Published by Harper Teen on 10/11/2011
Genres: Adult, Comedy, Mystery, Thriller, Young Adult
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Hartley Grace Featherstone is having a very bad day. First she finds out that her boyfriend is cheating on her with the president of the Herbert Hoover High School Chastity Club. Then he’s pegged as the #1 suspect in a murder. And if that weren’t enough, now he’s depending on Hartley to clear his name.
But as much as Hartley wouldn’t mind seeing him squirm, she knows he’s innocent, and she’s the only one who can help him. Along with her best friend, Sam, and the school’s resident Bad Boy, Chase, Hartley starts investigating on her own. But as the dead bodies begin to pile up, the mystery deepens, the suspects multiply, and Hartley begins to fear that she may be the killer’s next victim.
Deadly Cool is one of those weirdly good books I wasn’t sure I was going to like, but then….I did.
Hartley Featherstone is your typical Californian teen: good looks, jock boyfriend and divorced parents. She’s not full of herself (read: has slight confidence issues, but not too many), gets pretty good grades and has a couple of close friends. She’s close to her mother, whom she lives with, and yet still thinks her mom is sometimes whacky. Her life is normal and she couldn’t ask for anything more. That is until she hears the rumor that her boyfriend is cheating on her and then she finds the body of his “mistress” in his closet (let’s just forget the pesky detail that she sort of broke into his house, shall we?). I think Gemma Halliday has hit the jackpot with a YA/Murder-Mystery/Comedy trifecta series because Deadly Cool was delightful. Hartley is a witty, snark-filled character with a pocketful of cohorts to spar with at every turn. Sometimes I had a hard time with the plot. Several people are murdered, sometimes by something as simple as a pair of iPod earbuds (come on, those cheap wires are KNOWN for snapping) and the detectives can’t figure it out, but a trio of teenagers can? However I’ll suspend reality for the sake of the story, because overall it was a fun read. Gemma Halliday loves her some alliteration: Herbert Hoover High (and the Herbert Hoover High Homepage – say that five times fast), Courtney Cline, Caitlyn Calvin, Kaylee Clark… I was simultaneously entertained by this and a little disturbed. I’m not sure why. Chase, the Dark & Dangerous Sexy Guy is…dark and dangerous and sexy. He’s a year ahead of Hartley, dated a goth chick once and drives way too fast for her liking (but I think she secretly likes it). As a character, he was probably my other favorite, besides Hartley, because he had this real quality to him… Overall, there are a lot of cliches in this book, but the plot is fast enough, the characters entertaining enough that you just don’t care because it’s damn FUN and entertaining.
There are three things you never want to find in your boyfriend’s locker: a sweaty jockstrap, a D minus on last week’s history test, and an empty condom wrapper. Lucky me, I’d hit the trifecta.
What are you waiting for? Go buy it! Kindle | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Nook | Book Depository Extra Info: The sequel, Social Suicide, is already released, so go buy it (and look for a review soon)!
Kindle | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Nook | Book Depository
Disclaimers: This ebook was purchased with my hard-earned moolah but my review is still honest. Blurb and photo source courtesy of Goodreads.