Review: The Coldest Girl In Coldtown - Holly Black

Release Date: September 3rd 2013
Published By: Indigo
Pages: 419
Goodreads: Add it to your reading list

Rating: 4 out of 5

Synopsis: 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.

Review: I have a confession to make – The Coldest Girl In Coldtown is my very first Holly Black novel. I wasn’t sure what to expect, because vampires and YA have a tumultuous history. I was pleasantly surprised at this incredibly unique take on a genre that I thought was dead (no pun intended) in YA.

Tana is our protagonist who finds herself in a predicament after waking up in a bathtub (at a party) and finding all of her friends dead. THAT is how you start the first chapter of a novel. Just get straight into it! She finds one of the rooms occupied and in it is her ex boyfriend Aiden and a vampire chained to a chair, who we find out is Gavriel. There are vampires after the two of them, and now that Tana is in the room, her life is in danger also. In a rush, Tana decides to free them both and escape out the window where she is bitten on her way out. Fearing she is getting cold (the infection before you turn into a vampire), and with Aiden already being cold, the three decide to escape to one of the coldtowns where they won’t be as harmful to others.

I thought the blend of contemporary and sci-fi/supernatural themes was absolutely genius. Coldtowns are places set up as a quarantine from the rest of the outside world. It’s where vampires and those infected (cold) go. Once you’re in, you cannot get out. Coldtowns have this mix of humans, vampires and people that are cold all cohabiting together and at times fighting to survive. But the really unique take on this is the element of social media. Vampires have live webcam streams of their glamorous, sexy parties to the outside world to watch. People outside of coldtowns can tune in and watch their favourite vampire vloggers who are regarded as celebrities. Humans that are wanting to become vampires head to coldtowns and blog about their experiences as they turn cold. Vampire bounty hunter shows are what’s popular on television. Vampirism has a sick following.

The relationships in this book are interesting, and to be truthful, based on the sticker on the cover stating that this novel was not suitable for younger audiences, I did expect more romance (or at least steamy scenes). There was a little bit, but it was really quite tame given the impression I was given from the outset.

This being said, I really loved the connection between Tana and Gavriel. They had a bond that went beyond the physical, and my heart raced a little whenever they would have an interaction. Gavriel had a charisma to him that made him mesmerising and unforgettable. He didn’t have a huge role in the novel, but whenever he appeared, it was quite thrilling. THAT kiss!

Some of the other relationships whilst interesting, confused me. Aiden is Tana’s ex boyfriend, and whilst my eyes were wide open reading abut the dynamics of their previous relationship (they were crazy), I was left wondering what this meant. Was Aiden meant to be a second love interest to create a love triangle? I am saying no. I don’t think he was. But I am also left feeling like I don’t really get what the relevancy of their history added to the actual storyline – if anything.

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown has some really dark and scary themes, which I thought was absolutely fantastic in it’s own right, but this combined with this beautifully original storyline made for a highly entertaining read.

I’m definitely recommending this one if you like dark, creepy reads!


“Isn’t every hero aware of all the terrible reason they did those good deeds?” Aware of every mistake they ever made and how good people got hurt because of their decisions? Don’t they recall the moments they weren’t heroic at all? The moments where their heroism led to more deaths than deliberate villainy ever could?”

“Every hero is the villain of his own story.”

“I love you, you see…and I fear I have no way to say or show it that isn’t terrible, except coming here. I would kill everyone in the world for you, if you wanted…….Or not obviously”

“We all wind up drawn to what we’re afraid of, drawn to try to find a way to make ourselves safe from a thing by crawling inside of it, by loving it, by becoming it.”

“So I’m scared, because you’re not just not human, you’re not like anyone….there’s nobody like you in all the world and it’s you I want. I want you and I hate wanting things and I especially hate admitting I want them.”

Book Trailer:

What do you think?

  • JennRenee says:

    great review. I loved this book. Holly Black did an amazing job with vampires. I was happy to see the dark come back.
    JennRenee recently posted…Review: Save the Enemy by Arin GreenwoodMy Profile

  • Sephora B says:

    I really enjoyed this book and I’m glad you did, too! I actually didn’t realize it was about vampires until she started mentioning garlic and closed windows…

    Aidan and Tana’s relationship did confuse me as well; he seemed to be a control freak without being a control freak. Does that make sense? I get that she cares for him and all but she let him manipulate her a little too much.

    I wouldn’t mind meeting Gavriel no matter how crazy he’s supposed to be. He and Tana make a great couple, which is why I was a little sad that there wasn’t more on what was going on with them (in the end).

    In all, Holly Black is awesome.

    • Melissa says:

      Same here!! The back doesn’t really talk much of vampires, so it was a surprise really - but pleasant as it turned out.

      Yeah he was a bit of a jealous control freak - but not domineering? Definitely manipulative though. Didn’t completely understand the relevance of that relationship, but I did have a giggle at their relationship though since that was quite different!

      Agree about Gavriel, he was amazing! I really wanted more from that relationship, but I was ultimately still happy with what we got.

      Great book!!
      Melissa recently posted…W..W..W.. WednesdaysMy Profile

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