Reviewed by Grace Soledad

Hartley loves her boyfriend, Josh. They’ve been dating for ages. So why does her friend text her one morning, saying that her boyfriend was cheating on her…with the president of the chastity club? She can’t believe it until she finds evidence.

Sneaking into her boyfriend’s house to confront him, Hartley makes a shocking discover. Courtney – the girl who was cheating with him – dead on the floor, iPod earphones wrapped around her throat. After the discovery of her body, Josh is the number one suspect.

Josh begs Hartley to help him clear his name, and although she hates him, she knows that he isn’t guilty. Grudgingly, she agrees to help. But as Hartley puts her skills to the test, she keeps finding bodies. And soon she realizes that she may be next on the killer’s hit list.

I found Deadly Cool really amusing. While it took me a while to get into it, once I did, I really enjoyed the read. That said, Hartley didn’t strike me as a character who had a lot to say. She didn’t really think for herself that often, and I didn’t really like how she made decisions. Some of the things that she said rubbed me the wrong way and I got annoyed with her several times. And, I probably would have swooned over Josh if he hadn’t cheated on his girlfriend.

Overall, the writing was pretty good. It wasn’t very lyrical or rough, but was nice and solid. Descriptions were used well and clues were cleverly alluded to throughout the book. While I do feel that she could have developed the story a little more, I feel like Gemma Halliday could be one to watch.

I’m sure that many people will enjoy Deadly Cool – I know people for whom this book is right up their alley – but I had a tough time connecting with the characters and the story.

Rating: 2.5/5

Grace Soledad is a teenage bibliophile who runs the blog Words Like Silver. She is described as “antisocial” because she constantly has her nose buried in a book or a notebook. When not reading, she can be found dancing, writing, or at the beach.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by HarperTeen. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.