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The Coldest Girl in Coldtown

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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 h 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.


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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 h 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.

30 review for The Coldest Girl in Coldtown

  1. 5 out of 5

    Miranda Reads

    Holly Black is my Queen But if you didn't believe in monsters, then how were you going to be able to keep safe from them? Tana lives in a world where vampires are no longer creatures of myths. Only Holly Black can take such a worn out trope and breath fresh life into it. Even from the beginning, that was the problem. People liked pretty things. People even liked pretty things that wanted to kill and eat them. And, like any good government, the US immediately banished the "new" citizens to Holly Black is my Queen But if you didn't believe in monsters, then how were you going to be able to keep safe from them? Tana lives in a world where vampires are no longer creatures of myths. Only Holly Black can take such a worn out trope and breath fresh life into it. Even from the beginning, that was the problem. People liked pretty things. People even liked pretty things that wanted to kill and eat them. And, like any good government, the US immediately banished the "new" citizens to concentration camps...well, technically walled cities with a good internet connection. But there is extreme poverty, disease and death for all the humans living inside. And the vamps love it. They use the internet to lure in humans - the downtrodden and the adventure seeking - to join their city and become food. People go in but never out. Tana wants none of that but when an accidental encounter leaves her potentially infected, she knows she's going to have to go to Coldtown to protect herself and her family. Remember that I’m still a monster. I can listen to you scream and cry and beg and I still won’t let you out. I love the characters in this book. Tana and her little sister had such a realistic give-and-take relationship. Also, the vampire (Gavriel) was such a refreshing twist - he was just the right mixture of moodiness, insanity and danger. This is my second time through and I enjoyed it just as much as the first. Audiobook Comments The book was a 4.5 for me but listening it it - 5.0 - definitely. This is one of my all time fave audiobooks - huge thank you to Christine Lakin for reading this one. I've read a few books that use music in between chapters and I'm normally not a fan. This book just blew me away. The music drifts in and out to build the story. There's haunting melodies, fanfare for the tense moments and gah it just brings the tension and intrigue to the next level. And I really enjoyed listening to the reader's voice. She just had this evocative and electrifying tone. Loved it. She's one of the few female readers that actually rocked it when she read the guy voices. YouTube | Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | Snapchat @miranda_reads

