The Suburban Strange by Nathan Kotecki
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I loved The Secret History and at first this book seemed to mimic that: a group of self-selected students who have certain rituals and mannerisms that separate them from the rest of the student population. Celia is taken into their group (called the Rosary) and suddenly her year is transformed; her new friends change her demeanor, her wardrobe, her study habits and even help her get a part-time job. They're aloof and somewhat mysterious, interested in music like Cocteau Twins, Siouxie and the Banshees and Shriekback - in other words, different from the average teen.
That would have given this book a solid five star.
The difference between this and Tartt's book (besides being set in high school instead of college) is that there's a paranormal element going on. Here, the Kind and Unkind have some powers and Celia may be one of them (her new friend, Mariette, is Kind but not part of the Rosary). There's also the mysterious boy, Tomasi, who appears only at Diaboliques, the club that the Rosary go to on Friday nights. This element was less satisfying and cost the book a star. As paranormal books go, even ones that might be part of a series, this is better than average.