Book Review of Deadly Cool by Gemma Halliday

Posted June 19, 2012 by Kara in Uncategorized / 16 Comments

Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: October 11th, 2011
Pages: 303
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Series: Deadly Cool #1
Source: I own a copy of this book.

Blurb: 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.

Review: This was fun! I really enjoyed it. There was a small bit of slut-shaming towards the end and I hate to have to do it, but I’m knocking off a star. This totally doesn’t mean I didn’t like it, because I did, and I loved Chase. But that type of thing is never okay with me and kind of ruined the experience. It’s a bit of a trigger for me, just like homophobia and the R word.

The book was hilarious though and I found myself laughing out loud on more than one occasion. It was like an updated version of Nancy Drew. Some parts slapstick, some parts crude, but ALWAYS fun. I definitely will be reading the next one. I’m not sure I can write a full review on this one because I really don’t have a lot to say.

Do I recommend it? I do! If you are looking for a fun piece of fluff that is also a thriller, this is your book. If you’re looking for what looks to be the beginning of a promising mystery series with a little romance thrown in, this is your book. Chase is dreamy and he will make you swoon. But the romance is definitely not the focal point of the story. If you are looking for a fun piece of literature that will make you laugh and want to befriend the protagonist? This is your book. 

Hartley’s voice was just fantastic and unique and I loved her(minus the one instance of slut-shaming). I’m totally reading Social Suicide as soon as I can get my hands on it.

Favorite scene:

So instead of spilling my destination, I nodded. Slowly. “Yes. Yes, I am going to class.”

He grinned. “Dude, you are the worst liar on the planet. Seriously, we got to get you some lessons or something.”

I rolled my eyes. “Whatever.” I pushed past him, heading toward the front of the school.

“So, if you’re not going to class, what are you doing?” he persisted, following a step behind me. 


“Where are you going?”


“Need a ride to nowhere?”

“No!” Even if I did, I wasn’t ready to take my life in my hands by riding with him twice in one day. “Look, just because we’re both investigating this thing doesn’t mean we have to be joined at the hip.”

Chase stopped following me. He gave me a long look. Then grinned again. 

“Okay. Fine. I’ll catch you later, then.”

“Fine. Good. Catch ya.” I turned to go again. 

And heard him call over my shoulder, “Say hi to Josh for me!”


To order a copy of Deadly Cool from, click here: Deadly Cool (Hartley Featherstone).

16 responses to “Book Review of Deadly Cool by Gemma Halliday

  1. I really wanted to like this one, and the cover is gorgeous, but it just didn’t do it for me. I didn’t believe any of the characters and their actions I found to be pretty unbelievable. Maybe I was just in a slump. I’m happy you enjoyed it though! Hartley is pretty funny.

  2. Amy

    Great review!! I have had this book since right after it came out and I still haven’t read it yet. I really do need to get on some of the millions of books I keep buying and not reading. Lol!!

    • Ugh. I know. I’ve been pretty good at getting through some of my own tbr pile this year. The problem is, I keep buying me and the pile keeps growing. It will never end and I should just get used to it now.

  3. That is my favorite scene as well. Definitely cracked me up how Chase could always read Hartley, even when she tried her best to lie. The whole book was so much fun and I definitely need to get Social Suicide.

  4. Slut-shaming is a big turn-off, but this one sounds so light and adorable that I think I may have to check it out. It’s not often that you find a hilarious, fluffy piece of murder mystery. Also, I kind of adore that scene. And I suspect my adoration would be even greater if I read it in context. I will have to find myself a copy. Great review!

    • It is a wonderfully fluffy read. It’s hilarious. I think as long as you are prepared for the slut-shaming that’s coming towards the end, you won’t be all that mad. If I had prepared myself, it would have been better.

      I love that scene. It’s one of the MANY cute moments between Hartley and Chase.

  5. Ha, I loved the scene you shared, they sound like great characters! I haven’t read much about this, I think I thought it was a mermaid book, so I’m glad to find out that it’s NOT and now I want to read it!

  6. Have this one on my book shelf and it sounds like a great book to read this summer while I’m working on my tan! Thanks for a great, to the point review!

  7. I just finished reading this one. I saw your slut shaming update after I had read it. I usually try to catch these things in books ( I totally caught it in Unbecoming of Mara Dyer) but, I missed it in this one. Can you explain ?

    • It’s not anything major, but it comes toward the end. During a part of the big reveal about the villain, Hartley shouts “slut.” Not a big thing, but I had to note it because I enjoyed the rest of the book so much.

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