  2. 4 out of 5

    Khanh, first of her name, mother of bunnies

    Stop being stupid, [Tana] told herself, even though it was much too late for that. She’d been a hundred kinds of stupid already. I mean, I can hardly be accused of being excessively judgmental on a character's idiocy when she repeatedly realizes she's being dumb, right? :| I know that Twilight is standard for the vampire book we love to hate. It's often been the butt of my jokes, and I often find myself mocking Bella Swan for her stupidity. With that said, I would read the Twilight series thre Stop being stupid, [Tana] told herself, even though it was much too late for that. She’d been a hundred kinds of stupid already. I mean, I can hardly be accused of being excessively judgmental on a character's idiocy when she repeatedly realizes she's being dumb, right? :| I know that Twilight is standard for the vampire book we love to hate. It's often been the butt of my jokes, and I often find myself mocking Bella Swan for her stupidity. With that said, I would read the Twilight series three times over before reaching for this book again. Yes, I mock Twilight, but at least it has a plot (however simplistic) that is rational and easy to follow. The writing is nothing special, but it is easy to read and easy to understand. Above all, however we tend to mock Bella, she is at best naive, foolish, completely and utterly clueless and without personality---but at least she's smarter than the incomprehensible pile of TSTL poop that is Tana. I cannot find any sympathy, I cannot find any respect, I cannot find any enjoyment, and I cannot find myself liking a character who behaves in such an astoundingly foolish manner. Bella may be inactive. Bella is immobile. She is catatonic. Bella waits, while the world revolves around her. However boring Bella is, however irrelevant her character, Bella's actions are still more tolerable than the main character in this book, who, at every turn, has the urge to run headfirst into death. The best thing about this book is the writing. Holly Black is a good writer, the writing in this book is poetic...it runs excessively so at times, but I enjoy that sort of writing, so it didn't bother me too much. What did not work was the plot, and the excessiveness of the book. This book was overly long for the material that it contained. You could have easily removed a good 25% of this book without losing relevant, without losing much of the plot. There was too much needless introspection, too many flashbacks, and memories, and characters' POVs that felt largely irrelevant to the main part of the story. The concept of Coldtown was interesting at first, but ended up being a mess with a lot of holes and inconsistencies that my mind could not comprehend. This book's type of vampirism does not break any mold, but it was well-conceived enough. Overall, the reason why I disliked this story is because of the characters. I either hated or disliked every single character, with the majority of my loathing directed towards the main character and her incomprehensible stupidity: Tana Bach. The vampires in this book were uninspired, they're a mix between goth-punk-wannabes, or exaggeratedly suave and evil Lestat/Louis-types of Anne Rice's Interview With a Vampire fame. Setting: Roughly 10 years ago, the world discovered vampirism because an idiotic vampire's mission to just drink blood from his victims, and not kill them. I think we know enough from zombie movies to know that things don't turn out the way he planned. There's no such thing as a little bite. Before he knew it, hundreds of new (and uncontrollable) baby vampires were formed, who then in turned infected thousands more, and well...in short: tons of people died, and vampires are now a presence in the world. Within the US, there are six Coldtowns, populated by vampire and humans, and those who are Cold (bitten by a vampire but not yet turned, with a ferocious desire for human blood). The concept of Coldtown is a mess, and the existence of vampires as both villains and celebrities doesn't quite work for me. It's the equivalent of having hundreds of thousands of people killed by terrorists, and then watching a reality show titled "The Real Housewives of Osama Bin Laden." This world glorifies vampires, who are murderers, at the same time it glorifies the people who hunt vampires (Hemlok: Vampire Bounty Hunter is a popular reality show). Vampires have their own reality show feeds directly from Coldtowns, the world gathers to watch vampires party, dance, go to raves, suck on other people's bloods, chill out in sumptuous beds and making out with each other, dressed in glorious velvet clothes soaked through in blood. It doesn't make any fucking sense. Coldtown's population and its rules for entrance and exit are inconsistent and again, nonsensical. It is an interesting concept, poorly executed. Death is meaningless in this book, because there is so much of it. There is no emotion in seeing a character die, at all. Summary: Tana Bach wakes up from a party, hung over, in a bathtub, and finds herself surrounded by the corpses of her friends. The tan carpet was stiff and black with stripes of dried blood, spattered like a Jackson Pollock canvas. The walls were streaked with it, handprints smearing their dingy beige surfaces. And the bodies. Dozens of bodies. People she’d seen every day since kindergarten, people whom she’d played tag with and cried over and kissed were lying at odd angles, their bodies pale and cold, their eyes staring like rows of dolls in a shop window. Tana is no stranger to vampires. Her mother was bitten and turned Cold before little 10-year old Tana decides it was a good idea to free her crazy mother from her chains in the basement: result, dead mother, scarred-for-life-but-not-much-the-wiser-from-the-experience 17-year old Tana. The corpses were clearly victims of vampires: they all have puncture wounds. There are blood everywhere. Tana herself might have been bitten. What should she do? Call the police? I mean, THERE ARE A TON OF CORPSES. Call her dad? Run away screaming for help? I would understand if she were to run away screaming for help. According to the government: if you do come into physical contact with a vampire, you are legally obligated to report yourself to the authorities. Do not attempt to wait to see if you’ve become infected. Do not attempt to self-quarantine. Call 911, explain the nature of the attack, and wait for further instructions. What does Tana do? Tana started giggling, which was bad, she knew, and put her hands over her mouth to smother the sound. It wasn’t okay to laugh in front of dead people. That was like laughing at a funeral. Ok, fine. She laughs. It's ok, hysteria is fine. I can understand that. BUT THEN. BUT THEN. Tana runs into a chained vampire (who might have been the murderer), and her douche of an ex-boyfriend, who has clearly been bitten and is now Cold. What does she do? Why, FREE THEM BOTH. It's of no importance whatsoever that the vampire (Gavriel) might have been the murderer. It's of no importance at all that the ex (Aidan) may spring on her to suck her blood any minute (which he does, repeatedly). Aaaaaaaaaand off we go to Coldtown! And along the way, let's just pick up a couple of twins goth web celebrities with a vampire-centric blog who are just dying (no pun intended) to go to Coldtown and become vampires themselves. They conduct video interviews! They ask Tana about her experience as a survivor of the now-deemed Sundown Tragedy. Tana is going to be Youtube sensation! And we only have 200 pages to go. Fuck me. The Characters: On a scale of marry-me to you-need-to-be-drawn-and-quartered-and-burned-and-not-necessarily-in-that-order, the characters in this book range from I-want-to-punch-you-in-the-balls to kill-it-with-fire. All kidding aside, there is not a single main or relevant side character in this book whom I would like, whom I would befriend. I've said it before, I've said it many times before in many books, and I will say it again: I cannot understand how the main character in this book can be so mind-numbingly dumb. Tana KNOWS how dangerous a Cold person is. Her mother literally RIPS her arms apart when little 10-year old Tana somehow felt the urge to be a do-gooder and free her mother from her chains in the basement. Being Cold, having a thirst for blood is like an cocaine addict needing a fix, only 10 times worse because you might actually kill a person and rip their throat out in your desperate need and thirst for human blood. It doesn't matter whom. A Cold person's bloodthirst transcends friendship, love, rationality. Tana KNOWS this. She IGNORES it yet again when it happens. Not only does she choose to trust the vampire Gavriel, knowing nothing about him, despite his veiled threats and warnings for her NOT to trust him, she tags along with him and rescue him from his chains anyway. When she learns his true identity, she STILL trusts him. Tana's foolishness, impetuousness, idiotic decision making never, ever stops, and I could not enjoy this book considering she is the main character. Not to mention this particularly foolish moment: YOU WANT TSTL? YOU GOT TSTL. LET'S JUST DELIBERATELY BAIT A HUNGRY VAMPIRE WITH BLOOD. He bent helplessly toward her. She bit her tongue. Bit it hard, the pain chasing through her nerve endings and alchemizing into something close to pleasure. When her mouth opened under his, it was flooded with welling blood. He groaned at the taste of it, red eyes going wide with surprise and something like fear. NO! NO! NO! Aidan is, as Tana admitted, the worst boyfriend ever. He is also the worst ex-boyfriend ever. As a human, he is a waste of air. As her boyfriend, he cheated on her, he flaunts his open flirtation with her, and he doesn't discriminate. Boys, girls, he kisses them all. More than one, more than once. He is a master at mind games. He is a smooth talker, a smooth charmer. Aidan has been bitten by a vampire. Aidan is cold. Tana doesn't learn from her lesson. Aidan is now not just a douchebag, he is a dangerously bloodthirsty douchebag. Before their journey, during their journey, after their journey, Aidan makes repeated attempts to rip out Tana's throat. Tana does nothing but admonish him. All Aidan has to do is smile, say something charming and wittily clever, and Tana will forget all his past wrongs. Tana is a fucking doormat on top of being an idiot. And then we have Gavriel. The powerful, stunningly beautiful ages-old vampire who inexplicably, suddenly falls for Tana. His reason: she saved him. Gavriel has a penchant for overdramatization. He does not speak so much as make a statement. He opens his mouth to spout such gems of wisdom as: “Fine, fine, everyone’s fine,” said the vampire, a mad gleam in his red eyes, crossing his arms over his chest as Bela Lugosi did in black-and-white films. “Fine as scattered pieces of sand.” “You bid me to bide, but if I’m to burn, then surely you will let me put that fire to some use.” "I promise I will repay you. [With] jewels, lies, slips of paper, dried flowers, memories of things long past, useless quotations, idle hands, beads, buttons, and mischief.” Screw you. Gavriel is at best, pretentious. At worse, a Louis/Lestat combination that never entirely works. There a a pair of Goth Vampire-wannabe web celebrities and video bloggers who aren't even worth mentioning because they're just so fucking random. The twins, Winter and Midnight (real name Jack and Jen) serve no purpose other than to make Tana into a fucking Youtube sensation. The Romance: There's a hint at a love triangle, and the romance doesn't quite work for me. Beyond the incomprehensible fact that Tana would feel anything towards the waste of air that is her ex, Aidan, her romance with Gavriel is equally implausible. And then there is this. “Allow me to explain how my whole life has prepared me for this moment. I am used to girls screaming, and your screams—your screams will be sweeter than another’s cries of love.” How about you go fuck yourself, Gavriel?

  3. 4 out of 5

    Patrick

    Full disclosure, listened to this on audiobook, as I do more and more these days. Looking back on the book, I suppose that I'm not really the target demographic. It could be that this is YA, and probably targeted toward young women instead of men. (And by "Targeted" I'm mostly talking about the marketing, rather than Black's writing.) That said, I really enjoyed it. And it only occurred to me right now as I was sitting down to write about it that this book might not be *for* me, technically. I f Full disclosure, listened to this on audiobook, as I do more and more these days. Looking back on the book, I suppose that I'm not really the target demographic. It could be that this is YA, and probably targeted toward young women instead of men. (And by "Targeted" I'm mostly talking about the marketing, rather than Black's writing.) That said, I really enjoyed it. And it only occurred to me right now as I was sitting down to write about it that this book might not be *for* me, technically. I found it a really take on what has the potential to be a very tired trope - a world where vampires have emerged from the shadows. But I didn't find this cliche at all. Quite the opposite in fact. I found the world very interesting and realistic, and the perspective of the story very personal and emotionally charged. I could see this being made into a great movie as well. I'd be surprised if nobody has optioned it yet. So yeah. Absolutely worth your time.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Emily May

