Publication Date: April 24, 2012
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...
I really enjoyed reading the first book in Gemma Halliday's Deadly Cool series, and couldn't wait to start this one. Halliday's writing is fun and fast paced and her characters are smart and engaging. There is just enough depth to her books to be taken seriously, but they are quirky and light-hearted enough to be good "junk-food" reading. Social Suicide came through for me on all of those points.
The mystery was just as twisty and fun this time as it was in Deadly Cool. Hartley was just as tenacious and smart-mouthed, and Chase was even more adorable. Sadly, though, this book didn't satisfy quite as much as the first. Deadly Cool felt fresh, whereas Social Suicide was occasionally a little too Deadly-Cool-Take-Two. It made sense in the context of the story for Hartley to keep secrets from Raley in Deadly Cool -- what with trying to clear Josh's name and all -- but it just made bad situations worse for absolutely no reason in Social Suicide. It was also reasonable to keep Chase at a distance in the first book; not so much here. I don't understand why he wasn't a little more involved. It all too often felt like a rehashing of ground already covered; and the plot and characters both suffered by not being allowed to move forward. Also, the references to pop culture and modern technology that were so seamlessly woven into the first book felt a bit more clumsy this go around -- more like loaded name dropping than casual references.
Even though it didn't quite live up to my expectations, I still had a great time reading Social Suicide. I will keep the series in mind for those times I want a light, fun read with a smart protagonist and a good who-dun-it. (Which I actually want quite often.)
"Geez, Mom, you make it sound like the police are always bringing me home." Which was hardly fair considering it had been at least a good fifteen hours since it had last happened. - pg 101
3.5 of 5 Stars
This review also appears on Goodreads; a review copy was provided by the publisher.