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A Skeleton In The Closet (For Reals)

Forever Young Adult Presents: A Review of Deadly Cool by Gemma Halliday

A Skeleton In The Closet (For Reals)

BOOK REPORT for Deadly Cool (Deadly Cool Book 1) by Gemma Halliday

Cover Story: Deadly UNcool
BFF Charm: Meh
Swoonworthy Scale: 3
Talky Talk: Easy Breezy
Bonus Factor: Mystery
Relationship Status: Bathroom Buddies

Cover Story: Deadly UNcool

I'm sensing a pattern here. I mean, yes, earbuds actually play a role in the story, but still. Hey publishers, wanna know how to date a book immediately? Slap an Apple product on the cover, then watch as said product is updated and remade two months later! Also, I'm not sure if that's supposed to be a dead girl's face, but adding photoshopped eyeliner doesn't make her look any better:

Also, this tagline: "First Love Is A Killer"... just, no.

The Deal:

If you found out that your boyfriend was cheating on you, then, on the same day, discovered the dead body of the other girl in his bedroom, would you:

A.  Believe in karma

B.  Issue a restraining order on your (ex-)boyfriend

C.  Never trust your own taste in men again

D.  Decide to find the killer yourself, because your (ex-)boyfriend must be innocent

If you chose D, then you're crazy, just like Hartley Featherstone. Because when she discovers the body of Courtney Cline in her boyfriend Josh's closet, she knows right away that Josh is innocent. At least, innocent of murder. She does have the self-respect to break up with him for cheating, but after he begs her for help, she vows to find the murderer herself. She and her bestie, Sam, begin investigating the secrets lurking in every corner of the school, from the marching band practice room to the Chastity Club, but it's not until Hartley reluctantly partners up with Chase, the hottie editor of the newspaper, that she finally finds some clues. But will she be able to piece them together before the killer strikes again?

BFF Charm: Meh

I like Hartley, but I don't feel close enough to her to offer up my charm. Even though I watched her go through life and death situations, I never got a glimpse of her depth. She's self-deprecating and funny, which are great elements to have in a friend, but I need to see more layers before I can decide if she's bestie material. Also, the fact that I want to face punch her for making some V. STUPID MISTAKES doesn't help.

Swoonworthy Scale: 3

On paper, Chase sounds totally like my type. He's smoldering and slightly mysterious and smart and has an enviable six-pack. But that's kind of the problem. Chase feels like a total cliche, and he's never able to gain enough dimension to leap off the page and into my fantasy. There is a great scene when Chase is undressing while Hartley is trapped under his bed, but while it was funny, it sadly did not lead to anything swoonworthy.

Talky Talk: Easy Breezy

Halliday writes in a straight up but slightly shallow style, making this book a super quick read. The characters are fun but lack depth, and the plot proceeded at satisfying pace. In other words, this is YA candy.

Bonus Factor: Mystery

Mystery is totally one of my top milk carton qualities, so I was excited to Nancy Drew it up along with Hartley. Unfortunately, I solved the crime WAY before she did, but whatevs. I'm a lot older than she is, which means I've got significantly more Law & Order episodes under my belt.

Casting Call:

Jane Levy as Hartley

I recently started watching Suburgatory, mostly because I read that Thomas McDonell would eventually be on it, and I really love Jane Levy, who plays the main character. She's sassy, pretty and super cute, and I think she would bring some needed depth to Hartley.

Ethan Peck as Chase

Tall? Handsome? Slightly rebellious? Hot? PAGING ETHAN PECK.

Relationship Status: Bathroom Buddies

Ok, now before you get all weirded out, let me explain. I don't mean that I need this book to walk me to the bathroom, because I'm not in kindergarten, kthx. But you know how girls all go to the restroom together so they can gossip and reapply lip gloss? I would totally do that with this book. We're not really friends, but we're amicable, and I really like getting the scoop from it every once in a while. It may be a bit shallow, but in small doses, it's cute and fun and chatty, plus I'm pretty sure that, in case of emergency, it would totally loan me a tampon.

FTC FULL DISCLOSURE: I received my review copy from Harper Teen. I received neither money nor cocktails for this review (damnit!). Deadly Cool is available now.

Wanna solve the mystery yrself? Leave a comment for the chance to win a copy of the book!

Posh Deluxe's photo About the Author: Sarah lives in Austin, TX, where she programs films at the Alamo Drafthouse. Sarah enjoys fancy cocktails, dance parties and anything that sparkles (except vampires).