    1.5 stars Please note that I didn't manage to read the last thirty pages (approx) because, in short, I just couldn't do it. I feel really sad about The Coldest Girl in Coldtown as it was easily in my top five most anticipated books of 2013. Since the end of Black's Curse Worker series, I've been desperate to get my hands on anything and everything she writes and I confess to still loving a good vampire novel when it's being told by a capable author. And I gave this book every chance to turn i 1.5 stars Please note that I didn't manage to read the last thirty pages (approx) because, in short, I just couldn't do it. I feel really sad about The Coldest Girl in Coldtown as it was easily in my top five most anticipated books of 2013. Since the end of Black's Curse Worker series, I've been desperate to get my hands on anything and everything she writes and I confess to still loving a good vampire novel when it's being told by a capable author. And I gave this book every chance to turn it around. I really did. Because I wanted so badly to love it. I turned every page expecting the wow factor to be just around the corner... and it never was. Some people have pointed out the similarities between The Immortal Rules and the goodreads description for The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, so I'd just like to clear that up: the books have nothing in common beyond the vampires. This book feels set in a world more like our own, in a future where vampirism has spiralled out of control and become an epidemic. Coldtowns have been set up to house these creatures of the night and humans are forced to exercise caution after night falls... or risk becoming infected or dead themselves. The protagonist is Tana, a teenage girl who carries the guilt of being responsible for her mother becoming a vampire. Sound okay? Yeah, I thought so too. To give credit where it's due, the first chapter is excellent. It opens with Tana waking up in a bathtub after a night of heavy drinking and partying. Head banging, she stumbles across the house to discover the horrific fate that has befallen her friends and quickly realises that she could very well be next. The story after that moves at a snail's pace; in fact, one might argue that it is non-existent for the majority of the book. I really do hate a plotless novel. A huge percentage of the book is made up of world-building info-dumps and flashbacks to Tana's childhood and the time when her mother became a vampire. Even when I was 75% through the book, I felt like the story had gone nowhere. The most exciting aspect of the novel - and something that might save it for some readers - is Gavriel. Why hello there dark and sexy vamp! Even I perked up for a page during that hot makeout session (what can I say? I'm something of a fangbanger) and, despite what seems to be a typical bad boy vamp cliche, Black does offer several chapters of background story on Gavriel so he becomes more fleshed out than other similar love interests. But I think the constant halting of the non-existent present day story was mostly what ruined it for me. As well as being annoyingly plotless, it didn't flow. They were all meandering about, pretending to be doing interesting things, when suddenly it was like CUT... and in comes the info-dump about Coldtowns and how they came about and CUT... here comes the story of either Tana or Gavriel's past. Very little happened in the present of the story beyond Tana and Gavriel going at it like horny little bunnies (I exaggerate, that might have been a better book). In fact, what is the story here? I read somewhere that the ending is really good, so is that when Black gives us the goods and lets us know where she's going with this? Perhaps. But the thing is, I'm really not sorry that I missed it. I did not care where the characters were headed in this book and I do not care what happens in the sequel. Sad times.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Regan

    A very interesting take on a very common topic (vampires). Also, I really enjoyed how the author included pretty much every type of relationship, gay/straight/bi/transgender. It was very modern, and I was happy to see it included in a YA book.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Giselle

    "What are they? Are they diseased or demonic? Are they citizens who have become ill, deserving hospitals and care, as some have argued? Or are they the bodies of our loved ones animated by some dark force that we ought to seek to destroy?" And here I thought originality was gone from vampire stories! It takes none other than Holly Black to prove me wrong. Coldest Girl in Coldtown is not only unique, it's a fun, exciting story full of horror and blood with a little flair of post apocalyptic. E "What are they? Are they diseased or demonic? Are they citizens who have become ill, deserving hospitals and care, as some have argued? Or are they the bodies of our loved ones animated by some dark force that we ought to seek to destroy?" And here I thought originality was gone from vampire stories! It takes none other than Holly Black to prove me wrong. Coldest Girl in Coldtown is not only unique, it's a fun, exciting story full of horror and blood with a little flair of post apocalyptic. Ever since a sudden outbreak of vampirism spread throughout the world, vampires are out and feared; even though they're kept quarantined in gated cities, you're never quite safe from the stray ones. Tana learns how true this is when she wakes up after a party to a house full of dead bodies. As far as book beginnings go this is not one I'll forget any time soon. Tana's tangible fear made this even more engaging. From page one I could tell she would be a protagonist with whom I would connect and enjoy the ride. I was right: Holly has fashioned a fresh and compelling narrative voice in her that persuades you to keep flipping the pages until you realize it's 4am and you're passing out against your will. Though if you've read anything by Holly, you'll know she has a way of shaping characters into real, perfectly flawed, and down to earth individuals; Tana being no exception. She has cracks in her exterior that aren't hidden from us; I love how she giggles in the most inappropriate times. This girl is scarred and broken, and she knows it, but she's also selflessly determined. At the same time this makes us feel sympathy towards the situation she found herself in. A situation that sheer bad luck and a caring heart got her in. The characters Tana meet throughout this story all shine with charisma, and the villains with atrocity. The latter are portrayed as sick, bloodthirsty bastards who are conniving and vengeful - exactly what true villains should be. And since the blurb kind of hints at one, I can safely say there is no love triangle in this book. In fact, there is not much romance at all - which I was really ok with. What romance there is is mainly introductory, so I'm thinking we'll get more of it in the sequel (for those romantic at hearts). Either way, I trust Holly to balance it all flawlessly. We did meet the ex-boyfriend mentioned in the blurb who is really just that: an ex-boyfriend - if I even want to call him that; I still giggle at the kind of relationship they had. Gavriel is the one who steals the hearts in this book (probably even figuratively). I wasn't sure of him at the beginning, but by the end I was won over! After the thrilling first half, the story does slow its pace. I never found myself losing interest, however, as it let characterization and world building shine through. The story is told through Tana's point of view, but we do get treated to a few glimpses of her sister's as well which is great to get an idea of how the story is moving outside this Coldtown. Then we get few flashes from the past that tells the heartbreaking story of Tana's childhood, as well as the history of vampires - simultaneously explaining the reason behind the "apocalypse". I found this incredibly interesting. The vampire lore itself is awesomely unique and scary with their 80 days crazy inducing "infected" period. I was also fascinated - and terrified - by the Coldtowns. Think of them like uncontrolled dog pens. How Coldtowns are active online as a sort of popularity contest gives them an aura of mystery, awe, and power. Thus, people are drawn to them, not knowing they're not nearly as glamorous as they seems from the outside. Poor, unsuspecting humans! Also, the twist: Awesome! Utterly original and completely badass, The Coldest Girl in Coldtown brings back classic vampires in this tale of revenge, love, and death. -- An advance copy was provided by the publisher for review. For more of my reviews, visit my blog at Xpresso Reads

