too bad you didn’t like it.

  6. Alina P.

    October 17, 2012 at 9:25 PM

    The cover looks so amazing. I’m sad to see it didn’t leave up to your expectations.

  7. Jessica

    October 17, 2012 at 3:23 PM

    I wanted to read this. I might just pass now. The cover is pretty fantastic though.

  8. Jaime Lester

    October 16, 2012 at 11:36 PM

    Aww man, I was so looking forward to this one. It is very disappointing that you didn’t like it. I don’t know if I should try it or not. I think I will wait and see if the library gets a copy. I do have to say though, that cover is oh so awesome!

  9. Kelly

    October 16, 2012 at 11:10 PM

    oww… I’m loving the cover for this book and I also love your review!!! you always seem to make me want to read!!!

  10. Stephanie W.

    October 16, 2012 at 9:57 PM

    Bummer that you didn’t like this one. I have a copy for review and I was looking forward to it, but now I’m a bit wary.

  11. Garnet Leib

    October 16, 2012 at 3:22 PM


  12. Inky

    October 16, 2012 at 2:09 PM

    That’s a shame. I’d been looking into this one. 😀
    <3 Inky@ Book Haven Extraordinaire

  13. mamabunny13

    October 16, 2012 at 1:59 PM

    At least the cover is gorgeous 🙂

  14. Jenn@OwlReadIt

    October 16, 2012 at 1:19 PM

    This makes me sad, I just received this one in the mail 🙁

    Maybe I will put it on the bottom of the pile, I might get interested enough to read it!

  15. Tiff @ MostlyYALit

    October 16, 2012 at 12:51 PM

    Damn. I love urban fantasy and pretty writing. I’m sad that this one isn’t paced well, because I love the cover and the concept!

    BTW, Fifty Shades was NOT GOOD. I couldn’t even get past the first couple chapters.

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