Sunday, September 23, 2012

Review: Social Suicide by Gemma Halliday

Title: Social Suicide
Author: Gemma Halliday
Series: Deadly Cool #2
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: April 24, 2012 
ISBN13:  9780062003324
Format: paperback
Genre: YA, contemporary, urban fiction, mystery
Source: borrowed from library

Rating: 6.5/10

Twittercide: the killing of one human being by another while the victim is in the act of tweeting.

Call me crazy, but I figured writing for the "Herbert Hoover High Homepage" would be a pretty sweet gig. Pad the resume for college applications, get a first look at the gossip column, spend some time ogling the paper's brooding bad-boy editor, Chase Erikson. But on my first big story, things went . . . a little south. What should have been a normal interview with Sydney Sanders turned into a me discovering the homecoming queen-hopeful dead in her pool. Electrocuted while Tweeting. Now, in addition to developing a reputation as HHH's resident body finder, I'm stuck trying to prove that Sydney's death wasn't suicide.

I'm starting to long for the days when my biggest worry was whether the cafeteria was serving pizza sticks or Tuesday Tacos . . .

Social Suicide is yet another contemporary novel I genuinely like to read. The cool thing about it is that even if you read it out of order, it doesn't contain spoilery things to ruin your reading experience.

I liked the cover of Social Suicide much better. Not that Deadly Cool's cover's bad, but I like this one a bit more because you can actually see the cover model's hair, which makes it look a little less alien-esque. Still, I love the font and how it corresponds to the killer's method of murder. In Deadly Cool they were the earbuds. In Social Suicide it was electrocution in water, hence the exposed wiring. It was great how the pop colours on the eyes and first word were the same. Although I still find that the way the cover model's face is portrayed doesn't match the bubbly feel of the book.

Hartley did not let me down. Although it was a bit irritating how she literally just put down the authorities' idea of Sydney's death as a suicide and jumped straight to homicide, she was still that amazingly adorable character I'd love to be, with the kind of sweet but very mouthy, and just a little bit off her rocker, making her just so awkwardly hilarious. Two of the possibly criminally cute quotes I below is just one of the many slightly odd thoughts that run through her mind.
I, Hartley Grace Featherstone, had swapped spit with HHH's resident Bad Boy.
I don't believe that I've ever heard anyone using "swapping spit" as a reference to kissing. Ever. It's actually so . . . so . . . *tries to think of apt description* . . . much like a fifth-grader's way of describing a kiss. It wouldn't work with most teenagers, but Hartley pulls it off.
And then he patted me on the head and walked away.

Actually patted me. Like one might pat his cocker spaniel.
Did she just compare herself to a cocker spaniel? Like, one of the most adorbs canine species ever?
What did I say? Absolutely adorable.
And Chase? He's still . . . Chase-ish. He's supposed to have the bad boy vibe but I don't feel it. He's a completely normal dude who dresses in black. He's sweet alright, I give him that, but I miss the days in Deadly Cool when he and Hartley had this angsty thing (alright, not that angsty) going on. Now it's more like this thing where Hartley thinks about him all the time, and nothing gets done.

Social Suicide isn't really a plot-driven story. It's the kind of short and sweet story where things just automatically fall into place. I did not choose to read it because of the amazing plot (although the twist in the end was quite unexpected), but instead of Hartley's humour and wit.

The story may not be a perfect one, but Hartley is still nevertheless a really cute character. If anyone'd like a short, witty contemporary read, this is it.

If you like this, you might like:
Pretty Crooked by Elisa Ludwig
52 Reasons to Hate My Father by Jessica Brody
The Best Night of Your (Pathetic) Life by Tara Altebrando
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