Saturday, May 18, 2019

Book Review: The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black

Title: The Coldest Girl in Coldtown
Author: Holly Black
Publication Date: September 3, 2013
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Pages: 419
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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 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. 

Although I loved True Blood, I missed the bulk of the vampire craze of the 2000s. The Coldest Girl in Coldtown wasn't even on my radar until after I read The Cruel Prince. So many people have told me how amazing this book is, but I was wary of picking this up since it really didn't seem like my thing. After a recent poll, I decided to finally give it a chance and I'm so glad I did!

This is NOT your average YA vampire paranormal romance. The Coldest Girl in Coldtown is dark and bloody and reminds me more of Anne Rice than L.J. Smith. Tana is the main character who finds herself in a Coldtown after possible infection with the vampire virus. She's joined by a cast of other characters including a vampire who is more than what he seems.

I found Tana to be a believable heroine, brave only when she had to be, although I didn't necessarily love her. I did, however, love Gavriel the vampire who Tana saved! We're told he's insane and I liked that I could actually kind of see it. He's the kind of tortured love interest I love. He also had such an interesting backstory. I'd love to read a book about Gavriel's life before he met Tana. THAT would be an amazing read! I did like that, while there was romance between the two, it didn't overshadow the story.

The best part of The Coldest Girl in Coldtown is the world building, hands down. I love the explanations this book makes for vampires in a realistic America. The Coldtowns are equal parts terrifying and fascinating. I'd love to be able to explore a place like this, but I'd definitely be too chicken to set foot in one without being infected. Coldtown society was interesting and realistic. I would seriously love to read more about this world.

I guess Holly Black is mostly known for her faerie stories, but she should definitely write more vampire books because this one was incredible! I definitely enjoyed it more than The Darkest Part of the Forest. If you're a fan of vampire books and haven't read this yet, I highly recommend picking it up! I'll just be sitting here hoping that Holly Black decides to return to this world in the future.