[463]: The Coldest Girl in Cold Town by Holly Black

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown

GOODREADS SUMMARY | Little, Brown for Young Readers | Hardcover, 419 pages | September 3rd, 2013 | Young Adult | Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

We all know vampire stories are a dime a dozen in both Adult and Young Adult genres. Nowadays, you’ll be hard pressed to find one that adheres in the vein of its forefather. Every single tale is a mutation of sorts; so much so that Vlad the Impaler had morphed into another creature altogether. The Coldest Girl in Cold Town must’ve caught me on a good day. Because for all its effort to stick to the original legend (somewhat), it had worked so much better than any other vampire metamorphosis that have become vastly popular in modern fiction. That’s not to say that Holly Black didn’t give it her own twist. Conversely, the combination of both old and the new made for a time-sucking read. And that’s a good thing.

A bloody hangover.

The sundown party that Tana attended was meant to usher in the end of the school year. But when she woke up in a bloodbath surrounded by corpses, the hangover will probably not go away even if she swallowed a bottle of Advil.  The only survivor of the massacre was her ex on the cusp of a change, and a chained ferocious vampire with ruby red eyes and a revenge years in the making. Knowing what was waiting for them outside the door of the room, Tana had to find a way to leave the farm house. With Aidan, her ex on the verge of becoming a vampire himself, she needed to get him to a place where vampirism is a way of life: Cold Town.

Take two aspirins, and call me in the morning.

In Cold Town, they might have a chance at surviving. And knowing that she could be infected herself, there really was no former life to get back to. Unless, she’s willing to let the virus ran its course – which would take 88 days of excruciating pain and thirst. She’s determined not to change so she could go back to her sister, Pearl and their  father, who was already traumatized for killing their newborn mother.  Sometimes, the best laid plans could be blown to smithereens, which is exactly what happens when they find out the identity of the vampire riding shotgun in the trunk of her car.

Remedy for my malady.

Who would’ve thunk it? I’ve been in such a horrendous stretch of funk with YA lately that I didn’t think I’d see the light of day. Who would’ve guessed that this vampire novel is just what I needed to jump start my YA mojo back to pubescent exuberance again? Sometimes, simplicity is good. And this is what I found in Holly Black’s vampire novel. The world was effortlessly imaginable, with an absorbing, suspenseful plot line, an a set of characters who are not too complex that you’d need to do an individual psych evaluation to get to know.

Tana is a character who’s got her head on straight despite the mess of her so-called life. She’s fearless, selfless, and with no concept of self preservation. Her refusal to change also what makes her more admirable. Her determination to remain human stems from the history of how she lost her mother. And while her fearlessness sometimes led her to some questionable choices, it didn’t make her any less valiant.

The romance was subtle, which is also a big plus for this book. Because if you’re on the verge of becoming a monster, that should be on the forefront of your mind and not how “the cold one” makes your dying heart tick. It was realistic, and it made sense.

In conclusion, Holly Black’s take on the vampire lore may not be avant garde, but it was exactly what I needed to get out of a funk.
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  • I really like the way you review the books! It is almost like you are selling it to me xD I have never read a book by Holly Black yet, but I really want to. They seem so popular!

    • Thank you, Olivia. And thanks for following as well. I can’t wait to read your thoughts on books and such. 😀

  • I liked this one but I didn’t love it. It definitely started and ended on a high note though! Glad this helped you get out of your YA funk 😉

    • Me too. Too bad it didn’t put in the right path of choosing good books. Because now, I’m back in. Sigh.

  • I’ve been umming and ahhing about this book. But yet again, your review has decided me! I now have to add it to my tbr skyscraper! I can’t wait to read about a smart female lead for a change, it’s been a while since I’ve found one that I didn’t want to strangle! Brilliant review. :]

    • Wouldn’t that just be awesome? Let me know if you find one and I’ll return the favour. Lol.

  • Yay, I’m so glad the simplicity in this vampire story was enough to get you out of your funk! I’ve heard that this book returns us to an era when vampires were scary, lol. Cold Town sounds completely and utterly scary. I like how Tana sounds like a completely strong character and the romance was minimal. Great review Joy!

  • I also loved that book! I am still not sure about the ending, but I still enjoyed it.

  • I know exactly what you mean about simplicity and the vampire book thing cause normally I don’t even pick them up anymore but I seriously have enjoyed some of Holly’s other books and so when I read this I knew I would at least enjoy her writing style and I seriously liked it. I think it was the mix of the cold towns and the media coverage and of course the subtle relationship and her characters. I can’t wait now to dive back into and finish her Curse Workers trilogy. So glad you loved it since Ya has been hard for you lately (it’s been hard for me as well hence all the adult fantasy I have been reading instead…well before I was in the funk, now I am back to reading both.)

