Happy belated 4th of July! It was a quiet holiday for me. After all the stress and sadness of the last few weeks, I've been taking it easy. The puppies and I went for frozen yogurt and watched a few neighborhood fireworks on our way home. Koko and Scrabble are scaredy cats when it comes to the loud booms and crackles, so we didn't stay out for too long. Still, it was fun to see the sky light up all around us.
In keeping with our fun beach read theme around here, this week I'm talking about DEADLY COOL by Gemma Halliday. There's nothing like a quick, entertaining murder mystery when the weather's hot! My friend Shari recommended this one, and I'm so glad she did because it was exactly what I was in the mood for.
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.
This book has a great premise, lots of twists and turns, fun characters, and a FABULOUS main character. My favorite element is definitely Hartley's voice...she sounds authentic as a teenager and has a great sense of humor. The author didn't shy away from pop culture references, and I appreciated the "here and now" feeling of the story and the characters.
Each of the supporting characters is well-drawn and interesting...and it was fun to see them all through Hartley's eyes. A few of them are super cute too. ;-) I particularly liked "bad boy" Chase...hot hot hot!
I had a few minor issues with the murder/mystery elements, but nothing significant enough to take away from my enjoyment of Hartley and her story. I'm looking forward to reading the next book in the series, SOCIAL SUICIDE. If you're looking for a snappy, entertaining summer read with snark and sexy boys, this book is for you!