Wednesday, August 6, 2014

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black Review

Title:The Coldest Girl in Coldtown
Author: Holly Black
Pages: 419
Publication Date:September 3rd 2013 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Source: Library, ebook, Also won an ARC from Armchair BEA
Link: Official Site, Goodreads

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 recently read The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black for my Young Adult Book Club's July book of the month discussions. I was pleasantly surprised by this book.  I am so used to what seems to be the same old same old vampire books so the fact that this one is a new a different take on vampires was fun. I was drawn to this book because of the cover art.. and the fact that it is a stand alone novel.  Yeah for not being a trilogy. 

Basically.. being a vampire is a virus.  There were ancient vampires that had this virus but kept it contained in a community.  One day a vampire finally decides to infect other people.  If you were infected.. you could sweat out the virus in 88 days.  But those days were torture and you had to be chained up.  If you drank human blood during this time you would be turned into a a full vampire. The US government would take all infected people and move them to Coldtowns.  There were I think 4 or 5 in the US. Our main characters consist of these types of characters. An interesting take on being a vampire.


There is a neat and interesting quote at the beginning of each chapter. I like how the quotes started out saying death is great and peaceful and then as the book progressed the quotes started talking about how death is a bad thing. So at first being a vampire is glamorous and then not so much. Though .. I started reading the ebook and finished reading with a physical copy. In the ebook the quotes are in the same print as all the other words but in the physical copy they are in a really pretty handwriting. Not sure why the ebook couldn't do this same font?

The romance in this book falls flat. In fact.. it did stir up a good discussion about instalove in the group discussions.  I never felt that the main characters Tana and Gavriel really had this epic romance. The whole media frenzy in this book was quite interesting. There are little Coldtowns where vampires are gathered together by the government and there are live feeds coming out of these towns.  I can just see us glued to our tvs watching this world happening.  These feeds make living like a vampire look great so people actually try to get into these Coldtowns to become vampires.

Coldtown is so interesting that I even think there could be short stories based on characters that live there.  I don't want a sequel or anything but maybe a story in an anthology.  I would recommend this book to those of you wanting to read about vampires and are just tired of the same old same old stoires. 

The crystal ball says:


Clouds are covering! A read that lets me down every now and then but peaks out of the clouds!


28 comments:

  1. Well that's a shame on the romance front but oh my word I love the vampire part! It's always so neat to see what new take an author can come up with :)

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  2. Hooray for stand alones! I need to read this one! It's bee on my to-read list for a while.

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  3. Kimi @ Geeky ChiquitasAugust 6, 2014 at 10:09 AM

    I love Holly Black so I'm definitely reading this book! Its take on vampires sounds so interesting, but bummer about the romance part though. Will pick this up soon. Great review! :)


    -Kimi at Geeky Chiquitas

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  4. I didn't like it either. Except for the kissing scene, I didn't like Tana at all. I did like Gavriel, though.

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  5. I've heard good things about this one - but I think it's mostly because of the new take on vampires. Which does sound really interesting, but I would definitely want more from the romance. So I guess I won't look forward to that in this book. At least it held your interest though, and the premise is so intriguing that I do want to read it someday! I'm glad it is a standalone!

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  6. I really enjoy new takes on an old staple. It sounds like the way vampires are handled in this one is very interesting. I also like the cover. Too bad about the insta love though. That really stinks! Jaclyn @ JC's Book Haven.

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  7. Hmm... well, whilst reading your review I didn't thik this would be for me. It's not what I expected and, apart from those quotes you mention at the beginning of each chapter, it doesn't really sound like a book I would take much pleasure or interest from reading, but then I got to your summary and, well, I'll keep an eye out for it at my library and see if a copy comes up there. It could just be a really interesting, vampire perspective changing read for me!

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  8. I don't care for insta-love, ugh, but if I look at it as just a side bar of the main picture--the unusual take on vampires-- well then I think I would really enjoy this book. Thanks for a good review!

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  9. Hmms the instalove made me pause..like some of the ideas and the different take on vampires though!

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  10. Lisa @ Captivated ReaderAugust 6, 2014 at 8:50 PM

    Thanks for the review of this book. It's on my reading wishlist and seems to be a hot read right now.

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  11. I am curious about this one; I've heard some good things. I still like vampires, but it's fun where authors do something a bit different with them.


    -Lauren
    www.shootingstarsmag.blogspot.com

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  12. Hmm... This does sound good, but the thing is I'm wary of Black. For some reason, I just don't want to pick up her books even though I want to pick up her books. That makes no sense, but I'm just not sure on her. I do want to read this one though. Great review! Romance that falls flat in novels sometimes should just omit the romance from them.This doesn't seem like the kind of book that needs romance.

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  13. Man, that really is an interesting take on the Vampire! It as a virus is something I haven't really heard of before... unless I Am Legend counts? Not sure if that one took vamps as a disease, either. Seriously, this is pretty unique and could be used to explore different themes when it comes to life and death :) Sucks about that romance, though. Sometimes, if a romance falls falt, perhaps it means it would have been better if there were none at all? I prefer some of my reads without them actually.

    Faye at The Social Potato

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  14. I really do love the new take on Vampires in this book! It was a total breath of fresh air. No wonder this book has been getting good reviews. AND a stand alone!! WOOT WOOT!

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  15. I am glad I picked it up.. or I should say, won this book. It actually pushed it up on my TBR pile since I am trying to read more books that I own rather then all the ones from the library.

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  16. Glad I inspired someone to read it. If you like vampires and Holly Black then this would be for you.

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  17. I did like the book. I didn't mean to come off as if I didn't like the book. Unless you mean you didn't like the romance in the book.. then I have to agree with you there. Just not all that great. Maybe I should switch my crystal balls back to stars??? Or a number for a rating to help people better understand them. What do you think?

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  18. I love the cover too.. I think it's cool.. is it a tattoo?? Is it blood trickling down?? It makes me really think. The colors are perfect too. This is one of those books I would for sure pick up for the cover alone.

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  19. HA! I am the worst at summarizing the plot of a book, which is why I always include the goodreads description of the book. So I am glad you were able to understand what I saying there. If you aren't into horror/vampire novels then I would say just skip this one. There is some blood and gore in it.. lots of killing too.

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  20. I was quite surprised that this was FINALLY a unique vampire story. It actually made me curious about more stories that could take place in Coldtown. For once I wished a stand alone book would have more stories to go with it. Perhaps Holly Black will release some novelas.

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  21. I get so sick of instalove. But I suppose there are only so many pages and time in a book to get a love story going. Especially in a stand alone instead of series. So at the same time I applaud her for not making us going through 3 books and read a bunch of fluff.

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  22. Glad you liked the review!! I can't wait to see what you think of it when you read it.

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  23. I had heard a lot of good things about this one too. When I saw it on the list to chose books from when I won on Armchair BEA I had to pick that one!!

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  24. Sometimes there is just something about an author that makes you not want to read them. I am sorta like this with Dean Koontz. I don't know.. I just don't want to read him and I don't know why!! I have read two of his books, they weren't bad but I just don't want to read anymore books.

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  25. I think I am Legend is a good example of a new take on the vampire story. I think this story could've done without the romance. It would've been fine. Or maybe just hinted to it but didn't go all the way to the love affair.

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  26. World building looks good and yay, finally a standalone ! I'll keep it in mind ;)

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  27. While I think of it : I love your mushroom at the top of the tag, I want to eat it ! (yes, I know, bad move)

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  28. Thank you!! I have only really just started eating mushrooms!

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