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Deadly Cool by Gemma Halliday

Deadly Cool (edition 2011)

by Gemma Halliday

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1512979,164 (3.89)None
Title:Deadly Cool
Authors:Gemma Halliday
Info:HarperTeen (2011), Paperback, 320 pages
Collections:Your library

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Deadly Cool by Gemma Halliday



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A murder mystery has never been so much fun. I know, "murder" and "fun" should never be used in the same sentence but what the hell.

Light-hearted and funny. A great way to pass the time. ( )
  Cynical_Ames | Sep 23, 2014 |
This book is hilarious! The main character, Hartley, is incredibly witty and I found myself laughing out loud many times throughout the book. Deadly Cool begins with Hartley learning that her boyfriend Josh is cheating on her with the president of the Chasity Club. When she goes to confront Josh at his home he isn't at home but unfortunately the lifeless body of the Chasity Club president is in his closet. Hartley's already bad day has been downgraded to horrible. Although, Hartley is understandably furious at Josh she agrees to help him find out who really killed Courtney. I loved the book and thought it was well written overall but could have been more suspenseful. When the big reveal happens it was kind of a let down and didn't seem as exciting as I would have thought. I did enjoy the rest of the book though and I'm looking forward to seeing how Chase and Hart's relationship unfolds. I will definitely be reading Social Suicide! ( )
  68papyrus | May 13, 2013 |
Hartley is a fantastic female sleuth. The mystery she tries to solve is unpredictable, very exciting, and suspenseful. I'm looking forward to the next book in the series. ( )
  TheMadHatters | Apr 21, 2013 |
This was one of my favorite reads of the Cybils. So let’s talk about why:

First and foremost, this is what I like to call a pop culture tome. Basically, there’s texting, snarkiness and a touch of not-quite-real self awareness on the part of the main characters. To me, this isn’t a bad thing. I actually love it. But I know some people find it annoying. Fair warning there.

Hartley is a touch crazy, zany, smart and sassy. As I mentioned above, she’s also overly self-aware, which can seem a touch unbelievable at times.

The actual murder mystery is well done. I speculated on who the actual killer was at the very beginning, but ended up changing my mind by falling for a few red herrings. Hartley’s handling of the mystery was part Veronica Mars, part Scooby Doo and part lucky all rolled together. All things I approve of.

The biggest issue I had was WHY for the love of all that is good would Hartley want to even begin helping out a boyfriend who cheated on her. I mean, it’s one thing to believe he’s not guilty. It’s completely another to aid and abet. Come on.

All in all, I loved this campy romp. I read it in one sitting and laughed out loud numerous times. I’m very much looking forward to the sequel! I also am on hold to try one of Halliday’s adult novels, which appear to be in the same vein as Deadly Cool. ( )
  leftik | Apr 3, 2013 |

This and other reviews can be found on Reading Between Classes

Cover Impressions: The cover is pretty cool (pun intended). The eye color is stunning and commands attention and the frozen gaze is reminiscent of a dead body. The use of the earbuds/murder weapon to form the font was a really clever choice.

The Gist: In the midst of planning the confrontation and subsequent "murder" of her cheating boyfriend, Hartley Featherstone inadvertently stumbles upon a real dead body. Determined to prove her (ex) boyfriend's innocence, she enlists the help of her BFF and the local bad boy/editor of the school newspaper, Chase.

Review: Deadly Cool is a fun read. Harley Featherstone performs as a modern day Nancy Drew, attempting to solve a murder mystery and prove the innocence of her (ex) boyfriend. Harley is a great character, she is clever and witty with some truly fabulous lines: "'You're wicked fast.' he observed. 'Yeah. Dead bodies bring out the track star in me'". I did question a number of her decisions (like agreeing to help her cheating ass ex-boyfriend in the first place) and I felt that she needed a Sassy Gay Friend Intervention.

She constantly opens her mouth when she shouldn't, sneaks out of her house and puts herself into dangerous situations without a thought for her own safety. I found myself cringing, yelling "NO, YOU IDIOT" and imagining all of the security measures I would put on my house if she was my daughter!

That being said, Hartley does have a best friend (though not a sassy gay one) and she is awesome! I knew I loved Sam the minute I read this exchange when Hartley asked her to borrow her brother's car:

"'Because if I find Courtney Cline at Josh's and kill them both, I'm going to need a quick getaway.' Sam bit her lip, her eyebrows doing a concerned pucker on my behalf. But, good friend that she was, she finally said, 'Okay, but we need to think of a convincing alibi on the way.'"

Sam is the ultimate partner in crime. Willing to help Hartley with whatever crazy and dangerous investigative technique she has decided to try out next and bringing along her own clever quips to boot. The other characters didn't pop as much for me. Chase didn't show a whole lot of personality and the others (Josh, Goths, Cheerleaders, Color Guard) were all pretty stereotypical of their roles and didn't really hold any surprises.

The murder mystery plot involved some interesting twists and turns as Hartley conducted interviews, discovered clues and attended clandestine meetings with mysterious sources. The storyline moved quickly and didn't suffer from lag, though it did lose points at the end. I found the ultimate identity of the killer to be a little TOO convenient (I was hoping for a big plot twist) and did not enjoy the cliche "now that I have you tied up I will explain my plan and my every movement and then leave you to die so that you have lots of evidence when you eventually escape virtually unscathed".

Had there been an unexpected twist at the end, this book would easily have earned a 4 rating. As it is, it sits at a 3 for me because it had a few fun characters, some great lines and was a fun, easy and enjoyable read. I am sure that I will read the sequel eventually, but
I didn't love this one enough to want to dive right back into Hartley's world - at least not for a few days, anyway. Here's hoping that in between Hartley watches every episode of Veronica Mars and adopts a big dog named Backup.

Teaching/Parental Notes:

Age: 13 and up
Gender: Female
Sex: Discussed, not described
Violence: Death by strangulation, death by blunt force trauma, attempted murder by fire.
Inappropriate Language: The characters tend to censor themselves ("'We're censoring now?' 'Kyle says I have a mouth like a trucker.'") so they use Effing quite a bit. Jesus, Damn, Slut
Substance Use/Abuse: Smoking

Unanswered Questions:

- Does their cafeteria ONLY serve pizza sticks? ( )
  ZabetReading | Mar 31, 2013 |
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For my mom, whose tofu rice casserole is the most comforting food on the planet
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There are three things you never want to find in your boyfriend's locker: a sweaty jock strap, a D minus on last week's history test, and an empty condom wrapper.
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When sixteen-year-old Hartley Featherstone finds out that her boyfriend is cheating on her, she goes to his house to confront him and suddenly finds herself embroiled in a murder mystery.

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