Thursday, April 5, 2012
"Social Suicide" by Gemma Halliday
Age Group: Young Adult
Twittercide [twit-er-sahyd]: 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 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...
Hartley Featherstone has all the luck. Hot on the trail of her first big story for the Herbert Hoover Homepage, she ends up finding popular Sydney Sanders face down, in her pool, electorcuted. All Hartley wanted was her big interview with Sydney, so she could crack the cheating scandal and impress Chase with her amazing detective skills. Now someone else is dead, she still doesn't know how the girls got the test answers and she has to deal with Detective Raley, again. When he refuses to believe that Sydney's death was anything but suicide, there is really only one thing for Hartley to do. Solve it herself. With the help of Chase and her best friend Sam, who has dubbed Sydney's murder, Twittercide, they are going to get to the bottom of this. Finding out who's behind a high school cheating ring, has never been so important.
I love Hartley, so much. I mean she keeps ending up in the most awful situations, but no matter what she always manages to find the humor and keep herself from getting pulled under. She's so darn snarky and also quite clever. I also like the fact that she is girly, likes cute clothes and talks about boys with her best friend, but she's not high maintenance of whiny, which I can't stand in a main character. Hartley's best friend, Sam, cracks me up so much. She is extremely enthusiasitc, or dramatic as the case may be, about almost everything and it brings about so many amusing moments. She's so focused on getting the best grades so she can get into the college of her dreams, but she lets herself be talked into some crazy situations to help out Hartley. She's a great best friend. And there is Chase. He is such a smart ass and I love that about him. Hartley's has definitely got a crush on him, but he's so hard to read that she's pretty sure they are just friends. He plays the part of the bad boy for school, but I was on the school newspaper and I know that any guy who is so passionate about it, isn't really a bad boy at heart. Of course, in my opinion, guys who are on the school newspaper are so much cooler than bad boys. I also like his protectiveness over Hartley, whether or not he has actual feelings for her, he is always trying to look out for her. Even when she doesn't think she needs it.
Hartley always stumbles onto the worst possible situations, but I love following her into them and watching her figure out what happened. I feel like there should be so many more teen detectives in the world, because they do it with so much more humor and attitude. The drama of high school, mixed with the drama of mystery, are a perfect combination and make for an extremely entertaining read. Gemma Halliday writes a great balance of crazy, scary stuff happening and humorous characters getting to the bottom of it. I absolutely adore this series and these characters. I can't wait to see what she has in store for us next. I'd recommend this series for all people, it's smart, funny and full of heart.