Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Pull Down the Night (The Suburban Strange #2)

Pull Down the Night
Author Nathan Kotecki
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This year at Suburban High School is just as troubling as the last. A curly-haired girl ghost is disrupting lives with dreaded “kiss notes,” and students are inexplicably sinking into depression. Bruno—the new kid on the block—finds himself at the center of the mystery when he discovers his natural map-reading abilities are actually supernatural. When the reluctant hero isn’t engaged in cosmic battles against evil, Bruno is swooning over the mesmerizing Celia (from The Suburban Strange) and navigating the goth sensibilities and musical obsessions of the Rosary, her ├╝ber-chic clique. A hypnotic coming-of-age novel that chills and thrills.
Review: In my review of Suburban Strange (book #1) I mention, "There is a bit of Twilight meets Buffy meets Harry Potter."  Book #2 leans more towards Harry Potter and I found the similarities too much to be overlooked.  In the first book, I really liked the incorporation of music, but in book #2, the music was used like name-dropping and didn't hold as much significance. Who cares if the characters rattle off a bunch of obscure song titles and artists if they really don't connect to the plot or mystery? Even the song Bruno hears Celia playing is brushed off as just something she threw on, but of no importance. She hardly remembers listening to it. Strange? Well, it would be if it went anywhere, but it doesn't. 

I was disappointed by the shallowness of book #2 and the plot mimicking. The Harry Potter similarities dampened my enthusiasm for this series. For me, it lost all of the initial creative originality and authenticity. Even the name "Rosary" is diminished by the characters who abandon the symbolism. They make it seem almost childish, even though they continue to carry on with certain practices, but can't define the reasoning for the name's purpose in the first place. Going through the motions without conviction presents the characters as fraudulent to some degree, or at the very least, less tenacious in the statement they are communicating. Of course, I think the playing down of the 'rosary' was supposed to be seen as a 'growing up' tactic, but the immaturity to maturity was lost through action and banter. I just didn't feel the transition went smoothly and the emotional value came across as blah and trite.

I never really took to Bruno, and Celia was less than interesting in this book.  The mystery was not as startling and I think this is because it was a bit predictable. I just didn't dig it. I couldn't get into it, and the groove staggered consistently off beat. Sadly, I was disappointed by what was put on the page to represent the sequel. 
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*ARC was provided by HMH Books for Young Readers courtesy of Amazon Vine

My Review of book #1

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