Tag: social suicide

[Review] Social Suicide by Gemma Halliday

Posted on 06/25/2012 in Book Review / 11 Comments

[Review] Social Suicide by Gemma HallidaySocial Suicide by Gemma Halliday
Published by Harper Teen on 4/24/2012
Genres: Adult, Comedy, Mystery, Thriller, Young Adult
Pages: 277
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon

Twittercide: the killing of one human being by another while the victim is in the act of tweeting.\r\n\r\nCall me crazy, but I figured writing for the "Herbert Hoover High Homepage" would be a pretty sweet gig. Pad the resume for college applications, get a first look at the gossip column, spend some time ogling the paper's brooding bad-boy editor, Chase Erikson. But on my first big story, things went . . . a little south. What should have been a normal interview with Sydney Sanders turned into me discovering the homecoming queen-hopeful dead in her pool. Electrocuted while Tweeting. Now, in addition to developing a reputation as HHH's resident body finder, I'm stuck trying to prove that Sydney's death wasn't suicide.\r\n\r\nI'm starting to long for the days when my biggest worry was whether the cafeteria was serving pizza sticks or Tuesday Tacos. . . .

Hartley Featherstone just can’t seem to stay away from dead bodies. Hilarity ensues.

A fun and S-is-for-Sizzling follow-up to Deadly Cool, Gemma Halliday delivers more of the witty writing style I loved in Social Suicide! The probable Homecoming Queen, Sydney Sanders, has been suspended for cheating on a test when she “suicides” by throwing herself into her pool with her plugged-in laptop. The clincher? She had an appointment with Hartley, now a journalist for her school paper, that afternoon to do a “tell-all” on the cheating scandal. So did she really commit suicide after sending one last tweet? Or was she pushed? Gemma Halliday delivers more of her signature mocking, sarcastic tones in Social Suicide, the Young Adult sophomore follow-up to her first Hartley Featherstone novel, Deadly Cool. Having solved the murder cases of two dead girls (one who banged her ex-boyfriend), she’s now working for the school paper, the Herbert Hoover High Homepage. (The author’s penchant for alliteration makes me laugh). As a journalist on the paper, Chase, her hot bad-boy editor, and savior extraordinaire, has assigned the cheating scandal to her, and she’s determined to find a unique angle, one that nobody knows. Except Sydney Sanders dies of Twittercide (death while tweeting) and now Hartley must find out who the killer is – before the killer finds her first. I said it before and I’ll say it again: Halliday has really struck gold with a young adult series that also incorporates the mystery and thriller genres into the mix. The young adult genre has lacked, as a blogger friend put it once, a good Nancy Drew-like series for a while now, and it’s refreshing to find in these books what I found in the Nancy Drew books as a kid (albeit generations newer). Halliday writes her characters with wit and realism, although I still find it a bit implausible that three teenagers can solve a crime before the local law enforcement can. However, looking back, Nancy Drew did much the same thing, so these books get a free pass. The plot was a little more intricate than Deadly Cool; less people died, the whodunit was a little more complicated (in that more people had legitimate motives). It was highly entertaining, even if some of the pieces (like “Twittercide”) were a bit ridiculous. Can you really be electrocuted by falling into the pool with your laptop plugged in (how small/large does a body of water have to be)? I thought it just shorted out. I did a quick Google search and apparently yes, you can be electrocuted by dropping a laptop into a pool if it’s plugged in. *Note to self* I continued to enjoy the relationships between Hartley and the secondary characters in the novel, but specifically Chase, her mother and Sam. I especially liked the new awkward relationship between Hart and her mom, as her mom began dating, and Hartley learns to deal with the uncomfortable feeling of her mom trolling the internet for dudes. (I’ve totally been in your shoes, Hart, I GET YOU. *shudders*). Her relationship with Chase is especially tense, Halliday skipping along, toying with her readers as these two should-be lovebirds clash together in a storm of sarcasm, fun and heat. As a reader, I WANT them to get together, and that’s exactly what Halliday wants me to feel. The anticipation might be the best part of their relationship! All around, if you enjoyed Deadly Cool, you’ll love Social Suicide, especially for the slight mockery Halliday makes of our connectedness and the charming way she writes her characters and her story. I loved it.



You had to be incredibly stupid to get caught cheating in Mr. Tipkins’ class, but then again, Sydney Sanders was known for being the only brunette blonder than Paris Hilton.


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Disclaimers: This uncorrected proof was provided by the publisher in exchange of an honest review. Blurb and photo source courtesy of Goodreads.

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