Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Look at Her Go; Reviewin' Reviewin': The Coldest Girl in Coldtown

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown

Holly Black 


I don't normally read a lot of vampire books, mostly because Twilight kind of ruined that whole venture for me. I just tend to shy away from them because either they're done very right or they're done very very wrong. But I'd heard oodles about Holly Black's The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, especially from Katytastic on youtube and Violet, so I knew I had to try it. 

And I wasn't disappionted. Holly Black crafts an amazingly well-developed world in the space of 400 pages, and I was hooked on the way she presented vampirism; as something glamorous but also something so utterly unpredictable. The book is disturbing in the best way, and I found myself equally repulsed and attracted by the world.

Basically, Tana is a normal girl living in a normal, present-day United States. Except that in her normal United States, the whole world knows that vampires exist, and the creatures and those who have been infected by vampires are quarantined within walled cities called Coldtowns. Coldtowns are places that, once you go in, you don't come out. One morning, Tana wakes up after a party to find that every other partygoer is dead. Except for two other people. One: her charming, infuriating ex-boyfriend and one mysterious, unknown vampire. Both of which are chained up in a bedroom. Tana must decide what to do with this vampire and her infected ex, all the while dealing with memories of vampirism from her past. The only way she can save all three of them is by heading directly into the nearest Coldtown- where a whole host of other dangers await.

If you like vampires,  or if you don't usually like vampires, but enjoy thrillers and some spook factor- I would definitely recommend this book to you.

Full, spoilery review under the cut!

Find this book on Goodreads

OK so let's talk, friends. Can I just say how much I loved everything about this book? I thought the characters were perfectly wrought, the world was built so perfectly, and there was just enough of the creep-factor to push along the story, but not to overpower. I just thought it was so perfectly balanced.

First of all, the characters. Tana is the PERFECT heroine. I can barely even think of a better one. From the very beginning of the book, she could've just completely lost it. If I saw all of my friends dead on the groud, I probably would, but she holds herself together so wonderfully, it makes me admire her so much. I also loved the way she was able to admit to herself that becoming a vampire held its allure, but in a world that glamorizes them so much, she never gave in. Her will is iron- I really admire that in a heroine. Throughout the book I was thinking that Tana would be a dauntless, were she in the Divergent world. Nothing seems to throw her, at least outwardly. And though she's super tough and badass, she still has a soft spot for her sister and Pauline and Gavriel (in the beginning when she saves him even though he's a vampire) and even Aiden. I love the duality of it.

Gavriel is one of my top characters of 2013. I love the enigmatic quality to him that we get to start out the book. Then, when we find out that he is the Thorn, things just become even more insane. I loved how we started getting some flashback chapters from his POV, just because I think he would've come across a lot harsher if we hadn't gotten that peek into his head. Also, his backstory breaks my heart. He killed his brother, lost his sister, finally thought he had a family in Lucian and Elizabet, and then he, noble soul that he is, gives himself up for his friends into an eternity in servitude. Oh my god. The feels. I'm a sucker for pretty boys with sad backstories (see: Jace Lightwood, Will Herondale). Also- he and Tana's first kiss and then their little scene at the end just made me squeal. I love the way their relationship was developed.

That being said, I also loved all of the minor characters, even if I loved to hate them. They all served a specific purpose, which I really liked. Some favorites were Pauline, Jameson and Valentina and Lucian. Mostly I liked it when Lucian died, but still there has to be a villain right?

Some reactions as I went through the book: First of all, its so interesting to think what the world would be like if people actually did find out that vampires existed. That was the main thing that was so interesting to me throughout this book- I don't think that Holly Black's portrayal of the world is that far off from what would happen. I think that we would glamorize and idolize that immortality and seduction, and that's really disturbing. I think that's why I was somewhat morbidly fascinated by this world.

I thought the whole premise of going "cold" before actually becoming a vampire was really different and intriguing- like there is a way to turn back, even if you were bitten by a vampire. I've never read anything where it was done that way. The Coldtown, in itself, also really freaked me out. Its like an apocalyptic ballroom put right in the middle of everyday life. Fascinating and freaky. The eternal ball and Lucian's parties put right alongside the suicides in the sunlight each morning.

I was genuinely afraid at several points during the story, too. It takes a lot to well and truly scare me, and I actually enjoyed reading this book for that reason. When Tana, Aiden and Gavriel were escaping from the house in the beginning, when Pearl showed up in Coldtown, when Winter and Midnight locked Aiden and Tana in a room together, when Midnight attacked Tana. There were so many points where my stomach dropped. I truly think that reading this book and getting into this world is an experience, and its unlike anything I've ever read before.


"You are more dangerous than daybreak" p. 160
"Tana, in all my long life, though there were times I prayed for it, no one has ever saved me but you." p. 303
"Dead men bite not. -Theodatus" p. 378

This was definitely one of my favorite books of the year, and I'm really excited to read more of Holly Black's books. Look for this in my "Top 13 of 2013" post- coming soon!


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