  7. 5 out of 5

    Zoë

    3.5/5 Not bad! I'm glad that I finally got around to reading this as it's been on my shelf for FOREVER. I really enjoyed the beginning of this book, but towards the middle it slowed down and I began to lose interest. The concept of vampirism in this book was also sort of confusing to me, with "the cold" and how you don't necessarily have to become a vampire if you get infected. I'm used to the straightforward "get bitten, become vampire" type of thing and this world with coldtowns and whatnot unf 3.5/5 Not bad! I'm glad that I finally got around to reading this as it's been on my shelf for FOREVER. I really enjoyed the beginning of this book, but towards the middle it slowed down and I began to lose interest. The concept of vampirism in this book was also sort of confusing to me, with "the cold" and how you don't necessarily have to become a vampire if you get infected. I'm used to the straightforward "get bitten, become vampire" type of thing and this world with coldtowns and whatnot unfortunately kept me from getting completely into the story. Also, I listened to an audiobook version, which I should have learned by now that it's not my thing. I usually dislike the narrator (like in this case, the voice never matches up with what I imagine the voices being) and it's easy for me to zone out and miss big events. Despite all of these negatives, I did really enjoy the writing style and the action and I loved how it was just one novel instead of a trilogy. What a breath of fresh air!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Melissa Marr

    Straight up brilliance! I thought I couldn't be more impressed with Holly's writing than I already was, but this book was EXACTLY what I wanted years ago when I finished her short story (which evolved into this novel). I'll be buying copies of this one for friends & family. Highly recommended. Straight up brilliance! I thought I couldn't be more impressed with Holly's writing than I already was, but this book was EXACTLY what I wanted years ago when I finished her short story (which evolved into this novel). I'll be buying copies of this one for friends & family. Highly recommended.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Riley

    I really liked the first 50 pages but after that everyone and everything annoyed me.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Maureen

    3.5/5 stars I'm torn because I really loved Holly Black's writing in this book, but the story still felt too rushed and put together for me. There was lots of insta-love and the characters didn't really get developed - Tana did a bit, but barely. I can understand the rushed feeling because it is a standalone paranormal book - which there are hardly any of - but I've read some great standalones that aren't rushed and include some great character development - I just think this one could've been be 3.5/5 stars I'm torn because I really loved Holly Black's writing in this book, but the story still felt too rushed and put together for me. There was lots of insta-love and the characters didn't really get developed - Tana did a bit, but barely. I can understand the rushed feeling because it is a standalone paranormal book - which there are hardly any of - but I've read some great standalones that aren't rushed and include some great character development - I just think this one could've been better! Overall it wasn't a bad book, I definitely enjoyed reading it, but it wasn't one of my favorites and didn't blow my mind.

  11. 4 out of 5

    ♥Rachel♥

    The Coldest Girl in Coldtown was a deliciously creepy and dark story, one that made my heart race and thrill. Tanna lives in a world that seems not too far off from our own; a time when vampires are no longer myth but present and a threat. These vampires have been contained in our modern world into cities, Coldtowns, guarded but connected by live feeds, blog posts and news stories. Sensationalized and romanticized, but Tanna knows the darker side of the story. She has a sad, frightening tale of i The Coldest Girl in Coldtown was a deliciously creepy and dark story, one that made my heart race and thrill. Tanna lives in a world that seems not too far off from our own; a time when vampires are no longer myth but present and a threat. These vampires have been contained in our modern world into cities, Coldtowns, guarded but connected by live feeds, blog posts and news stories. Sensationalized and romanticized, but Tanna knows the darker side of the story. She has a sad, frightening tale of infection gone horribly wrong in her family’s past. When we meet up with Tanna, she’s like any normal seventeen year old spending her summer at parties and having fun. This all comes to an end when she wakes up to a horrific scene, after she spent the night knocked out from drinking too much. Now she’s on the run with her ex-boyfriend, Aiden, and a boyishly handsome vampire, Gavriel, trying to make it to one of the Coldtowns before Aiden fully changes. This was a dark, mesmerizing story, littered with gore and horror. Holly Black does not hold back painting beautiful and yet terrifying tale. I loved every uneasy minute. Tanna was an easy character to latch onto and root for as she wakes up, and everything is basically full throttle ahead from there on out. She’s determined to do what’s right and yet stay human. Her bizarre and powerful connection to Gavriel surprises and thrills her at the same time. She knows he’s capable of monstrous acts, has probably committed them, but at the same time she sees what he is underneath. "Tana's heartbeat seemed to have moved into her whole body and thrilled it with a single speeding pulse. Everything was a little blurred at the edges and she wanted---she wanted him to feel like she did, like he'd done something forbidden…" The romance in this story was perfect, and not overwhelming, yet enough to speed your heart rate up in whenever Gavriel and Tanna are together. The thing about a romance that’s not in your face is that you spend time analyzing every move and glance, and every word spoke, until what you suspect and hoped for is confirmed! This story has some twists and revelations, and danger at every turn. I think it was a perfect balance of plot and characterization! I was reminded a little of Sunshine by Robin McKinley (one of my favorite vampire stories) while reading this and I think it was because the way it portrayed vampires, a little strange and alien, fascinating and terrible at the same time. Somehow the relationship between Tanna and Gavriel felt similar, too. Can’t put my finger on exactly why, but I loved it! Fans of horror will love this creepy, unsettling and romantic story!! A copy was provided by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! *Quote taken from an uncorrected proof and may change in the final copy. You can find this review and more at The Readers Den.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Mara YA Mood Reader

    I never thought I’d ever read another YA vampire book again. But I’d also never read Holly Black’s YA vampires. And Holly Black’s vampires are freaking vicious and vengeful and gory and felt more real (like if this were to actually happen in real life, I could see it being like this), and much more true to legend. I don’t know what made me pick this up after having sworn off vampires years ago. (it was PhantomRin's amazing fanart). I was so over them that I’d literally role my eyes anytime I hea I never thought I’d ever read another YA vampire book again. But I’d also never read Holly Black’s YA vampires. And Holly Black’s vampires are freaking vicious and vengeful and gory and felt more real (like if this were to actually happen in real life, I could see it being like this), and much more true to legend. I don’t know what made me pick this up after having sworn off vampires years ago. (it was PhantomRin's amazing fanart). I was so over them that I’d literally role my eyes anytime I heard about yet another bleeding vampire book like, “uuiuugh, people are STILL reading vampire books???!! Whhhhy???” But maybe I was feeling Halloweenish this October and was looking for scarier books (I’m not a horror fan I prefer paranormal) so that’s how I ended up here. And I’m so glad I did. I’ve had a hit and miss experience with Holly Black and had almost given up on her after Tithe and The White Cat but then The Cruel Prince came out and changed all that. Even so I was hesitant to pick up The Coldest Girl but I did. And it just hit alllllllllllll the spots. Hit all the spots like The Darkest Part of the Forest and The Cruel Prince (must reads!!!! Easily 5 stars there as well!) If horror is your thing there are bits of it here. Ugh it grossed me out. I hate that gory horror stuff but it really set the dark tone of the book and these nasty vampires and made the story richer. And if it’s not your thing like me, there’s not enough of it to skip this one. I especially loved how The Coldest Girl in Coldtown was not a romance-driven plot! It’s rare in YA, although it’s starting to become more common just recently (yes!) it makes the story just so much more awesome. I always feel like using romance in these types of books, in excess, is like a cheap shot at building a dying plot. So when it’s not there you get so much more than eye-rolling, played out insta-love and dry-humping scenes. I mean we MAY get a dry-humping scene in here still though so don’t worry! There’s still a sprinkle of hotness in here somewhere *creepy perv smile* Which reminds me, do yourself a favour and go check out @phantomRin on IG. The fanart of Gavriel is amazing. The fanart for the other characters too! Actually now I know what turned me on to this book! It was those amazing depictions by @phantomrin! This has happened to me in the past actually.... Anyway Thank you Holly Black for this yet another unputdownable, amazing, dark and naughty and creepy and pretty much perfect YA book!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin

