Author: Gemma Halliday
Series: Deadly Cool #1
Book Depository | Indie Bound | Goodreads
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 is one of those light, easily read YA novels that always seem to go down quickly and disappear from your mind a week after you're done. Hartley Featherstone (I know, what a name) refuses to do that, and remains a kick-ass, smart heroine for the YA set. While teen mysteries always have to take some liberties when it comes to teenagers solving murders and the like (it wouldn't be a great book if they actually told the police what they knew and let them solve it, would it?), it doesn't feel like the adults are made out to be idiots, nor are the teens super sleuths after working only a few hours.
Hartley is an incredibly likeable protagonist, and it's great to see the feelings she's at war with as she investigates a murder on behalf of her cheating ex-boyfriend. She's never stupid about it, nor does she immediately fall into instaluv with the bad boy who helps her out. Everything is balanced and makes for a read without any of the YA trappings that annoy me to no end.
The mystery itself is pretty well done, and at the end of the day I found myself wishing I could be as awesome as Hartley is.