Sunday, June 24, 2012

Deadly Cool by Gemma Halliday

Deadly Cool
(Deadly Cool #1)
Gemma Halliday
Release: October 11, 2011

Goodreads     Amazon

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.

“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.”

Deadly Cool is fun, fun, fun! This is a great example of how YA can be light and funny but still high quality. The main character, Hartley, had me giggling from the silly things that sometimes came out of her mouth. At times she seemed like the teenage version of Charley from Darynda Jones' series, an up and coming teenage detective who always seems to get herself into trouble and says things like:

“That craptastical, gutless, son-of-a-cactus-humping butt monkey!!”

If Hartley is Charley, then her best friend and literal partner in crime, Sam, is Cookie. Hartley and Sam are a great pair of BFFs. I didn't realize how infrequently I've read a pair of girls that were best friends in YA, but after reading Deadly Cool I realized that they are kind of few and far between. But Hartley and Sam are a great pair in this book. I hope no future installments in this series have them go the way of so many other YA friendships, because they quite often cracked me up!

“Caw! Caw, Hartley, caw!" Chase narrowed his eyes again. "Sam?" I nodded. Then crossed to the window again and called down to Sam. "You can quit squawking. He caught me.”

Chase is the mysterious bad-boy type who enters Hartley's world to help her solve the local murders. Hartley finds herself involved after her ex-boyfriend is accused of the first murder and Hartley knows, even though she currently despises him, that he couldn't have done it. Chase is pretty typical as far as YA love interests go, but I still liked him. He and Hartley had some good moments that balanced flirting and sarcasm and since he's the dark and brooding type I instantly liked him.

Hartley is a great YA heroine. She's no pushover. Even though she is willing to help out her ex, Josh, she is not willing to forgive him for cheating and rekindle old flames. I liked that aspect of the story and that made me respect the author for not taking the obvious route. Even though I predicted who the killer would be toward the end, the plot was not as predictable as I would have thought.

This is a highly enjoyable and fun book and I can't wait to dive into the sequel!

Recommended for fans of: funny reads, awesome BFFs, YA murder mysteries on the lighter side, bad boys who are bad drivers, and Darynda Jones books.



  1. thanks for a great review! I hadn't heard of this author or book before. I'm definitely going to have to check it out :)

  2. This is on my summer reading list. Can't wait until I get to read it. Halliday makes awesome characters that are a lot of fun. Great review :-0

  3. I have been wanting to read this one for a while. I'm glad you enjoyed it!

  4. I just finished this. I agree, it is a great story and was somewhat of an escapist read for me. I just got so caught up in it.

  5. I just started her High Heels mystery series and I am really liking her writing style. I will have to check out this series too. Thanks!

  6. Wonderful review. This novel sounds fantastic, and the cover ROCKS. Now I can’t wait to read it. ;-)


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