Note: It’s probably a good idea to read Deadly Cool before reading the sequel, Social Suicide. (It’s not absolutely critical, but I would highly recommend it.)
I read Deadly Cool, the first book in this series by Gemma Halliday, a couple of weeks ago, and I immediately ordered the second, Social Suicide. (It didn’t hurt that Amazon had it on sale as a bargain book!) Well, the book arrived at my house last week, and, as soon as I finished up with a couple of other books I was reading, I made the time to dive into Social Suicide. Just like Deadly Cool, this second installment is a bit of brain candy. It’s a murder mystery, but it also gives readers a glimpse into the mind of a teenage girl who seems to attract trouble wherever she goes. I think a lot of readers will be able to relate to that along with the main character’s distinctive voice.
Hartley Featherstone, after having solved the mystery of who killed tried to frame her cheating ex-boyfriend, is attempting to put her investigative skills to use by writing for the school paper. (She’s also hoping to figure out her rather complicated relationship with Chase, the paper’s editor.) Her current assignment involves writing a piece on a cheating scandal that booted a popular girl, Sydney Sanders, off the homecoming court. Should be an easy enough story, right? Well, “easy” doesn’t seem to apply to Hartley’s life. Almost immediately, this story embroils Hartley–once again–into a saga of intrigue, corruption, danger, and death…
Hartley was supposed to have a simple interview with Sydney. What she discovered, however, was this homecoming hopeful face-down in a pool. Everyone seems to think Sydney’s death is a suicide (because of the cheating scandal and possible boyfriend/best friend drama), but Hartley isn’t convinced. After all, who commits suicide in the middle of a tweet? It’s up to Hartley and her crew of friends to prove that this Twittercide was in fact murder. But how? And who had motive to kill Sydney?
Suspects–and potential motives–abound, and Hartley quickly becomes ensnared in yet another mystery. Can Hartley get out of this mess while holding onto the story of a lifetime? Will she be able to prove to everyone that Sydney was murdered? How? Who could have done this? Why would anyone murder one of the most popular girls in school? The answers to these questions will shock everyone, and even Hartley will be surprised when the truth is finally revealed. So surprised that she never sees the danger to her own life until it’s staring her in the face. Unravel the mystery when you read Social Suicide by Gemma Halliday!
I enjoyed this sequel just as much as I did Deadly Cool…even though I predicted who the villain was pretty early on. Unless you’re really paying attention, though, the clues as to the bad guy’s identity could escape you. It’s not exactly obvious…which makes Social Suicide a pretty good mystery.
Teens and adults alike will enjoy the mystery aspect of the book, but readers may also relate to Hartley’s boy drama, fashion woes, and dealing with her mom reentering the dating world. (Some of this was cringe-worthy even to me.) Even though some of Hartley’s antics stretch the bounds of reality–particularly regarding what a typical teen can get away with–readers will find her totally relatable. She has problems and flaws, but she keeps on keeping on, often with humor and a bit of sass.
According to Gemma Halliday’s website (which is now working, thank goodness), we can expect more adventures with Hartley and company late this year. The third book in this series is Wicked Games. I know nothing about this book beyond the title. Hopefully, details will be up on the author’s website soon.