Monday, November 12, 2012

Review: Deadly Cool

Deadly Cool
by Gemma Halliday (Website | Facebook)
Series: Deadly Cool, #1
Published: October 11th, 2011 by HarperTeen
Pages: 303 (Paperback)
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery
Goodreads | Amazon | Indie
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.

Every now and then I find myself craving a fast and light book that'll put me in a good mood. It's easy for me to burn out on my reading when I read multiple novels from the same genre, one after another. Not only did Deadly Cool provide a much needed change of pace, but its humor-filled pages and lovable characters won me over big time. I did have a couple minor issues with it, but Deadly Cool was just what I needed.

While Deadly Cool immediately caught my interest, I had my reservations about it. First off, as a lover of super complicated mysteries, its short length concerned me because I worried it would lack enough plot development and twists to keep me intrigued. Second, I was warned that despite the obvious chemistry between Hartley and Chase, there wasn't actually any romance in the novel. Because of these two reasons, I was really surprised at how much I loved this book! Even though I guessed who the murderer was and had a good idea of his/her motive from early on, I loved following along with Hartley and Chase as they worked to figure it out. I was always entertained and engrossed in their progress, and it never annoyed me when they didn't see something right off the bat. Even more surprisingly, I LOVED how Gemma Halliday didn't put romance in. She put Hartley in so many awkward yet hilarious situations that built up their chemistry and kept me wishing they'd just kiss already! But it was so realistic! I'm hoping we see more them in book two.

Hartley, Sam and Chase were great characters who felt like real people. I liked the fact that Hartley didn't have super awesome detective skills but relied on her ingenuity and quick thinking. I also loved that Chase didn't fall into the typical dark, brooding, and mysterious guy pattern. Gemma Halliday gave all of her characters (except for the killer) the right amount of quirkiness to make them stand out and conventionalism to make them recognizable and relatable.

Halliday also did an excellent job of capturing the ways teens interact with one another. My favorite part of Deadly Cool was how funny the dialogue was! Within the first few pages I was literally laughing out loud. I NEVER do that when I read but I just couldn't help it! Hartley is one snarky, clever girl. And when she and her best friend Sam would censor themselves, I just about lost it. They reminded me so much of me and my best friend (except we aren't that funny) in the way they talk to each other and to those around them. I would honestly love to be friends with them, although I don't know if I'd be able to keep up.

The only thing I didn't really like about Deadly Cool was the motive of the murderer. This might be super vague since I don't want to give anything away, but I didn't fully buy it. I know people have killed for much less but I still would have enjoyed a more complicated explanation. Finally, while not a dislike or a negative, Hartley's school dynamic surprised me. My high school wasn't as drama/gossip centered as her's, so I found it weird just how much these kids relied on camera phones and blogs to blackmail each other and spread "news". I've always wondered what going to a school like that would be like, and I am so glad that I didn't have to deal with that kind of crap for four years.

Rating: 4.5/5 stars

I loved this novel! It's a hilarious and creative book with wonderful characters and snappy dialogue that you will devour in one sitting.

1 comment:

  1. oooo, this looks good!