Social Suicide by Gemma Halliday

SocialSuicideTitle: Social Suicide

Author: Gemma Halliday

Genre: Mystery

Publisher: HarperTeen

Pages: 277

Rating: 4/5

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…

Like its predecessor, Social Suicide is a fast, fluffy read, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

The protagonist, Hartley, seems to have changed somewhat from the first book. She no longer seems like an overly-stereotypical teenager who’s written by an adult who apparently doesn’t remember how teenagers act, let alone how they talk. Her best friend can still be a bit too much, but Hartley seems a bit more grounded, especially when she’s busy trying to solve the latest murder to hit her school.

The mystery was pretty interesting as well. There were plenty of suspects, and even though I figured out who the killer was before Hartley and the others did, it wasn’t too soon that it was overly obvious and frustrating. It made sense, too, which is always helpful when it comes to making a realistic-seeming mystery.

There was romance, too, of course – this is a YA book, after all. Hartley had plenty of embarrassing moments with her love interest, Chase, normally coming about when she misinterpreted things. Some of the incidents are a bit over-the-top, of course, and there were certainly some eye-rolling moments, but I still found myself enjoying this book, if only because of it’s nice to read fluffy, fun books every once in a while. I’m also interested in what happens to these characters, something I’m not sure I would be able to say back when I read the first book.

Sure, there were some things that seemed unlikely and the characters can seem like stereotypical teenagers a little too often, but overall I liked this book. Right now, I haven’t seen anything about a new book, but hopefully that’ll change, since this series seems like it has the potential to keep growing and becoming better.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars


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