Aug 14, 2013

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black Review

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black
Release Date: September 3, 2013
Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers; 430 pages
Tana lives in a world where walled cities called Coldtowns exist. In them, quarantined monsters and humans mingle in a decadently bloody mix of predator and prey. The only problem is, once you pass through Coldtown’s gates, you can never leave.

One morning, after a perfectly ordinary party, Tana wakes up surrounded by corpses. The only other survivors of this massacre are her exasperatingly endearing ex-boyfriend, infected and on the edge, and a mysterious boy burdened with a terrible secret. Shaken and determined, Tana enters a race against the clock to save the three of them the only way she knows how: by going straight to the wicked, opulent heart of Coldtown itself.

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown is a wholly original story of rage and revenge, of guilt and horror, and of love and loathing from bestselling and acclaimed author Holly Black.

Holly Black is an author that I can rave about for days.  I have read and reviewed a few books by her.  I have also had the pleasure of meeting her on quite a few occasions.  I consider her to be a personal hero of mine.  I admire the way she creates these new worlds in her books, and characters that I have grown to love and adore.  At BEA this year, I made it a priority to pick up her latest book The Coldest Girl in Coldtown.  

This book was really good.  It's the type of book that makes you wish that there were more hours in the day, so you can read more.  It's just so captivating.  But unfortunately for me the week that I read this book, I was so incredibly busy with real life, that I had to keep putting it down.  I would try to force myself to stay awake a little bit longer to keep reading, and actually fell asleep while reading a few times.  Most people fall asleep while reading when a book bores them, but it's actually the opposite for me.  It's usually me doing everything to stay awake, but my body just collapsing on me.

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown is an extension of the short story of the same name that Holly Black wrote a few years ago.  I actually did not read the short story, but after finishing the book I am gonna to hunt down a copy and read it, so I can compare the two.  The novel is a modern take on vampires.  Now it's been awhile since I've read a vampire book.  But this book reminded me how captivating and seductive vampires can be, and also how dangerous they are.  There is a perfect balance of human fascination with vampires and a nerve wracking fear.

The novel starts off with a seventeen year old girl named Tana waking up in a bathroom at a party to discover that everyone at the party has been slaughtered by vampires.  Scared and confused as to whether the vampires are still in the house, she tries to plan her escape and discovers that her ex boyfriend Aiden is still alive and tied to a bed next to a vampire who is wrapped in chains.  Tana quickly discovers that Aiden has been bitten by a vampire, and now has the vampire infection in his system.

The vampire aspect is very interesting.  When someone is bitten by a vampire, the infection is called going "cold."  In order for someone with the vampire infection to become a vampire, you have to drink human blood.  You can choose to fight the infection, by trying to sweat it out for 88 days, but from the way it was described it is an extremely painful and horrendous process.

The vampire that Tana meets that is locked in chains is Gavriel.  Gavriel is totally swoonworthy.  I try not to gush and fangirl while writing reviews, but even as I am writing this review I am grinning like a school girl just thinking about him.  He is the perfect mix of danger and seduction.  He is also a little crazy, but he's the type of crazy that I enjoy reading about.  As you read the novel, you learn more about him and you start to understand him.  I loved watching his relationship with Tana grow.  Tana was such a pleasure to read about.  She's such a strong and driven character.  She puts her love ones before herself, and fights for what she believes in.

The human obsession with the vampires in this book is very believable.  Teenagers and anyone who feels like they just don't belong being obsessed with them just seems so realistic.  Adolescence is a time where you just want to fit in.  And here is a community where it seems you will be accepted.  But of course nothing is easy.  It is such a good example how there are no quick fixes.  That everything you see on tv, is not what it seems.  Vampires live in what's called "Coldtowns" and the more glamorous parts of vampire life are broadcast on television.  I love how modern this story is.  It's the first vampire novel I've read since social media has made a huge impact in everyday life.  And social media is very present in this book.

I urge fans of paranormal novels to read The Coldest Girl in Coldtown!  It's such an amazing read and is definitely one of the best books I have read this year!


  1. I recently read this one and absolutely loved it as well! I loved Gavriel!

  2. Gina @ My PreciousAugust 14, 2013 at 3:40 PM

    Finding out this book involved vamps, I was pretty turned off. They are way overdone in YA fiction. After reading your review, I find myself more drawn to the story because it really is a fresh take. Its like Holly looked at vamps in from a whole different perspective and came up with a fresh idea. I've never read anything by Holly B. Your enthusiasm for her books has me wanting to pick on of her stories up sooner than later.

  3. I've also read this one--I was lucky enough to win a copy from someone who went to BEA. I loved this book! I thought it was a fresh and creative new vampire story. I loved the characters, and Gavriel had me swooning. I think this is a standalone (though, I'm not sure), but I wish there was more! :)

  4. This book was in perfect condition when it arrived, with a really soft cover! I would recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of Holly Black.

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