Synopsis: 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.
I purchased the Kindle version of Deadly Cool on a whim when Amazon had it on sale for 2.99. This is the second book I’ve gotten from the Harper Steals and Deals sale (the first being Unearthly) and I have to say,these steals have yet to disappoint.
The book opens right into the plot and instantly took me into the world. When Hartley finds the corpse of a popular girl in her ex-boyfriend’s house, she finds herself trying to solve the murder and clear her ex’s name.
Deadly Cool is similar to a cozy mystery, but with a modern high school face lift and pop culture sprinkled narrative. Having a murder mystery driven plot was an interesting take on the contemporary genre.
Halliday does an excellent job of even taking characters who should be forgettable and adding extra dimensions to make them feel real. Not one of the characters fell particularly flat to me.
Being set mostly in high school, Deadly Cool deals with the usual cliques and mean girls, but does so in a believable way that moves the story forward.
The male counterpart of this novel is the editor of the school paper and ‘bad boy’ Chase. I put that in quotes because he didn’t really come off as the bad boy to me. I mean he wasn’t exactly breaking laws and hearts throughout the story. I did how the relationship between Chase and Hartley evolved through the book and I’m excited to see where it goes.
I get the impression that each book in the series will have it’s own individual plot, which is a change from most YA series.While it’s not overly complex, this book was a solid and enjoyable read. I think it’s because Halliday has a lot of experience under her belt with her bestselling High Heel Mysteries series for adults.
The Deadly Cool series is a fun narrative with a great plot and one I will continually come back to when I’m looking for a light YA novel.
I’m a lifelong reader who started blogging about YA books in 2011 but now I read in just about every genre! I love YA coming of age stories, compelling memoirs and genre bending SFF. You can find me talking all things romance at Romance and Sensibility.