The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black

January 2, 2014 Reviews 33

This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black
The Coldest Girl in Coldtown
by Holly Black
Published by Little Brown Books for Young Readers
on September 3rd, 2013
Genres: Horror, Paranormal, YA


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

Well played Ms. Black! An original vampire story that DIDN’T make the vampires out to be these dreamy sparkly saints? Who knew it was possible?!

Gasby Toast


That’s right folks! The Coldest Girl in Coldtown is indeed an ORIGINAL vampire concept. And if you read vampire books as much as I do, I am forming a support group then you know how crazy it is to hear about a vampire story that you haven’t experienced. You know the spark of hope this lights within you, the sense of awe you feel over the thought of an original story. You’re also probably getting that nervous knot in your stomach that such a thing is too good to be true and that obviously I’m a evil liar McLiar pants. Well, as much as I hate to disappoint, it’s true! Holly Black has taken something that has been done a thousand times over and turned it into something new, and you all should be adding this to your TBR pile right now!

I’m going to try and keep the gushing to a minimum but honestly Black has thrown one hell of a curve ball with this one! The story opens up with a massacre for pete’s sake! An all out bloody MASSACRE! And the gore doesn’t stop there.

Take a second and imagine a world where vampires are a well known fact. Something you discuss in school, something you see on tv, something that makes you lock your doors and break out the rose water. Then take this world and get comfortable. You know they’re out there. You know they’re dangerous but, you’ve never seen one up close, never experienced their nature first hand. It’s only natural that you’d get “comfortable” within your environment. This is what happened to Tana and a nice group of her high school peers one night at a party. This was the cause of the massacre. One moment of comfort caused Tana to lose the life she had, and go on the longest and goriest journey with her ex (and total douchbag) Aidan and the extremely dangerous, not completely trustworthy vampire Gavriel. This is usually the part of a vampire story where Tana and Gavriel are inexplicable drawn to one another and soon after love is proclaimed and swooning occurs. Not in this book!

Tana is legitimately terrified of Gavriel and Gavriel pretty much tells her she should be. And this is what I LOVED! There were no illusions that vampires aren’t dangerous. There was no insta-love! Nothing about this book followed the typical YA road!! It was like…I mean the story did… but it, argh!



That was pretty much all I could say when I finished. It truly was just an amazing story and I that is only enhanced by the fact that this is a STAND ALONE! YES! The originality continues!! And now, in an effort to give you a coherent review, let me break down all the things I loved!

The characters!

Tana, Gavriel, Midnight, Winter, Pearl even Lucien’s demented ass made this story unputdownable (is that a word?!). Even though Gavriel (a certifiably insane vampire) and Tana were the only ones I truly like and cared about, the rest of the cast (regardless of how evil) helped make the story so much more! And they all threw so many curves! I never guessed that View Spoiler »!

The plot!!

Oh my gosh the PLOT! There were things! And then stuff! But then that happened! And all of the blood!! Obviously there is too much stuff for a spoiler tag, but please understand that it was original, it was gripping and I want to relive it again and again!

The gore!

There is a point in the book where there is so much blood, I had to remind myself that it is YA and I should suck up my queasy feelings.

The love?!

Ok, so I know I said it’s not the “typical” YA story, and it’s not. There are no proclamations of love, no insta-love and no romanticising  vampires. But there is View Spoiler » . And to be perfectly honest, I enjoyed that.

And now that I have that out of the way please join me in an “oh my gosh it was awesome” squeal!

Kermit flailing

And now…since I am almost out of gifs that express my pleasure here is a piece of the awesome:

“The possibility that there’s something monstrous inside of us that can be unleashed, is the most disturbing of all. Maybe it’s just us, us with a raging hunger, us with a couple of accidental murders under our belt. Humanity, with the training wheels off the bike, careening down a steep hill. Humanity, feed from the constraint of consequence and gifted with power. Humanity, grown away from all things human.”

Awesome right?! And a creepy quote for the road:

“Let me explain how my whole life has prepared me for this moment. I am used to girls screaming, and your screams-your screams will be sweeter than another’s cries of love.”

Mind Blown

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33 Responses to “The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black”

  1. Miranda @ Tempest Books

    Hahaha this is a great review!! I loved how original this book was as well. I don’t think I loved it QUITE as much as you did, but I could definitely appreciate a lot of the good things about it. Oh my gosh, I LOVED the opening scene, too. Probably one of the best first chapters of a book…ever.
    Miranda @ Tempest Books recently posted…2013 End of Year Book SurveyMy Profile

  2. Pili

    Brilliant review, Octavia! I really need to read this one, and soon!! =D
    I’ve read many stories about vampires, and I haven’t read more cause after a while it’s the same old, same old. So glad to hear this won’t be!
    Pili recently posted…Waiting on Wednesday #23!!My Profile

  3. Nova Lee @ Out of Time

    I read The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa and the whole Original vampires thing was also present in that series! Have you read that series? Anyway, I haven’t read this, but I heard some good/some bad things about this book when it was just being released and before that.

    Your enthusiasm is a lot of fun and makes me smile! I’m all for original vampire serieses, despite liking them (for me) being a hit or miss.

    Kickass review, Octy! <333
    Nova Lee @ Out of Time recently posted…ARC Review: Unhinged – AG HowardMy Profile

    • Octavia

      Such a great opening scene! It actually reminded me a lot of the opening to Anna Dressed in Blood. So much happening, and so gripping! All in just the first chapter!

    • Octavia

      You know I hate (love!) to be pushy but… YOU MUST MAKE TIME!! It was really really good! It dragged at some points but overall I seriously loved it! 😀

    • Octavia

      I’m definitely going to pick up some of her other books when I get a chance! If they’re half as good I’m sure I’ll be in heaven. 🙂

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