Twittercide [twit-er-sahyd]: the killing of one human being by another while the victim is in the act of tweeting.
I'm a really big fan of wordplay--especially when it's smart and funny. And seriously, "Twittercide"? Wow! The back cover of Gemma Halliday's second novel tells you everything in that one word. With Social Suicide, Halliday manages once again to keep this mystery series current and put a new spin on the teenage detective plot.
When Sydney Sanders is caught cheating with test answers artfully written across her fingernails, the popular girl is suspended faster than you can say "homecoming queen." As a reporter, it's Hartley's job to get all the facts. Even if that means setting up a secret meeting with Sydney, who's been tweeting about the injustice of her suspension ever since. It should've been easy: Go to Sydney's house, get her side of the story, find out where she got the answers. Simple, right? But when Hartley discovers Sydney's dead body, lying face down in her pool, she knows it wasn't suicide. Why would Sydney set up an interview, only to kill herself? And more importantly: Who would want to stop her from talking enough to commit Twittercide?
This series has a lot going for it. First, I haven't seen many YA mysteries that are willing to poke fun at themselves. This one does just that. I mean, yes, Twittercide is a serious crime, a girl did get killed. But the beauty of this series is that even with all the humor you don't forget the seriousness of what happened, and you have an intelligent MC who's out to find the truth.
Which brings me to the best thing about the Deadly Cool novels: Hartley.
This is a girl you'd want to hang out with. Like I said, she's smart, hilarious, and awkward. And the awkward is why we love Hartley (or at least why I do J).
Chase Erikson may (or may not) have asked Hartley out enough times in this book that it made me cringe. After he asks her to go to a football game, Hartley gets all dressed up--only to end up on a stakeout, knee deep in mud and bushes. And, of course, Chase notices her Jasmine perfume. Awkward! Then he invites her for pizza, which again she dresses up for, and again turns out to be a non-date. Poor, poor Hartley. Ah, I felt for her.
She's exactly the type of heroine young girls can look up to, yet still relate to on a human level. Can't tell you how refreshing that is.
The mystery was good as well. There were enough potential suspects in the murder of Sydney Sanders that it kept you guessing. Although, again I called this one pretty early, I'll say that it could've gone several different ways. I just happened to guess right J The writing has a great flow; it's quick and snappy and never boring. And the books are always the right length.
Like with Deadly Cool, I'd recommend this for sure!! Can't get enough of Hartley and Chase <3