The Coldest Girl in Coldtown
Author: Holly Black
Release Date: September 3, 2013
Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Genre(s): Young Adult, Fantasy, Vampire, Horror
Review Spoilers: Low
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If you like books where the girl saves herself, then you’ve probably already discovered this book. Unlike the amass of other vampire books that have flooded the shelves post-Twilight, this one satisfies all the wants. It’s a single book, the romance isn’t overly dramatic and a little sickly, the girl is strong, and the life is not glamorous. It is without a doubt, one of those great weekend reads that doesn’t leave you wanting or waiting for the next installment.
Set in modern-ish times in America, a plague broke out from a new vampire biting and begins changing people into vampires. However, there is a way to prevent oneself from turning. First, one goes Cold. For about 48 hours it’s a toss up if you will turn, or will be safe. Granted, most people end up turning Cold, and that’s when you either lock up, or somehow get human blood and make the transformation complete.
If you don’t want to go full vamp, you’ve got about 12 weeks of pain, thirst, and all around torture ahead of you. This is the world that Tana lives in. She knows first hand what going Cold looks like, and what waiting it out looks like. So when she wakes up in a house full of corpses and blood, she knows her life as she knew it is over.
The story follows Tana, Adian, her ex boyfriend, and Gavriel, the vampire she saved, and their trip to the Springfield Coldtown. Adian is going there to fully turn into a vampire, because what good looking, devilish boy wouldn’t want girls and guys to fawn over them for the next century or so? Gavriel is seeking revenge on a very old friend.
Tana is going to self quarantine and get back out to her sister and father. The plan, while ludicrous is the only one Tana has. So she drives, with a crazy vampire, and one that is newly turning to Coldtown. This Coldtown is the biggest and most well known with live feeds showing the charmed lives of vampires and those stuck inside either by choice or unlucky circumstance. When the trip meets a pair of twins bent on becoming 18 forever, their plan starts to unravel and mayhem ensues.
Holly Black does a wonderful job of bringing us into this world where vampires live. The show of quarantining vampires in their own towns to prevent the infection, and self identification/government take in of those bitten is realistic to what would actually happen. She portrays the vampires not only as glamorous and rich, but as monsters, schemers, and real.
The story will take you in from the beginning, and keep you there. Luckily, you won’t be left waiting for a series of books to come out. The ending is just as well written and thought out as the beginning, and ties up ends beautifully. Basically, I love Holly Black and am going to look for more books of hers to read now.
In short, if you are looking for a vampire book that isn’t full of glitter, woe, and gooey love, pick this up. If you want a book where the girl doesn’t need a boy to save her, and can do very well on her own thank you, this is for you. If you’re tired of tropes, and really want a good weekend read, grab this. It’s a great story, very well written, and it keeps you going to the end.