Saturday, July 21, 2012

Review: Deadly Cool Books 1 and 2 by Gemma Halliday

Deadly Cool (Deadly Cool, #1)Social Suicide (Deadly Cool, #2)

Goodreads Summary: (Of Deadly Cool)
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.

My Review:
I decided to review both books because in a mystery series, not much changes.  And to me, the most important thing in a mystery series is that it contains characters you want to spend time with. Because they will appear over and over and over in each subsequent book in the series. And since I'm a mom about the age of Hartley's mom, the songs for this book are... (it will be explained later in the review):

First of all, I grew up loving mysteries. Like many girls, I loved the Nancy Drew series by Carolyn Keene.  (Although my favorite mystery series growing up was The Three Investigators) So, it kind of saddens me that there aren't many YA mystery series, which is why when I came across this one I decided to read it right away. We meet Hartley on a very bad day- the day she discovers her boyfriend is cheating on her. Right off, I related to her. I had a boyfriend who cheated when I was in high school, like Hartley. Again, like Hartley, I found out because other people found out first. In other words, you get the pitying expressions and also phone calls from "helpful" people who I think kind of take enjoyment in telling you that your boyfriend is cheating. I don't relate to Hartley in that I think I would have let my (ex) boyfriend fry/go to jail/become the girlfriend of Bubba, the prison inmate who hasn't seen a woman in 20 years, etc. if he had gotten accused of murdering the girl (tramp) he cheated with. But Hartley is a nice girl- and I like that she's a nice, normal, AVERAGE girl. She's smart, but not the class valedictorian/prom queen/computer hacker/secret spy. Just a normal high school girl who is going to keep stumbling over dead people. 

The real weakness of this series- so far- is in the portrayal of a few of the secondary characters. Now, maybe it's because I'm a mother, but I like Hartley's mother. She embarrasses Hartley by blasting her old people music- Guns N Roses, Aerosmith, etc. She keeps feeding Hartley the most disgusting sounding vegan food possible- I'm a vegetarian, but I wouldn't eat most of the stuff. Chase, the possible love interest...he's like "Standard Teenage Love Interest #5" instead of feeling like a real person. Chase is the attractive, yet mysterious boy, with unclear romantic intentions. The best friend, Sam, is also a typical mystery best friend- the person the MC calls to break into places, question suspects, etc. Not a lot of character development going on beyond Hartley, the main character. But the series is funny, charming, cute, and I'm sure that in future books we'll learn more about the other characters.

Overall Rating: 3 stars
Genre Rating: 3 1/2 school lockers (works better as a contemporary YA than a mystery)
Genre Rating: 3 magnifying glasses (a good, but not great mystery)

Gemma Halliday's Website
Gemma Halliday on Facebook 


  1. I love how people assume vegetarians/vegans eat horse fodder or something to that degree, haha. I know that's not what you said, and I have no idea what it's like in the book, but just from observation people think that if you don't eat meat, you can only eat carrots or something. Or that you eat cardboard with lentil jelly.

    1. I get that all the time- people think I just eat salad. My dad, though, thinks that vegetarians can still eat seafood. Which I guess is technically true- I could eat it. But he doesn't think seafood counts as meat. But some of the stuff her mom cooked is just odd- like making a "chocolate" cake out of carob. I mean, cocoa powder is vegetarian.

  2. I loved Nancy Drew! These sound quite fun, and easy reading :)

    New follower from Goodreads.

    1. Thanks for following. Following both of your blogs. I heard that they updated Nancy Drew. I'm not sure if that means they created a whole new series or if they went back and messed with the original books.

  3. Great reviews! I will have to check these out as I have heard very mixed reviews. It's great to see that these weren't a complete blow-out!

    New to your blog,
    Steph @ Stepping Out Of The Page
    P.S. I also have an International Giveaway on at the moment!

  4. I loved Nancy Drew too! :D
    It reminds me how much I read those books when I was younger!
    I think I may have to read some of them that i haven't read yet!
    I love your review!


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