REVIEW: The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black

I recently started a new seasonal job. Well, it’s not exactly new, I did have this same job back in 2008, until the company laid off most of the staff on the night shift. I was an unfortunate victim of that layoff. I’m now at a point where a seasonal job with them again is a possibility, so here I am. And let me tell you, this job is perfect for anyone who hates customer service. Like me.

I work in a photo lab. My job is to grab batches of photos once they’ve been printed and check for quality and ensure they’re all there before sending them on to their next stop in the lab. Easy, right? Totally. And decent pay. And, bonus, I can listen to my iPod the entire time!

I’ve stocked up on audiobooks from the library and signed up for the library’s OneClickdigital program as well as downloading the program to my Kindle for more books.

To date I’ve worked eight days and completed four books. I could get used to this!

So, without further ado, here is the first of those four book reviews with more to come!


The Coldest Girl in Cold Town by Holly Black

Read: September 2015

Format: Audiobook (CD)

My Book Rating: 4/5 Stars

My Narrator Rating: 4/5 Stars

Genre: Paranormal YA

 

I must confess, I came into this book with a prejudice against Holly Black, because a good six or so years ago I read her book Tithe and absolutely hated it. It was painful to finish, but I hate leaving a book unfinished, so I endured.

The Coldest Girl in Cold Town was a recommendation from my friend Erin. She and I enjoy many of the same books so when I found this at the library in audiobook format I figured I’d give it a try.

What I’ve come to learn about Black from the two books I’ve read is that she enjoys writing heroines who are a little bad. They smoke and drink and swear up a storm (Tithe) or they drink and party and are traumatized by their pasts (TCGiCT.) Where this was overkill for me in Tithe, it worked in TCGiCT. While I couldn’t identify with Kaye in Tithe at all—in fact, I sort of hated her. I could sympathize with Tana. I could understand why she was the way she was.

In TCGiCT 17-year old Tana wakes up in a bathtub after a party. She’s sure her friends are going to never let her live it down that she got so drunk she passed out in a bathtub, but she soon finds this isn’t the case. The bathtub incident saved her life because while she was passed out her friends were in the next room being massacred by a group of vampires. In a state of shock, Tana knows she has to escape. She makes her way into the bedroom where her purse is stashed and finds her ex-boyfriend Aiden tied to a bed. Also in the room? A vampire. Chained up. For reasons I still don’t understand, Tana decides to rescue them both. And thus begins her journey to Coldtown. (And this isn’t a spoiler, this all happens in chapter one!)

In Tana’s world, Vampirism has become an epidemic. These aren’t your Twilight vampires, nor are they your Anne Rice vampires. I would say they’re more closely akin to the classic Dracula vampire, but not quite. While they lust for blood and that lust can make them do terrible things, they can also retain their humanity. To deal with the epidemic, the American government created Coldtowns. Places where those who have been infected or turned can live in peace. Anyone can enter, but once you’re in, there are very few ways of getting out. And it’s dangerous in Coldtown. Downright dreadly.

Along the way Tana, Aiden and the rescued vampire, Gavriel, pick up a set of twins going by the names Midnight (female) and Winter (male) on their way to Coldtown, the twins are set on becoming vampires. These characters were interesting for me because they really introduced how social media has played a part in the vampire outbreak. Midnight, the clear leader of the duo, is a hardcore vampire blogger. Winter is less sure about things, he clearly wouldn’t be on his way to Coldtown if it weren’t for his sister. I won’t spoil what happens to any of these characters but it’s quite a ride.

Plot-wise I really enjoyed this story. It was refreshing to see vampires as monsters with a touch of humanity. Storytelling-wise, there were some things that bothered me. Black mostly stuck with Tana’s third person POV, but there were times when she switched to Gavriel and Tana’s little sister, Pearl. While the backstory told in these scenes were mostly interesting, in my opinion they stalled the story. Especially Pearl’s first flashback POV scene because up until that point, she’d only been briefly mentioned, she wasn’t in the present day story at all. I would listen for a good ten minutes of backstory before the actual story moved forward once more. I’m not a fan info dumping back story, so this was where Black lost a star.

In all, I did enjoy this story and would recommend it to a friend.

 

6 thoughts on “REVIEW: The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black

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