Early Review: The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black

August 30, 2013 Review 0

Early Review: The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly BlackThe Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black
Published by Little Brown Books for Young Readers on September 3, 2013
Genres: Romantic, Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 432
Source: NetGalley
Excerpt: Excerpt
Book Trailer: Trailer
Sexual Content: Kissing, references to sex.
Reviewed by: Julia
4 Stars

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.

THE COLDEST GIRL IN COLDTOWN is a love song to the vampire stories I loved in my teens. It is all the delicious, dark danger of vampire mythology wrapped around a teenage heroine who I enjoyed thoroughly (and would have wanted to be, once upon a time).  Amidst the drama and the death and the danger, Tana is a battered hero, made stronger by past damage. Intent on "doing the right thing", even as that one, true thing becomes amorphous and shadowed, I was breathlessly enthralled by her from beginning to end.

Unfortunately, I loved Tana so much that every POV that took me away from her was an interruption, I wanted to slice their words right out of the book.  It was those brief moments of distraction that dropped my rating from 5 bats to 4.  The characters around Tana serve the story well, but didn't do much for me on their own. Aiden glitters and charms and provides a clear "worst boyfriend" standard by which to judge all of Tana's other options. Midnight and Winter represent the deluded, danger-seeking teens flocking to Coldtowns, and Pearl was the mechanism by which Tana could forgive her childhood self. Gavriel was wonderful, though his mystery obscured him for most of the story. While I appreciated the backdrop these characters created, I really only wanted to read about Tana. She was riveting. Conflicted, fragile, resolute... I loved her.

Something about the way Tana navigates the danger of Coldtown sent me back to re-read Robin McKinley's SUNSHINE and fans of Anne Bishop's WRITTEN IN RED will enjoy this book for it's dangerous supernaturals and a heroine that gets her hands dirty.  THE COLDEST GIRL IN COLDTOWN is a classic blend of YA and Urban Fantasy that fans of either won't want to miss.

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