    www.melissa413readsalot.blogspot.com I freaking loved this book! I am going to buy this for sure! I haven't read a vampire book such as this one yet. It was unique and the storyline was terrific! Tana wakes up in a house with dead teenagers all around her. She had went to a part with her ex-boyfriend Aidan. He had been bitten and strapped to a bed, he was also in a room with a very old/young vampire named Gavriel. So you can imagine that Tana was just a wee bit freaked out. She has to break them www.melissa413readsalot.blogspot.com I freaking loved this book! I am going to buy this for sure! I haven't read a vampire book such as this one yet. It was unique and the storyline was terrific! Tana wakes up in a house with dead teenagers all around her. She had went to a part with her ex-boyfriend Aidan. He had been bitten and strapped to a bed, he was also in a room with a very old/young vampire named Gavriel. So you can imagine that Tana was just a wee bit freaked out. She has to break them all out and go on a road trip to Coldtown where vampires are kept in a kind of commune. Humans can go there as well to live with them. If your infected and not turned yet then you go there too. They pick up a brother and sister along the way. They were doing an online story about vampires and wanted to go to Coldtown to be changed into vamps. They were going to record all of this for everyone to see as well. They called themselves Winter and Midnight. I liked the fake names :) They make it there and not everything or everyone is who they say they are and things turn into a cluster. But it is sooooooo good! I absolutely loved it. I would recommend to anyone that loves vampire stories and wants to read something a little different. I also developed a crush on Gavriel! :) I wish the author would write a sequel to this book. As far as I know there isn't one, but I can always hope right? Fin

  14. 4 out of 5

    Candace Robinson

    I've been on a Holly Black binge lately, reading all her books. Pissed at myself for not starting this journey farther back. But we can't turn back time, now can we? So, vampires are hit or miss for me when it come to books. I mainly dig the blood thirsty movie kind. As for characters, I loved Tana! In pretty much all the vamp books I've read, I've pretty much come across annoying female leads. And thank goodness, she was not. Oh, and Gavriel, you are just the cutest piece of chocolate I ever did I've been on a Holly Black binge lately, reading all her books. Pissed at myself for not starting this journey farther back. But we can't turn back time, now can we? So, vampires are hit or miss for me when it come to books. I mainly dig the blood thirsty movie kind. As for characters, I loved Tana! In pretty much all the vamp books I've read, I've pretty much come across annoying female leads. And thank goodness, she was not. Oh, and Gavriel, you are just the cutest piece of chocolate I ever did see! When it came to Lucien and Gavriel, I totally got Lestat and Louis vibes!!! Loved that! It was pretty cool that every other chapter was sort of flashbacks or other characters. Gave the book a little more depth! Let me just say as of right now, I will definitely read anything this woman writes!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Elizabeth

    “And I have feelings for you, too. Big, weird, crazy feelings.” I have mixed feelings about this book, but overall I liked it. Tana was an okay character, and it was valiant the way she didn’t leave a vampire behind to his fate! Even if the decision was likely to kill her! The storyline in this was alright, although it reminded me quite a bit of ‘The Immortal Rules’, which is probably in part because I found the pace in both of them quite slow. But otherwise – dystopian setting, slightly differ “And I have feelings for you, too. Big, weird, crazy feelings.” I have mixed feelings about this book, but overall I liked it. Tana was an okay character, and it was valiant the way she didn’t leave a vampire behind to his fate! Even if the decision was likely to kill her! The storyline in this was alright, although it reminded me quite a bit of ‘The Immortal Rules’, which is probably in part because I found the pace in both of them quite slow. But otherwise – dystopian setting, slightly different take on vampires, female lead who gets turned into a vampire (to some extent), vampires live in a city and use the human population for food? I totally got the same feeling from both of these. Although I think if I was picking sides I’d say that this was slightly better. There was a little bit of romance, and I didn’t dislike it, even if it was a little unexpected! The ending to this was okay, and it wasn’t too cliff-hanger-y. I’m going to be generous and give this 3.5 stars.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Noura Khalid (theperksofbeingnoura)

    “Every hero is the villain of his own story.” I made it my job to read every Holly Black book on the face of this earth. And what could be better than Holly Black and Vampires? damn, this book was good. I say this a lot but this was so incredibly different! Vampires and modern technology. I mean imagine sitting in the comfort of your home and watching shows about Vampire hunters, Vampire wannabes and Vampires trying to lure you to the dark side. Crazy right? Truthfully, I really missed Vampire “Every hero is the villain of his own story.” I made it my job to read every Holly Black book on the face of this earth. And what could be better than Holly Black and Vampires? damn, this book was good. I say this a lot but this was so incredibly different! Vampires and modern technology. I mean imagine sitting in the comfort of your home and watching shows about Vampire hunters, Vampire wannabes and Vampires trying to lure you to the dark side. Crazy right? Truthfully, I really missed Vampire books. It has been such a long time since I’ve picked one up. The storyline was pretty simple but the twist at the end was quite intriguing. The writing is especially loved. and the morbid quotes at the beginning of each chapter (yes I know what you’re thinking) I really liked Tana. I loved how she managed to be a complete badass throughout the entire book. She clearly didn't wait for anyone to save her from anything. She did all the saving. Including saving a Vampire which confused me a whole lot. Why would you even do that? but then again Tana is just weird like that. “Even from the beginning, that was the problem. People liked pretty things. People even liked pretty things that wanted to kill and eat them.” Gavriel was completely insane. There’s no better way to describe him. Vampires are psychos and this guy wasn’t very far. I mean he was sweet and he had his moments. Honestly, I laughed so much when it came to him. “You are more dangerous than daybreak.” Aidan was strange. He was so weird when he became a Vampire. I suppose the crazy caught up to him. Winter and Midnight weren't my favorites if I’m honest. I just thought they were insane. Clearly everyone in this book was. Aside from how weird everyone was I pretty much enjoyed the book. It was slow paced but it didn't bother me. I think I was just really in the mood for this book. I ended up finishing it in 2 days.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Mizuki

