Book: Coldest Girl in Coldtown
Author/Authoress: Holly Black
You know how people always talk about budget movies and how cheap everything looked? Well that’s how I felt when I looked at this cover. It had the cheap look of a book who no one was willing to spend on. They definitely did not spend on the cover. It looks like someone took a picture of a hand and photoshopped a cheap looking smudged ‘The Coldest Girl in Coldtown’ onto it. Come on, publishers. Holly Black is not a cheap writer. We are talking about the woman who wrote the Curseworkers series- White Cat, Black Heart and Read Glove. By the way, that is an amazing series which you should read ASAP. Even if the book’s about vampires (as you might have guessed, I’m not a huge fan of vampires) none of Holly Black’s books deserve a cover as cheap and ugly looking as this one.
If 10 is OMG! Unforgettable! and 1 is wait, which book? on the scale of book beginnings, this is an 11 on a scale of 1-10. This book begins with the Main Character, Tana waking up after a party to a house full of dead bodies. Tana’s tangible fear made this even more engaging. Through her, Holly has fashioned a fresh and compelling narrative voice. Which is truly, the strength of the book. Although that’s only to be expected. If you’ve read anything by Holly Black , you’ll recognize the fact that she has a way of shaping characters into real, perfectly flawed, and down to earth individuals. And Tana is no exception. She has cracks in her exterior that aren’t hidden from us; There’s something so flawlessly human about the way she giggles at the most inappropriate of times. She’s a strong character who’s faced a lot in her life but manages to stay selfless and determined through it all. And that’s a bad combo. Her selflessness and bravery keep getting her into trouble. But ultimately, she’s only human.
The characters Tana meets throughout this story all shine with charisma. One thing I found particularly refreshing was the fact that the villains were portrayed as sick, bloodthirsty bastards who are conniving and vengeful – without any redeemable qualities. No tear jerking stories of how they were abused as children or how they did everything for ‘two wuv’, this is how villains are meant to be portrayed.
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.
You got that right. It is. ‘Nuff said.
If you’re worried after reading the blurb, you don’t need to be. There is no love triangle. Not even the pretence of one. That being said, the romance in here is pretty twisted and stupid. It goes without being said that you do not bite your tongue so hard that you can taste blood before kissing a vampire (unless you’re suicidal). Because, chances are the vampire will be able to taste blood too. Yet this is exactly what Tana does. Also, I was kind of annoyed/bored/feeling like ‘do stupid reasons like this actually exist in real life’ with Gavriel’s reason for liking Tana.If you want to know, it’s because she bothered to save his life. Stockholm syndrome much? But their love is kind of like teenage love. Passionate but stupid.
Holly Black spends so much time trying to get us to understand that though everyone outwardly hates vampires, they secretly (or not so secretly) want to become one too. I get it, immortality is tempting and beauty is seductive but a world where vampire and vampire hunters can co-exist in teenage girl’s lockers is confusing to say the least.
Another thing I had an issue with was the main character’s pushover ness when it came to her ex. The MC described her relationship with him as a competition to see who would freak out first. That in itself is weird enough but the things that her ex does… Let me put it this way: He goes around kissing boys and girls (he doesn’t do discrimination) in front of her just waiting for her to freak out and break up with him. And let me make this clear- she watches and doesn’t say anything. BECAUSE SHE DOESN’T WANT TO LOSE THE COMPETITION! Sorry for the caps lock but it’s necessary. I mean, I’m the first one to poke fun at the jealous, insecure girls in books who spend half of the book feeling petty jealousy (Evermore) and the other half being reassured by their shallow boyfriends that they are beautiful. But if your date kissing a boy is bad, then what’s the word for the guy who asks his girlfriend to kiss another boy in front of him? Is there even a word for the girl who promptly does so and then feels satisfaction when her boyfriend breaks up with her because she feels like she has finally won?
Overall recommendation: 3/5
I went into this book with mixed expectations. On one hand, it was a book by THE Holly Black. And on the other it had an ugly cover and was about vampires. And I came out of the book much the same way. There are tons of plotholes and the characters in this book just don’t capture your attention the way they did in her other series. But there’s something about Holly Black’s writing which is chock full of anecdotes and breezy, easy writing that didn’t make me mind all that much anyways. I’d suggest you read the book by borrowing it from a library or from a friend (or non-friend) but I wouldn’t recommend springing for it.