  • This is exciting! I’ve had this one forever but always put it off because of the whole YA vampire cliche thing but I’m so glad it’s a good read (and that it got you out of your slump!) Definitely going to give this one a chance now.

  • So glad you liked this one! And glad it moved you out of your YA slump, for however long. (As long as it’s not an overall reading slump; then we’d really have to call in the troops!) Have you read Holly Black’s Curseworkers series? I adore them.

  • I already wanted to read this but I have to read it now Joy!

  • Melanie (YA Midnight Reads)

    I’m so glad that you adored this one! I have a copy of this one my shelves somewhere and I do plan to read it sometime early next year.

    Lovely review, Joy! <33

  • Yes! I loved this one, too, Joy! It was gory and odd at times and the subtle romance hit me just right. Fab review! 🙂

  • Naomi @ Nomi’s Paranormal Palace

    I have read a few reviews about this book and they have been good, I’m going to have to get it!

    Naomi @ Nomi’s Paranormal Palace

  • Tithe/Ironside are the only books by Holly Black I’ve read. I should probably check out what else she’s written already, including this one. Awesome review!

  • Oh yes I’m quite curious about this book. I haven’t read any by the author but I think I only saw good reviews about it so it’s nice to see you enjoyed it as well. I need to read it!

  • I believe you when you said this is a good read but more importantly I am in awe of YOU. Your reviews are so wonderfully-written and you’re definitely a good writer… do you have your own novel somewhere? Because I will read it.

  • Blog’s looking good, Joy! I’ve only recently started reading vampires books again, although still quite sparingly, so your 4-star review was an unexpected surprise. I know how merciless you can be with your ratings! The low key romance, and Holly Black’s version of Vlad gives me hope for the future of YA.

    Carmel @ Rabid Reads.

    • Right? All thanks to my very talented, very patient web designer! <3

      Heh. Am I really merciless with my ratings? O.o I'm kinda surprised that I enjoy this one, too. Maybe things are changing? 🙂

  • Reviews for this one have been all over the place but in spite of them, I’ve been curious about this book. Your positive review definitely makes me want to rush out and snag a copy for myself! It doesn’t even mater if it isn’t mindblowingly awesome. All that matters is that it was a fun read that seemed to have an original take on vampires! 😀 AND THE MAIN CHARACTER IS SMART! Plus a subtle romance is always a plus given the situation they are in. 😛

    Lovely review, Joy!

    • Thanks, love. I hope you’ll enjoy it as it was unexpectedly enjoyable for me. 🙂

  • NOOOO. I am mad at you for enjoying this book, Joy. Because I hated it. Really, really hated it. lol. But I can uderstand why you enjoyed it. Well. Maybe. Okay, I don’t get it 😀 It just wasn’t for me at all :p But I do love your review. As always. And you are all kinds of awesome. And I am glad you liked it. Maybe 😀

    • Aw. But hey, we both hated The Darkest Minds, so yay! Lol. 🙂

  • Eileen @ BookCatPin

    Yay yay yay soooo happy you enjoyed this one! I love the concept of this book. It was unique and so interesting to read about. I definitely swooned at the subtle romance lol.

    • I did, too. I thought that even though Gabriel wasn’t around all that much, the romance still worked. 🙂

  • Yay, I’m glad you enjoyed Holly Black’s take on vampires! “the combination of both old and the new made for a time-sucking read.” And I agree, that’s a good thing for sure. I loved the atmosphere in this one so much. Wonderful review, Joy. : )

  • OK I’ve changed my mind about not wanting to read this book. I most definitely want to read it especially if it managed to entertain you even throughout your YA funk. Tana sounds awesome and I like the sound of a romance that doesn’t take over the plot.
    Great review, Joy!

    • Oh Nick, I think you should try this one. It might be your cup of tea. 🙂

  • So glad to hear this was a good one! It’s been on TBR list, and I really need to read some Holly Black. TBH, I find YA to be an easy place to get disillusioned without guidance. Thankfully, I read the great Half Bad by Sally Green recently and loved it, though I only found it through recommendations. When I make my own YA picks, they seem to have gone bad recently…

    • I need to read that one! I’ve been seeing some polarizing reviews, but over all they commented on how original the concept was. Looking forward to reading your review!