    Pre-review: I quite like the world building and the story is doing well so far. Vampire virus! The undead being locked in separated towns! Reality TV featuring vampires and vampire hunters! People who want to get bitten and be vampires! What's not to love!? The ending isn't what I'd expected but I'm okay with it? I don't think there will be a sequel but if Holly Black decided to give us one, I'll be on board. Ms. Black's writing never disappoints! Hope to read more of her books later. PS: in the fa Pre-review: I quite like the world building and the story is doing well so far. Vampire virus! The undead being locked in separated towns! Reality TV featuring vampires and vampire hunters! People who want to get bitten and be vampires! What's not to love!? The ending isn't what I'd expected but I'm okay with it? I don't think there will be a sequel but if Holly Black decided to give us one, I'll be on board. Ms. Black's writing never disappoints! Hope to read more of her books later. PS: in the face of the WuHan virus pandemic, everyone please stay safe! Avoid crowded places, wear faceamasks or other protections when you go out, wash your hands often, work-from-home if you can, give support to your local medics, pressure your local government to take responsibility to safeguard your community if you must, and don't trust a word from the World Health Organization about how this isn't a pandemic yet!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Victoria ♡

    “Death’s favourites don’t die” Didn’t think reality tv and vampires would ever work together but Black really did that!! I LOVED THIS SO MUCH! This was the most unique take on vampires i’ve read in a longgggg time and i’ve read a lot of them! The world building was so well done, the characters were really interesting, I love Tana so much she was such a good main character. Somehow the insta-love worked well too, props to the author there wow, I found myself really hoping for Gavriel and Tana. Als “Death’s favourites don’t die” Didn’t think reality tv and vampires would ever work together but Black really did that!! I LOVED THIS SO MUCH! This was the most unique take on vampires i’ve read in a longgggg time and i’ve read a lot of them! The world building was so well done, the characters were really interesting, I love Tana so much she was such a good main character. Somehow the insta-love worked well too, props to the author there wow, I found myself really hoping for Gavriel and Tana. Also just as you think everything’s going to work out, plot twist(!) more drama, I really got into this book, I couldn’t stop reading! I really missed the vampire genre and just needed something new to keep it alive for me, so I turned to Holly Black after how much i loved the cruel prince! I’m really loving how inclusive her books are and I feel this is going to set in a long time readership for me. I just wish this wasn’t a standalone... I. NEED. MORE!

  19. 5 out of 5

    emma

    not terrible, just boring. i've been "currently reading" it (ha) for 2 months and i just...never want to pick it up. so...DNF at a little over 50% not terrible, just boring. i've been "currently reading" it (ha) for 2 months and i just...never want to pick it up. so...DNF at a little over 50%

  20. 5 out of 5

    Ashley Daviau

    It's rare that I come across a vampire book that I so thoroughly enjoy. The Coldest Girl in Coldtown was absolutely phenomenal and I adored it! It was such an interesting take on vampires, quite unlike any other book I've read with them. The world building was fantastic and I just loved the whole idea of the book. And as usual, Black brings to life characters that you can't help but fall completely in love with. The main character Tana is gutsy and doesn't let anything get in her way and I just It's rare that I come across a vampire book that I so thoroughly enjoy. The Coldest Girl in Coldtown was absolutely phenomenal and I adored it! It was such an interesting take on vampires, quite unlike any other book I've read with them. The world building was fantastic and I just loved the whole idea of the book. And as usual, Black brings to life characters that you can't help but fall completely in love with. The main character Tana is gutsy and doesn't let anything get in her way and I just adore her. And then we have Gavriel. What is there to say about him other than he is officially my favourite and I love him to pieces. My only complaint about this book is that it's over and I desperately wish there was a sequel!

  21. 4 out of 5

    alana ♡

    Vampire & dystopian theme all in one?! You had me at quarantine. Blog | Twitter | Instagram Vampire & dystopian theme all in one?! You had me at quarantine. Blog | Twitter | Instagram

  22. 5 out of 5

    Elesia

    *4.5 stars* Ah, this book was so great! I really really thoroughly enjoyed it! It's like a zombie apocalypse but with vampires and I looooved it!! The main character Tana was so badass, but I really wish there was like an epilogue or something! Still, really loved this book and it was great to read about vampires again, it's been too long! *4.5 stars* Ah, this book was so great! I really really thoroughly enjoyed it! It's like a zombie apocalypse but with vampires and I looooved it!! The main character Tana was so badass, but I really wish there was like an epilogue or something! Still, really loved this book and it was great to read about vampires again, it's been too long!

  23. 5 out of 5

    C.G. Drews

    Oh wow. I haven't read a lot of vampire books, but this is completely different to what I've tried. I adored this! At times I was dubious...there were sections that made me think I wasn't going to rate it high. But then -- BOOM -- the beautiful writing, the epic ending, the horrible backstory. I'M SOLD. But in all honesty: this needs be a movie. It would be fabulous. I admit! I was pretty dubious for the first 50%. I didn't understand a lot of the reasonsings behind the plot. So it felt weak Oh wow. I haven't read a lot of vampire books, but this is completely different to what I've tried. I adored this! At times I was dubious...there were sections that made me think I wasn't going to rate it high. But then -- BOOM -- the beautiful writing, the epic ending, the horrible backstory. I'M SOLD. But in all honesty: this needs be a movie. It would be fabulous. I admit! I was pretty dubious for the first 50%. I didn't understand a lot of the reasonsings behind the plot. So it felt weak to me, and I also worried that I'd misread things because they didn't make sense. BUT DON'T WORRY. That aaaall sorts out. I got my answers. It became crystal clear. It's turning into the kind of book that grows on you. The more I think about it, the more I realise I loved it. Just get past the initial, "So you wanna run the plot be me again, luv?" feeling. The writing is gorgeous. It really reminds me of Cassandra Clare's writing actually. It's HUGE on the details, but they're make the world real and you can see and taste it. Which is a bit scary in this book, because everything is covered in blood. Blood everywhere. Yay. Vampires. But seriously, if you're dubious about vampires but LOVE epic world-building, then this is for you. I'd say the writing style is the strongest part. The characters? I wasn't so keen on. Our narrator is Tana. I liked her. But I struggle to describe her character to you. She was tugged along by circumstances, but definitely brave and capable. Just maybe a little unrelatable to me. (Totally could be just me though.) Gavriel is the psycho vampire she rescues. (That actually confused me SO much why she helped him. Why was he tied up? Why would she help him? What the --??!) I guess to sum Tana up you'd say: rescuer. And what I loved about her is she could rescue herself. Gav took a while to grow on me, but he was insane. I like insane characters. I also loved the death quotes (omg, that sounds bad) at the beginning of each chapter. I'm not sadistic! I swear! I just...they were interesting, okay? I feel really inspired after reading this! Like I want to go write something epic and urban fantasy! Or I want to make my own writing worlds strong and more detailed. That's how I know I've read a good book. It makes me want to improve my own storytelling abilities. What I had a problem with, though was (view spoiler)[ Lucien and Gav. I didn't really get them. It wasn't until the end of the book where it told how Gav had been so brutally tortured and that's what broke his mind, that I GOT why he was a bit weird. Everyone called him insane, but I didn't really feel it so much until the end. After all, he does drop out of the book for a huge while. I didn't get his and Lucien's relationship for a while...frenemies? And I did NOT understand who/what the Spider was. This is all why it didn't get 5-stars, but I'm pretty sure this is just me and my brain not catching on very fast. (hide spoiler)] Also: The last chapter is my very, very favourite. This quote is. the. best: (view spoiler)[ He reached into the bag and drew out an odd array of manga, ripped paperbacks of books both classic and modern, and a small stack of crumpled magazines. "See, I even brought some things to read aloud. I wasn't sure what you'd like, so there's a bit of everything.” (hide spoiler)]

