Review: The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black

The Coldest GirlSource: Netgalley/Little, Brown Books – I received this book in exchange for an honest review. I received no compensation
Publisher: Little, Brown Books
Edition: eARC, 432 Pages
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal Horror
Purchase: Amazon/ Barnes & Noble / Book Depository*
*I receive a small monetary kickback from Amazon purchases
Rating: 4.5/5

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.

When I say I’m a huge fan of vampire fiction THIS is what I mean. I grew up loving the blood craving creatures of the night and that’s how I want them to be: cold, ruthless, hungry, and a bit crazy all wrapped in a very appealing package. The Coldest Girl in Coldtown gave me exactly what I crave.

This is my first Holly Black novel and I think I’m in love. Her writing and ability to paint a picture really drew me in from page one, so much that I finished the whole book in a day. I only put it down when I had to eat and even then I’d find myself shoveling food in my mouth so I could get back to it.

Tana is a strong and solid main character who doesn’t cave under pressure or give into the glamor. The best thing about Tana is that when she’s faced with the reality of a vampire she doesn’t immediately tilt her head and offer up her life like most YA girls do. She doesn’t want it and she’s not fool enough to see only the positives and I love her for it. Aiden is Tana’s ex-boyfriend, now before your groan he’s just her ex-boyfriend…and honestly I can see why. This guy has some issues and I liked the odd tentative relationship they continue to have thanks to the vampire infection. And then there is Gavriel. He is definitely my favorite and why wouldn’t he be, he’s crazy…and I tend to go for the crazy ones it seems. He has a interesting and quite violent past that has really shaped who he is and I personally enjoyed his odd dangerous quirks. The way he speaks is like 1 part poetry and 3 parts crazy.

The story is a gritty one filled with pain, danger, hope, and thoughts on the nature of humanity. I love the concept of Coldtowns which are quarantined cities filled with infected, vampires, and humans…once you go in there is very little chance you ever leave. People on the outside are fed a glamorous picture of parties and fun for eternity however the reality is really gritty and really dangerous. The nature of the vampire is called into question quite a few times as well and I like that it’s not just a surface book it takes things deeper. The antagonists are self absorbed, dangerous and they don’t shy away from cruelty. I liked the flashbacks and the moments where we get glimpses of other people involved, and I liked the interesting depth it added to the overall story.

Overall this is a YA vampire novel that I can truly recommend, though it may not be for everyone. I love it for it’s unique take on both vampires and a society desensitized to their monstrous nature in favor of the glamor. I think this is a standalone but I really wish it wasn’t, I need more!

4.5 Stars

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10 Responses to Review: The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black

  1. I fell in love with Holly Black as soon as I read her White Cat. She has such unique characters set in creative worlds. I can’t wait to get my copy of this book, too.

  2. I want to read this so badly, and can’t wait even more now. Awesome review. 🙂

  3. I’ve been seeing this a lot, but I had no idea what it was about. I didn’t know Holly Black wrote a vampire book. Holly Black was part of my childhood because of The Spiderwick Chronicles so she holds a special place in my heart. Although I haven’t really read any of her YA novels, not including the anthologies she edited (Geektastic/Zombies vs Unicorns). I hope to read this in the future.
    Oh, and great review as always~ 🙂

    • It comes out Sept 3rd. I’m hoping to get a physical copy of it. I’ve only read Zombie Vs. Unicorns unfortunately. I’m going to try and find more of her books now though.

      • Just a few more days~ I wonder if it comes out the same day here. Not like it would matter because I’m broke at the moment. Haha
        I think she has a lot already. I bought the first book in her Curse Workers series, White Cat, and I’ll see how that goes~

  4. Christy @ Love of Books says:

    I had this as a WoW awhile back, but then never picked up the ARC. I’m a lameo. I’ve seen some mixed reviews for this, but I have a feeling I’d be one of those who like it.

  5. cfiel25 says:

    Every time I see or read reviews about this book, I can’t help but feel pain. It always remind me how Edelweiss disapproved my request. Anyway, I am so glad that you’re so happy with this book. I haven’t yet encountered a blogger who didn’t like it. That kind of cemented my decision to buy it tomorrow. 😀

    And I just skimmed through your review by the way for fear of reading spoilers. 😀

  6. Sounds like a great, gritty, dark vampire novel – just the way it should be! Lucky you for getting to read this one. I haven’t read any Holly Black novels either, but good to see you enjoyed this one.

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