Here's the summary from Goodreads: 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.
What I Liked: 1) The humor! Miz Halliday definitely knows how to find the funny in a murder mystery. That's honestly the first thing that struck me about Deadly Cool, that this was not going to be a typical, dark, murder mystery book. MC Hartley's amateur sleuthing adds a lot of humor, but the reactions of all the of the high school kids, from overdramatics to nonchalance! 2) Hartley. The new Nancy Drew, anyone? As the MC, Hartley has a big role to fill, and she does it well. She's got a big personality, and enough compassion in her to try and clear her ex-boyfriend's name even after learning he cheated on her. She was easy to follow along with, and I think her maturity level fit right in with her age. Some books it seems like the characters act either too young or too old for their age, but that's not so with this story. I was glad to see that. 3) The mystery. I loved following Hartley around as she looked for clues to try and solve this mystery. It was kind of like...Nancy Drew + Pretty Little Liars (which we all know is my guilty pleasure) all rolled into one. There is a lot going on, and even I wasn't sure how it was going to turn out. 4) Chase. Okay, he couldn't be the bad guy, he just couldn't! Chase was a fun character to get to know because he's kind of the brooding bad boy type, so he doesn't really speak a lot. When he does talk he has some smart things to say, but it's his actions that really give away his real character. Heh. You'll know what I mean when you read it! 5) The ending. Loved the way it turned out. I wasn't expecting the bad guy to be the bad guy, but I completely knew once it was revealed why! Plus it left an opening for us to return to Hartley and her snooping!
What I Didn't Like: Josh. The boyfriend. Or, ex-boyfriend as it is. Geez, could you be any more shallow? He's a jerk. But it's okay, because it cleared the way for me to like Chase. :)
Overall thoughts: Deadly Cool is a light, and fun read with feisty characters and an engaging plot. The mystery will keep you in suspense even as you're laughing through some of the funnier antics. Hartley's determination drives she and her friends to keep pushing to solve the murder, and her compassion keeps her working to clear Josh's name even after he's been such a jerk. This is a perfect read for those of you who enjoy murder mysteries, but are looking for something that isn't going to drag you down into the depths of despair by it's heavy darkness! Summer would be a great time to check this one out!
My Rating: 4 shots