  24. 5 out of 5

    Brad Sells

    The Coldest Girl in Coldtown is a unique and utterly fantastic take on vampires, with haunting and beautiful prose + a one-of-a-kind story. Easily a new favorite book of all-time! Let's go ahead and address the elephant in the room: vampires? They've been used so many times, it's gotten quite old. But luckily, The Coldest Girl in Coldtown gives vampires a fresh and original spin - it's unlike anything I've ever read. And you know what I loved the most about these vampires? They're beautiful (thei The Coldest Girl in Coldtown is a unique and utterly fantastic take on vampires, with haunting and beautiful prose + a one-of-a-kind story. Easily a new favorite book of all-time! Let's go ahead and address the elephant in the room: vampires? They've been used so many times, it's gotten quite old. But luckily, The Coldest Girl in Coldtown gives vampires a fresh and original spin - it's unlike anything I've ever read. And you know what I loved the most about these vampires? They're beautiful (their skin is described like marble in the book) and stunning to see, but they are truly monsters at their core. And Holly Black didn't hold back with the scary and terrifying scenes. I adored absolutely every single minute of this book. It's a true and shining gem. The Coldtowns themselves are so awesome, yet freakishly eerie. Once you're in, there's no going back. And woah. I would love to see this novel on the big screen, simply for the reason to the see the Coldtown brought to life. Black's imagination is so vivid and lush (I thought the Curse Workers trilogy was great; The Coldest Girl in Coldtown blew it out of the water.), and she never held back on anything. There are loads of surprising and jaw-falls-open moments. The Coldest Girl in Coldtown will shock you, shake you, and never let you go. Plus side? You'll never want it to end. That. Ending. I can't even compute what happened. Talk about a page-turner! While everything about this novel is awesome, the last 100 pages had me on the edge of my seat and looking behind my back - no joke. And this novel struck a chord with my paranormal side. I have never read a book like The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, but oh man, I adore this book to pieces. One of my favorite reads of the year... and of all-time! And I'm sorry, but I have to talk about these vampires again! Vampires turn many people off immediately, since they've been done so many times. But trust me, The Coldest Girl in Coldtown is an absolute must-read - I cannot even stress that enough! Come September, run to your bookstore and pick up this magnificent new prize in YA. Eerie, chilling, and wholly captivating, The Coldest Girl in Coldtown is one of the best books I've read in a long time. Overall, The Coldest Girl in Coldtown is mind-blowing and phenomenal in every way possible. This shattering new novel will have you in its captivating clutches and leave you begging for more!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Stacia (the 2010 club)

    Holly Black is one of those authors who I struggle with when it comes to putting her style of writing into a category. She's a little bit dark, a little bit snarky, and I get the distinct impression that she's going to write what she wants, the way she wants to, and screw anyone who doesn't like it. Because of this, I have both a love and frustration with her work. Every time I pick up a book of hers, I read it and get caught up in the story. However, every time I pick up a book of hers, I find Holly Black is one of those authors who I struggle with when it comes to putting her style of writing into a category. She's a little bit dark, a little bit snarky, and I get the distinct impression that she's going to write what she wants, the way she wants to, and screw anyone who doesn't like it. Because of this, I have both a love and frustration with her work. Every time I pick up a book of hers, I read it and get caught up in the story. However, every time I pick up a book of hers, I find myself annoyed with at least one of the characters; usually it's the lead female or one of the "sidekicks." Out of the five books I've read from this author, I've always found myself drawn more to the lead males than the females every single time, and it has nothing to do with their sex appeal. It's just that generally the male leads tend to have more dimension to them than the females do. And what is up with these side characters who seem to be weird ass parodies of people? In Tithe, it was Corny (that name still kills me). With this book, it was the strangeling twins (although the way their story ended was a sickeningly good shocker). In some way, I feel like I'm doing a disservice to Black's kick-ass style of writing by not rating higher. This chick is a natural-born idea machine. She's also quite clever with her character banter and interaction. But outside the fabulous-ness of the Curse Workers series (which holds a special place in my heart), I find myself closing the pages of a Holly Black book ready to move on, no matter how much the story entertained me. Where I give Black serious credit is with her bravery to write evil and gore in a genre saturated with a romanticized version of what vampires should be. Heads were rolling, blood was spurting, and the body count piled up. It would have been great to see the author just run with it and make this more of an actual horror story, instead of a romance with some dark elements. If you're new to Holly Black and would like to try out her writing, I'd recommend to start with her Curse Workers trilogy. I have a certain fondness for Cassel and his mafia style family who can destroy a person with the touch of an ungloved hand.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Justine

    I LOVED this book! I listened to the audiobook and the narrator did an amazing job. There isn't much new or fresh in the way of vampire lore here, but I thought it was an exceptionally well done vampire story. I loved Black's exquisite writing and excellent characterisation, which gave the story a feel of both modern and gothic decadence and decline. For me, it struck exactly the right balance. I see that my GR friends are a bit divided on this one. I think if you are someone who really likes vam I LOVED this book! I listened to the audiobook and the narrator did an amazing job. There isn't much new or fresh in the way of vampire lore here, but I thought it was an exceptionally well done vampire story. I loved Black's exquisite writing and excellent characterisation, which gave the story a feel of both modern and gothic decadence and decline. For me, it struck exactly the right balance. I see that my GR friends are a bit divided on this one. I think if you are someone who really likes vampire books, you will enjoy this. It's an excellent addition to the genre.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jen (The Starry-Eyed Revue)

