Social Suicide by Gemma Halliday Review

Monday, April 23, 2012

Title: Social Suicide
Author: Gemma Halliday
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publish Date: April 24, 2012
Genre: YA, Mystery
Pages: 272
Source: Publisher
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 is back with a mystery more dastardly than ever, and she’s going to need to draw on all of her media-savvy, her wits and her crime-solving prowess to solve this one. Law enforcement is convinced that Sydney Sanders’ death was accidental, but Hartley’s not so sure. Lurking in the corners of her mind, Hartley has an idea what might have happened, and she’s determined to uncover it at all costs. But Hartley’s got more on her hands than ever before. She’s working for the paper, keeping up with school and then there’s Chase, who might be exactly what she wished for, in all his bad-boy glory.

Social Suicide is the much-anticipated sequel of author Gemma Halliday’s debut novel, Deadly Cool. Running in the same vein as its predecessor, we’re given a quirky heroine with all the flaws and faults of friends we might find in real life, giving us a realistic take on a crazy murder-mystery ride. Unlike most murder mysteries though, this series has a way of turning them into uproariously hilarious tales that are cringe-worthy, biting and just a touch snarky to whet your appetite for a fun and entertaining read. Heck, if I was murdered, I’d want Hartley on my case.

I remember how completely blown away I was when I read book one. It was witty, didn’t take itself too seriously and it had this protagonist that just had me laughing the entire time. With Social Suicide, we are treated to Hartley’s antics, yet again, and I have to say it’s no less of a treat than before. Her offbeat character voice and subtly ironic humour really complements the layered mystery that, while serious in nature, is still engrossing and entertaining to become involved in. Unlike the first installment, we have a new hint of romance this time around, and it’s every bit as fun and flirtatious as the mystery, itself. Hartley and Chase have an incredibly fun and offbeat romance that truly adds a layer of sweetness to Social Suicide. Hartley’s confusion regarding Chase’s inability to commit to one viewpoint on a relationship was honest and charming, and I’m sure plenty of teen girls can relate. The true strength of Social Suicide lies within the awkward humour that, at times, feels like a nail-biter, but at other times has you wheezing with laughter. Above all else, Hartley’s not the best mystery-buster, but her attempts make us laugh without fail. Just like before, Social Suicide is a teen read, quick and painless – offering you fun without any strings attached. It’s almost like a take it or leave it approach.

Overall, though I think book one was stronger and funnier than Social Suicide, this was still an entertaining and fast-paced sequel – one you can easily finish in a single evening. I give it a 3.5 out of 5, and I highly recommend it to all fans of YA, especially those who enjoy mysteries, touches of romance and humour.

I received this book free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This, in no way, affected my opinion or review of this book.


  1. Haven't you read this book before? Huh, I was so sure of it..maybe it was a book that was really similar 

  2. Ooh this is such a fun series! I also though book 1 was much more funny I didn't laugh out loud with this one like I did the first. But it was still fun and I love Hartley and the Twittercide was clever. Loved the review chick!

  3. I really enjoyed the "offbeat character voice" of Hartley in the first book and will definitely have to pick this one up. Sad that it's not as awesome as the first but I'm sure I'll still like it!

  4. I really enjoyed Hartley's character in the first book, and while I wasn't exactly head over heels in love with the first book, I still really liked it overall. I'm definitely willing to give Social Suicide a shot, even if it wasn't quite as good as Deadly Cool.

  5. Too bad it didn't live up to the first book. I still have to read it. It's been in my tbr pile forever. But glad to hear the mystery is still fun!


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