Reading Level: Young Adult
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: HarperTeen (October 11, 2011)
Series: Books 1
Source: ARC provided by publisher
Cover: I'm in love with this cover. The bright blues eyes lined in black give me a feeling of "death" or "darkness" and since the first victim dies by head phones, I love that they spell out the title. Snappy and ironic, just like the main character!
First Sentence: "There are three things you never want to find in your boyfriend's locker: a sweaty jockstrap, a D minus on last week's history test and an empty condom wrapper."
Mini-Review: Deadly Cool is killer fun!
First I find out that my boyfriend is cheating on me. Then he’s pegged as the #1 suspect in a murder. And now he’s depending on me to clear his name. Seriously?
As much as I wouldn’t mind watching him squirm, I know that he’s innocent. So I’m brushing off my previously untapped detective skills and getting down to business. But I keep tripping over dead bodies and I’m still no closer to figuring out who did it. And what’s worse: all signs seem to point to me as the killer’s next victim.
I really need to pick a better boyfriend next time.
Deadly Cool is an addictive who-dun-it! I loved the mystery and the simplicity of a good old non-supernatural killer plot coupled with an amazing set of characters. Hartley (what an amazing name!) is a great voice whose inquistive nature and upbeat personality make for an awesome read. I also fell in love with her friends and found myself sucked into the story, trying to guess right along with Hartley who was behind all of the killings going on at her school.
You don't meet a girl like Hartley very much. A lot of heroines are a bit more brooding but you won't find much of that in Hartley. Sure, she's a girl scorned but she's determined to prove her ex-boyfriend's innocence because she knows he might be a jerk but he's no killer .I loved how upbeat Hartley was. You could see how frustrated she felt being the center of attention when all she really wanted to be doing was getting her hands deep and dirty into the mystery. Plus, her voice was a pleasure to read. A little sarcastic and a lot of inquistive, she's the perfect gal to lead the story.
But Hartley wouldn't be complete with her best friend. Those two were partner's in crime and they had each other's back. I tend to miss the great best friends in fiction and Sam was definitely a girl to fill that gap. No matter what kind of trouble Hartley was in, Sam was always right behind her to help her get out. I'm not sure if Sam could be a better friend because she wasn't in a paranormal story and didn't have to be left in the dark but I loved Sam and Hartley's relationship. The sexy all black boy next door to Hartley's boyfriend is also great. Full of sarcasm and completely endearing, Chase was a very fun distraction. I love that he gives Hartley room to explore on her own but is also willing to back her up even when she doesn't know she needs it.
The plot is full of fun twists and turns. Halliday gives the characters one lead and then twists it into something completley different. I'm usually pretty good at catching on and it took me a while to figure out the killer. Even though I did manage to figure it out a little before it was announced, I had no clue why they were hurting people. Hartley's snappy POV definitely helped when one trail lead to a dead end and her positive attitude made it an easy read.
Though the killer was fun, I'm not sure I bought the motivations which is partly why this one isn't a five. Another reason is because it isn't likely to leave a lasting impression. I love these characters though I'll definitely be looking forward to the next one!
As it turns out Deadly Cool is aptly named. Filled with great characters, an awesome lead and twisiting plot, Deadly Cool is a killer debut. You'll love every nail biting, who-dun-it second of it! If not, I'm sure the killer has some ipod head phones for you to borrow.