Friday, January 11, 2013

Book Review: Social Suicide by Gemma Halliday

Title: Social Suicide
Author: Gemma Halliday
# Of Pages: 277
Publisher: Harper Teen
Publication Date: April 24, 2012
Source: Library
Level: Young Adult
Rating: 4 Hearts


(From back of book)

TWITTERCIDE: [twi-ter-sid]:

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 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. . . .

My Verdict

After finishing the first book in the series, Deadly Cool, I wasn’t sure if I was going to continue on with the series or not. I decided to give the second book a go and ended up enjoying it more than the first!

While technically, Social Suicide is the sequel to Deadly Cool, it could also stand on its own. The author does a quick recap of everything that happened in the first book  (which is annoying if you just finished it) but for those who haven’t, I’m sure it’s nice. However, the recap isn’t even necessary because this book deals with a new mystery all its own.

I had some of the same issues with this one as I did with the first, which is the overly stereotyped high school characters, and the portrayal of Hartley’s mother as “Smother.” While other things improved, this one wasn’t as sexual or demeaning towards a certain stereotyped group.

I loved getting to know main characters Hartley, Chase, Sam, and even Kyle a little deeper as they worked together yet again to solve another school murder. One of my favorite things about these books is Hartley and Chases relationship. They are simply two friends who want to be more than friends but neither of them are going to make the first move. Hartley’s sarcasm and Chase’s wit make for some pretty awesome banter between the two.

Another thing I love is the mystery! Hartley sort of reminds me of a modern day Nancy Drew, who despite all the red flags and warnings will walk into any situation in search of the truth. Most of the times it’s like, seriously your going to go meet someone at midnight in a dark deserted park?!? But if you can get past stupid decisions like that, it’s easily enjoyable.

My one big complaint is that the ending was eerily similar to the ending of the first book.  Like really similar, to the point of disbelief. I just hope the next book takes a more unique approach to a different ending. One thing’s for sure, I can’t wait to see where Hartley and Chase’s relationship goes!


  1. Oh no this is the second book! I can't read your review just in case. I really like the cover and would love to read the series.

    1. Both books in the series have really eye catching covers!

  2. Seriously,"Electrocuted while Tweeting??" As I read your review it also reminded me a bit of the Nancy Drew books I cherished as a tween. Didn't sound like you were completely sold on this series. I always value your honesty!

    1. It's a unique death that's for sure. I miss the days of Nancy Drew! While I don't love everything about this new series it is one I will continue to follow. Thanks Pat, if nothing else I want my reviews to be honest.


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