Release Date: October 11th, 2011
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.
I've got to say, this book was a lot of fun to read! From the start to the end, there wasn't a single moment that left me bored. Halliday manages to create an intriguing mystery and tie in some realistic yet fantastic characters who made me smile and sometimes laugh out loud. Deadly Cool was quite a light read that I finished in two sittings.
Hartley was such a real teenager, she could have been any one of the girls I go to school with. Her sense of humour and moments of embarrassment and awkwardness was such a nice change from all the I've-got-to-save-the-world-or-die-trying martyr sort of female protagonists in the YA books I've been reading. Her thoughts and state-of-mind were really believable and I'm pleased to say Hartley is not a whiny, annoying character. She's just kick-ass awesome.
The other characters like Sam and Chase were nice and pretty much as humorous as Hartley herself. Sam, as the best friend, constantly supported Hartley and was a good friend all the way through. Chase was a pretty cool dude. He was hot too. Just saying. There was also Josh, the cheating boyfr- ex-boyfriend- who I kind of thought was a total idiot for doing the chastity queen behind the back of someone as brilliant as Hartley. I'm also really glad that Hartley didn't go crawling back to that lying scum-bag and instead held her ground (Yay! Go Hartley!)
The mystery throughout the whole novel was both exciting and interesting. I didn't see the ending coming, to be truthful. Personally, I thought the person and their motives was a bit far-fetched but nevertheless, it kept me on my toes throughout the whole book. I remember the moment that it all clicked and I was like aha! But then stuff happened and everything was pretty intense.
I just really have to mention that scene when she's under Chase's bed and he's taking off his clothes. I could feel her embarrassment and anxiety and could understand why she kind of didn't want to stop him. I was laughing for a solid five minutes.
I loved how there was no insta-love or geometrical shapes to be found here and the slow-building attraction between Chase and Hartley was sweet and at times, extremely hilarious. I can't wait to read Social Suicide and any of the books after that to see where Halliday takes these two.
All in all, a fantastic read for those of you who want a non-angsty fix of light-hearted YA. The sequel, which comes out later this month, is definitely at the top of my to-buy list.