Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown ~ Holly Black (earc) review

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
September 3, 2013
432 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depo/or Amazon
8 Chapter Free Preview

Tana has grown up knowing up about vampires. They're dangerous monsters but, at least presently, to those in her town, they're otherworldly beings that live in Coldtwons and exist in on reality TV.

Coldtowns are walled-in, secluded cities where vampires and humans both live -- still predator and prey. Only, once you're inside, it's incredibly hard to leave. Nigh impossible.

Vampires haven't impacted Tana's town in years, until one night changes things in a big way.

Waking up after a night's party, no different than any other, Tana finds all of her friends dead. All except for her ex-boyfriend and a boy she doesn't know. With the danger of her ex being infected and thirsty for blood and a vampire who's keeping a secret, Tana knows she only has one option: to take them all to the dangerous, extravagant Coldtown.

Holly Black's The Coldest Girl in Coldtown is a great new addition to the collection of vampire tales -- both YA and not. Black created an original, new twist in a genre that seems, at times, to not have all that many left. How vampires are created is different here and not only makes sense but works incredibly well within the plot. That people are 'infected' if they are bitten instead of the typical vampire 'turning' allows things to take longer but also allows readers to have some insight into the characters and their thoughts during that period.

The jumps in time were a little strange in The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, sometimes seeming sudden. Yet, each of them told of something that added to the story, in the place it was inserted. They helped to understand the characters and their states of mind more clearly. It also helped paint the picture of how the world came to be how it was, without a lot of exposition.

The Coldtowns are pretty fantastic. They're different from anything I've read about before--  opulent, hedonistic while at the same time almost dystopian -- yet they seem so logical. They make a perfect setting.

I love that the vampires in Coldest Girl are the big, bad monster, but also not thoughtless, evil beings. They're complex and complicated (but not broody).  In a lot of ways this novel reminds me of older paranormals and vampire books -- possibly Annette Curtis Klause and Robin McKinley -- more than it does present day ones. (In the best way possible.)

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown is dark, with interesting and complex characters and a very well developed plot, backstory. I really, really loved this one. (Read the first 8 chapters in teh ebook preview and see if you're not hooked!)

Rating: 10/10

thank you to LBYR and NetGalley for my egalley

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