This review was originally published to Bookish Blog
320 pages of pure fun and entertainment - Deadly Cool is a pretty cool book indeed. It's a teen murder mystery told with a surprising lightness and sprinkled with some seriously hilarious teenage humor. Fast-paced and riveting, this book will both chill you and make you laugh out loud!
The story kicks-off with Hartley discovering a condom wrapper in her boyfriend's locker (FYI, Hart is still a virgin). And I know what you're thinking, but well, it's not for the school project about reproduction ;) All of a sudden the rumors about Josh hooking up with the president of the Chastity club (Courtney Cline) are starting to make sense. Sorry to burst your bubble, Hart! Denial aside, she decides to confront her boyfriend and find out what the hell is going on. Together with her best friend, Sam, Hartley heads over to Josh's house, but instead of answers, she finds Courtney's dead body. Now, Josh might not be an exemplary boyfriend, but Harley's convinced that he's not a killer. A lying scumbag - yes, but he just doesn't have it in him to strangle someone with the cord of her iPod earbuds. But if Josh didn't kill the staying-a-virgin queen, then who did? And why?
I had a lot of fun reading this book. In fact, it took me just a few hours to finish it and these were hours well invested. It was a relaxing and enjoyable read. Now, I know this might sound weird. After all it's a murder mystery, there are dead bodies involved, a killer on the loose and at least a couple of really dangerous situations. But at the same time, the MC's narrative voice was extremely amusing and I was often cracking up at all the silly things she said/thought. It was so high-school-drama at times, it felt like reading some sort of dark and twisted version of Gossip Girl. And I do enjoy Gossip Girl. Throw in a vicious killer and it only gets better.
As much as I enjoyed the plot and the humor, I found it hard to connect with the main character. Maybe it's the personality. If I'd be the one betrayed by someone I loved and trusted, I wouldn't probably find it in me to try and help that person, I wouldn't protect him and risk my own life to prove his innocence. Hell no! There would be way more butt-kicking and less talking and tongue-biting involved! And a whole lot of really bad words, not necessarily censored. I really couldn't relate to Hartley being so understanding and forgiving. So OK she didn't quite forgive him, they didn't get back together, but still.. They guy cheated on you and then lied about it, show some real emotions, girl!
Chase, on the other hand, was a fantastic supporting character. Mysterious, hot, funny, a little bit on the darker side, with a light touch of eyeliner to make him even more unique and swoon-worthy! Sam's a great chick, too! She was a true friend, a little bit over-the-top drama queen (in a cute way) at times, but at the same time fully supportive of Hartley and ready to be her accomplice anytime she needed one. These three made a fab team and it was really fun to follow their adventures.
Overall, this was a deliciously entertaining read. One combining delirious humor and a seriously thrilling murder mystery. Gemma Halliday's writing was exquisite, the storyline she created - clever and brilliant. I enjoyed this book a lot and I'm really glad that this wasn't a stand-alone novel. Can't wait to read the sequel!