Review: Deadly Cool by Gemma Halliday

Deadly Cool (Deadly Cool #1) by Gemma Halliday
Young Adult Murder Mystery
Paperback, 303 pgs.
Published: Oct. 11th, 2011 by HarperTeen
Source: Gift

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. Seriously? Not cool.

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.

Deadly Cool was a rather fun murder mystery.  The fun mostly being Hartley and her fabulous personality and the snark her inner voice voices quite loudly.  While it was fun it had plenty of more intense moments and a lot of moments that I felt I would go insane if I didn’t figure out the murderer.  With life or death at stake there are some serious scenes but I do appreciate that the author kept this a bit on the lighter side and I found it much more enjoyable for that reason.

Now I wasn’t sure how I would feel about Hartley, I mean why would she want to help her ex boyfriend who cheated on her?  Well, the reason is quite simple and it’s because she’s a good person and knows he’s innocent.  So she becomes quite the Nancy Drew.  Armed with her best friend and the hottie Chase they track down clues as to who is responsible.  

Chase is everything I look for in a guy.  While there’s no real romance between Hartley and Chase you see the spark and the banter between them.  And when Hartley starts to notice he’s not hard on the eyes, well I started to see her point!  I definitely want to see if anything more develops between them (it better!) in the next book.  And Chase is going on my book boyfriend list right now!  I think sometimes just the spark is better then any actual romance.  Well, it’s part of the build up I guess because you really get behind them and hope that something will happen already.  You know, where you chant in your head “Kiss, kiss, kiss, kiss ALREADY!”  

Hartley was a great character and I really loved how devoted she was in finding the killer.  But I have to say that her devotion to finding him/her made her kind of stupid.  While in the end it didn’t ruin the book or anything I have to mention it because I was kind of screaming at her.  I mean, people are dying here and she seems to think she’s invincible.  Why would she totally disregard any common sense whatsoever?!  So that was the biggest downside to this book.  

But regardless of that one issue I had with Hartley I really enjoyed this one and it’s a series I’ll definitely have on my to-buy list.  I must have them on my shelves! 

4/5 stars

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  1. I really liked this one, too! Different than I expected but in a good way. And I liked that the main character was willing to help her ex even though he was a jerk.

  2. Sounds a little similar to the book Clarity, well at least in the sense of trying to prove someone’s innocence. I’m with you though, why would she want to help her cheating ex-boyfriend?

  3. I was a huge Nancy Drew fan when I was younger and I always wanted to be her. I know how irritating it can be when teens think they are invincible so I can understand your frustration. Unlike Hartley, it would take me a long time to decide to help out a ex-boyfriend who cheated on me. Don’t know if I could be the bigger person. Although if it would mean I could get Chase, then maybe I’ll reconsider. :)

  4. I think sometimes just the spark is better then any actual romance.

    Yes! I totally agree!I love a slow build up, it makes it mean more in the end when you’be been waiting and waiting for something to happen! As long as you don’t have to wait TOO long. Nothing worse than waiting three book for a single kiss:)Awesome review Candace!

  5. YAY! So glad you enjoyed this one too, I thought it was just a fun read. Yes, Hartley mistakenly believes she can figure out who the murderer is before the police do and makes some poor choices, but she did it in a way that made me laugh so I can let it slide:) Can’t wait to see what you think of book 2!

  6. I am kicking myself…I was going to read this one in the fall and then I saw some not so flattering reviews and so I shelved it. Since then I have read some reviews saying what fun this is…Now after reading yours, I want to read it! Sounds like a fun and entertaining read with a few laughs!

  7. I was always wanted to read this one but never really got to it!

    and.. I also want to feel this desperation of a NOT-Kiss and I want to shout KISS ALREADY :) Haha – loved your review!

  8. Candace! All you had to do was mention book boyfriend material, and I was sold. Though why don’t they have a real chance? *bites nails* I might have to wait until the next book is released to read this one, I don’t know if I could handle the anticipation.

  9. Oh, I’m so glad you liked it! I’ve always been curious about this one, but lately I’ve been hearing a whole lot of different opinions. o: I’m always glad to see people enjoying it! I think I’ll have to give in and add it to my to-read list officially. You just made me even more curious!

  10. Great review Candace! I love a good murder mystery. There just don’t seem to be enough of them in YA. So glad I bought this one a few weeks ago when I read another great review on it. I’ll have to dive into it soon!

  11. Wow, the eyes on that cover are freaky, especially with a title like “Deadly Cool”.

    But the concept sounds intriguing. Too bad I don’t already have a to-read list that is over 100 books long!

  12. Candace-

    What a great review! I know just what you mean about yelling at the characters when they are doing something stupid. I do that too, but they never listen!


  13. You got me at “Nancy Drew” and “spark”. You’re right- the spark is better than the romance!

    I love the cover for this, even though it has nothing to do with the synopsis, but I might actually pick it up as a light read.

  14. (So funny I just got a comment from you in my email when I was reading this!) I can’t wait to start this one I just got the 2nd book from another blogger and I was planning to read this one in the next few weeks. It just sounds FUN. I can deal with Hartley being stupid if the rest of the book is good. :) Lovely review Candace!

  15. Yes, Candace!! LOL I felt like I was chanting for Hartley and Chase to kiss too — they were so darn sweet together! x) And I agree that Hartley may have made some bad decisions while looking for the killer, but I guess that all good detectives have an invincibility complex haha! I adored her & her big heart so much that I enjoyed the book despite all that! :)

    Amazing review, Candace! <3

  16. I loved this book! I’m really glad you enjoyed it as well. I love chase as well, can I just have him for myself? I can’t wait to read social suicide :) thanks for the great review

  17. Great review! This is actually the first time I’ve read anything about this book. From the cover I thought it was some kind of paranormal story and wasn’t interested, but now I want to read it! I used to love Nancy Drew when I was younger. Nothing beats a good mystery and a little sleuthing =)

  18. I am all murder mysteried out right now but this one will go on my list to watch out for as time goes on. I know the second book is coming out soon so I might decide a that time whether this series is for me or not.

    I do love that you said the romance takes some time to grow. I really love books where there isn’t instant love, it is rare to find in YA lately. This is a major reason why I love Touch of Frost by Estep, because she makes you wait for it!

    I know in an adult series I’m reading I’m more like would you two just be together already, they have already kissed since it is adult. lol guess I’m chanting something more along the lines of an adult relationship. :)

    I’ll stop rambling now, thanks for the great, as always, review!

  19. So glad to hear you enjoyed it! I’m very much looking forward to the new one in April. :)

    Great review! I think the spark is exactly why I enjoyed it so much. That and Hartley’s snarky personality.

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