Book Review : The Coldest Girl in Coldtown

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Stand-alone or part of a series: A stand alone novel. (I do wish it’s the start of a series though)

I did not have huge expectations for this book. I just saw this at the bookstore and I picked it up, because I did hear so many good things about it, and it’s by Holly Black… Now, how could I resist?

Well, anyway, this story opens when Tana our main protagonist, wakes up in the bath tub after a Sun Down party at a friend’s farm house. So, as she struggled to get out of the bathroom, thinking about how silly she might have looked and how many of her friends saw her passed out in the tub, she walks into the living room and sees dead bodies. The bodies of the people she went to school with and people whom she didn’t even know.

Now this is the part which is interesting, I for one did not know that this book was about… Drum roll please… *thud thud thud* Vampires! Who would’ve thought, right? I mean, read the back cover summary!

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

I did not see this coming at all. I mean, I haven’t read another vampire book since Twilight! (Excluding the vampire parts and characters in Cassandra Clare’s books) Like, oh my God. Just when I thought originality was gone from Vampire stories, this book just comes and slaps me in the face with its pages.

Moving back, as you might have read from the back cover summary above, Tana discovers that her ex-boyfriend, Aidan is indeed alive but infected. You see, in this world, when you’re bitten you’ll go Cold, it’s a sickness where you’ll develop certain vampire abilities. You’re senses heighten, your canines grow longer, and you’ll have this thirst for human blood, but until you drink human blood, that’s it, you’re just sick. You can either wait out the virus until it runs its course which is excruciatingly painful as we discover in this book, or you can drink human blood and die. But of course you’ll rise again, as a vampire. Anyway, Aidan is tied to a bed, and there’s another boy, a vampire boy, tied in chains, just next to Aidan. Tana, then decides that she would help both Aidan and the vampire boy, who’s known as Gavriel. They escape the farmhouse despite the presence of other vampires who feasted on Tana’s friends the night before and were the captors of Gavriel but in a last attempt to stop Tana and company from escaping, Tana’s leg grazes the teeth of one of the vampires. They jump off the window and drive off as the night falls.

Aidan is infected, and there’s a vampire dude in the trunk of her car, and she herself may be infected. They head to Springfield, a Coldtown that is known to broadcast the lives of the vampires inside its walls. Here we’ll witness what really happens inside Coldtowns, we’ll see the humans trapped inside and the people who will do anything just to get in to become vampires themselves.

Another thing that surprised me is, how there’s no love triangles. You did it again Holly Black! I expected Aidan, being Tana’s ex-boyfriend to try and get her back. But that’s just what he is, an ex. I applaud Black’s attempt in going against the YA norms, it worked really well alongside the twists and turns in this journey that Tana is in.

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown displays the bloody mix of love and lust, of revenge and friendship, of trust and lies. With every chapter, you’ll be drawn in to the concept of life and death. How one is more tempting than the other.