Deadly Cool Blog Tour – The Top 5 Things Gemma Halliday Loved About High School

Deadly Cool sounds super cool, who doesn’t agree with me?! Here’s a little bit on the book:

First I find out that my boyfriend is cheating on me. Then he’s pegged as the #1 suspect in a murder. And now he’s depending on me to clear his name. Seriously?
As much as I wouldn’t mind watching him squirm, I know that he’s innocent. So I’m brushing off my previously untapped detective skills and getting down to business. But I keep tripping over dead bodies and I’m still no closer to figuring out who did it. And what’s worse: all signs seem to point to me as the killer’s next victim.
I really need to pick a better boyfriend next time.

Thanks so much for having me! On this leg of my DEADLY COOL blog tour I’m
talking about my life as a teen. While writing DEADLY COOL I had to tap into my
younger self which, oddly enough, wasn’t all that hard to do. I guess my immaturity is
closer to the surface than I thought. ;) But in doing so I did get to relive some of my own
teenage moments.

My characters in DEADLY COOL attend Herbert Hoover High School in San Jose, CA.While this school is fictional, I based certain parts of it on my own high school and the parts I loved, and didn’t love quite so much, about my teenager years.

Top five things I loved about High School:

1. The social scene. There was always some activity going on at school to participate in, whether it was a dance, a football game, an after school theater production, or a community event. I loved that I never spent a Friday night bored during high school and never had to look far for something fun to do.

2. The campus. I feel very fortunate that I went to school in a historic building that looked nothing like some of the prison-esque schools I’ve seen. Not only that, but the campus was full of tress and sprawling lawns. I loved the look my school so much that I’ve used the same campus and grounds as the model for the school in

3. Freedom. Unlike middle school, as soon as we got to high school we suddenly had freedom. Parents dropped us off places, let us walk places, or even – my fav – ride the bus places by ourselves. Eventually the lucky few among us had cars, but even as car-less freshmen there was a huge sense of freedom that we experience right from the start of high school.

4. Theater class. I’ll admit it – I was a bit of a theater geek. But any class where I can dance around like a crazy person and still get an A is cool with me.

5. Prom. I know this kinda falls under “the social scene” but it’s so big I think it deserves its own entry. My senior prom was beyond awesome. Instead of being at our school gym, our class rented out a hotel in San Francisco. We all traveledup there by car, partied the night away, then stayed in hotel rooms (about 20 of us per room – the poor housekeeping staff the next morning!) for a couple of hours sleep before spending the next day sightseeing. SO much fun.

So, what was your favorite part of high school? What did (or do!) you love about the

(P.S. Join me at my next tour stop where I’ll be talking about my least favorite parts
of high school!)


Gemma Halliday is the award winning author of the bestselling High Heels mysteries and Hollywood Headlines mysteries. Her first young adult book, DEADLY COOL debuts Oct. 11th from HarperTeen.

Find Gemma Halliday on her: WebsiteFacebook – Killer Fiction Blog
The next tour stop is on I EAT WORDS – be sure to stop by for more fun!


Hafsah Faizal is a YA author, designer, and blogger. Her designs have graced the sites of New York Times bestselling authors, bloggers, and more. She resides in Texas, with her family.



  1. Reply

    Lauren M

    October 10, 2011

    Wow, Gemma's senior prom sounds insane! That's so cool! High school wasn't quite as awesome for me (my school didn't have much in the way of fun things for us to do after hours), but I still loved it. :)

  2. Reply


    October 10, 2011

    Wow I think this author had a pretty great high school experience. The campus and prom sound amazing. I agree that having more freedom was one of my favorite parts of high school. I look forward to seeing what she didn't love about high school tomorrow.

  3. Reply

    Mary @ BookSwarm

    October 10, 2011

    Lucky girl! High school was NOT a fave experience of mine, though I did like working on the newspaper and taking pictures. Kind of wish our prom had been even half as cool as hers!

  4. Reply

    Melissa (i swim for oceans)

    October 11, 2011

    I wish I'd enjoyed high school! Sadly, I was a swimmer outside of school and spent most of my time training. Gemma's experience sounds rad though!

  5. Reply

    Linda McDonald

    October 12, 2011

    My favorite part about high school was getting to hang out with my friends all the time….in classes, at lunch, after school, etc. Like you mentioned with the social scene, there was always something to do.