Book Review: The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black

Monday, November 11, 2013
I love reading. Books are amazing. They are a form of escapism, yes, but they are also inspiration, joy, and... well. Goodness. I think in some ways I have used my appetite for reading to define parts of my personality, so it made sense for me to review some of what I read! Here we go...

Title: The Coldest Girl in Coldtown
Author: Holly Black
Interesting Note: The idea for the novel came from a short story that Holly Black wrote in the collection of short stories The Poison Eaters

Synopsis: "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. It's an eternal party, shown on TV twenty-four hours a day - gorgeous, glamourous, deadly.

The problem is, once you pass through Coldtown's gates, you can never leave..."

My thoughts: I originally bought this as a treat for myself when I had to go to yet another medical appointment, and I read it really quickly. I had planned to have the review up that weekend but... life kind of got in the way. But here it is anyway! Just a few weeks late...

Coldest Girl is a really interesting book. The vampire character has been done and done and done (someone just has to say 'Twilight' to get things thrown at them, including, occasionally, screaming teenage girls), but I found this take very refreshing. It's similar to the usual premise - if you get bitten, you will turn, but only if you drink human blood within a certain time period. So there's this window of opportunity to avoid becoming 'cold', but it comes with a vicious cleansing that seems akin to that of a very dedicated drug addict trying to go cold turkey on their poison of choice.

Tana is an interesting character, and I enjoyed being privy to her thoughts and feelings on things - even if she couldn't always figure things out. She was insecure and scared, but she fought to keep it together because that's what she needed from herself at the time. Strong female characters are an excellent way to keep me interested - particularly if they don't go completely masculine and are still allowed to have feelings and be interested in romance.

I won't say too much about the actual plot of this book, as I'd rather you just read it for yourself, but it moves along at a decent pace and has moments that made me think about vampires and what they represent to us as humans, which was great to see in a YA paranormal.

Also, props to Holly Black for writing a stand-alone in a sea of series and trilogies. Though I would love to see other books set in this world - perhaps some more insight into Gavriel's past?

You would like this book if: You're looking for a vampire book where the vampires are only shiny if they're covered in glitter (sorry, I do actually like the Twilight books, I just can't help myself today!); you like strong female characters who show emotion.

Rating:  8.5/10

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