    "If she was going to die, she might as well die sarcastic.  She'd seen a lot of old movies, and that was definitely the way to go out." Every time I think I'm done with vampire books, my favorite authors pull me back in with their own twist on this paranormal creature.  Unlike The Immortal Rules, which I've seen this book compared to on occasion, The Coldest Girl in Coldtown occurs in a more present-day setting, not years from now when the vampire epidemic has already reduced the huma "If she was going to die, she might as well die sarcastic.  She'd seen a lot of old movies, and that was definitely the way to go out." Every time I think I'm done with vampire books, my favorite authors pull me back in with their own twist on this paranormal creature.  Unlike The Immortal Rules, which I've seen this book compared to on occasion, The Coldest Girl in Coldtown occurs in a more present-day setting, not years from now when the vampire epidemic has already reduced the human population to nothing.  There are five major Coldtowns set up across the US, where vampires and those who have gone cold -- who've been infected by a vampire's bite -- are sent to spend the rest of their days in order to keep the rest of human civilization safe.  Humans must also take extra precaution after nightfall because all of the usual vampire stigmas are present in this novel: sunlight is a no-no, holy water and stakes will kill them, and, of course, they vant to suck your blooooood. Anyway, I received a review copy from the publisher, but after enjoying the Curse Workers series on audio so much, I decided to download the audiobook for The Coldest Girl in Coldtown.  A search on Audible showed me that I've never listened to Christine Lakin narrate a novel because this is the only one listed under her name, but I would definitely give future audiobooks narrated by her a chance.  She presented Tana in such a matter-of-fact way, much the way I envisioned her:  direct and to the point. Tana's situation is very different.  She's been bitten before and survived.  So when an attack at a sundown party -- which sounds like a terrible idea to me, when vampires are running rampant -- results in a small bite on her leg, she has faith that she can fight the infection again.  I rather love the self-deprecating character, the one who's humble and never gives up no matter how the odds are stacked against them. Much like Cassel Sharpe in the Curse Workers series taking on ruthless mobsters, Tana ends up taking on some of the most powerful vampires she could ever cross paths with. The Coldest Girl in Coldtown is Tana's journey to the Coldtown in Springfield.  She hopes to wait out the infection there, along with her ex-boyfriend Aidan who has gone cold after the attack at the same party where Tana was infected.  Along the way, they meet a vampire and an amateur blogger/filmmaker brother and sister duo, all headed in the same direction.  It was the vampire Gavriel that captivated me the most. Give this girl a hottie with a Russian accent, especially one who seems to be channeling Dimka, and you have a fan for life.  (Not that I wasn't already a super fan of Black's other work.) I loved the background we get on each of the characters as the story progresses, though I did wish this information would have been provided as dialogue between characters rather than flashbacks.  Whenever one of these flashbacks would occur, the transition between character perspectives was hard to decipher on the audio without some sort of heading preceding them.  Though, that's not to say that these flashbacks didn't provide valuable insight into the characters and their motivations.  I could have done without Pearl as a character on the whole, but her presence was necessary in order for that ending to play out the way it did. And so I can also see why it was necessary to include her present-day perspective at times, despite how boring it might have been.  I just didn't much care for what was going on outside of Coldtown at the time. I was pleasantly surprised by that ending.  It wasn't perfect, but it was fitting for these particular characters.  I really hope this remains a stand-alone.  I'm left with a sense of satisfaction that I read another vampire book that might just revitalize this overdone creature and make me love vampires again.  Maybe.  For now, I like that this book showed both sides of vampires:  sexy and glamorous but also dangerous and sadistic.  In other words, fun to read about, but I hope I never truly cross paths with one. Thanks to Little, Brown BFYR & Netgalley for providing a review copy. This review can also be found at The Starry-Eyed Revue.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Ashley

    Nose Graze — Young Adult book reviews The Coldest Girl in Coldtown is haunted and addictingly disturbing! This book starts off with a bang, and I promise it's a sign of what's to follow. It's dark, gruesome, and gory. After that, I'll admit that it took me a little while to get fully into the story, but once I did, OH MY WORD!!! "They'll drink up the whole world if we let them." Page 92 The Coldest Girl in Coldtown takes on an insanely horrifying vibe. There's lots and lots of blood, brutal Nose Graze — Young Adult book reviews The Coldest Girl in Coldtown is haunted and addictingly disturbing! This book starts off with a bang, and I promise it's a sign of what's to follow. It's dark, gruesome, and gory. After that, I'll admit that it took me a little while to get fully into the story, but once I did, OH MY WORD!!! "They'll drink up the whole world if we let them." Page 92 The Coldest Girl in Coldtown takes on an insanely horrifying vibe. There's lots and lots of blood, brutal deaths, and terrifying scenes. These vampires aren't like the ones in Twilight where they try to not be monsters... these vampires are bloodthirsty, brutal, and have no mercy. Every time I thought something was so crazy and so vile, I figured, "Well this is it. This is the most creepy and violent scene of the book, there's no topping that." But I was proven wrong every.time. Because Holly Black always topped it. "Every day since the one he'd died was not one where he aged, but rather one where he grew away from humanity. He didn't seem older than he must have been when he died; just entirely stranger." Page 147 Things just get more and more twisted, dark, and terrifying, until I couldn't look away. It's like when there's an accident on the freeway and you CAN'T. NOT. LOOK. It's horrible, it's sad, but you can't not look. This is the same thing. The Coldest Girl in Coldtown is all kinds of twisted, with bloodbaths, murders, and no happily ever afters. Sometimes in books I think, "Well these characters obviously won't die." There is no feeling like that in The Coldest Girl in Coldtown . Holly Black has no mercy and that's what makes this book terrifyingly realistic. There are VAMPIRES out there so there will be many deaths and they will be brutal as hell. There's also a really unexpected (or expected, however you look at it) romance that develops, that had me HOOKED! It's the ultimate kind of dangerous, forbidden love. But it's not cheesy. I kind of couldn't figure it out, but that's why it was so awesome! The whole relationship was so unexpected—the way they acted, the things they said.. everything. But it wasn't unexpected in the way that it doesn't work. Quite the opposite. It worked, and it was so sweet, but it kept you on your toes. "You are more dangerous than daybreak." Page 160 Above everything else, The Coldest Girl in Coldtown is exploding with bloody originality. I'll admit that I haven't read a ton of vampire books, but this one was so different from everything I thought to expect in one.. and I loved it! It's dark, twisted, wrong, and so addicting!! What I love most about this book is how it caught me by surprise. I didn't expect to love it nearly as much as I did, and I kind of love it when that happens!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Steven

    Holly Black, I don't know why I haven't read more of your stuff! I've read only The Darkest Part of the Forest before this one, a year or two ago, and really liked it, so I'm not sure why it's taken me this long to pick up another of your books. My mistake! I loved the flawed characters in this one, the depth of the worldbuilding without info-dumping, the creativity. Also, thanks for making sure you put representation into your book. Some people might call it "the liberal agenda," but I'll gladly Holly Black, I don't know why I haven't read more of your stuff! I've read only The Darkest Part of the Forest before this one, a year or two ago, and really liked it, so I'm not sure why it's taken me this long to pick up another of your books. My mistake! I loved the flawed characters in this one, the depth of the worldbuilding without info-dumping, the creativity. Also, thanks for making sure you put representation into your book. Some people might call it "the liberal agenda," but I'll gladly wear that intended insult as a badge of honor - fighting for diversity, inclusion, love over hate, acceptance, representation... none of those things are negatives in my book. Alas, this is only a standalone. Such a shame, as I'd love to see more of this world. :) Maybe a sequel in the future? :) Yours, Steven

  30. 4 out of 5

    Ellie (faerieontheshelf)

    oh yes, now these are my kind of vampires this has been on my tbr for years - picked it up on a whim this evening and read it in one sitting 😌also convinced this is cousins with Schwab's This Savage Song oh yes, now these are my kind of vampires this has been on my tbr for years - picked it up on a whim this evening and read it in one sitting 😌also convinced this is cousins with Schwab's This Savage Song

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