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.
“Every hero is the villain of his own story.”
The reason I picked up this book was because Holly Black, aka one of the best authors ever. I literally didn’t know anything about it, the plot, anything. And then when I started reading I was like oh shoot vampires! I went through a vampire faze in middle school (didn’t we all) and even since reading about sparkly vampires and romanticized vampires that aren’t actually evil I was like…okay…this is…kind of sappy and dumb. BUT THEN! I read The Coldest Girl in Coldtown and I was like oh this just got real!!!! So the quick summary of this book in my not so humble opinion= VAMPIRES DONE RIGHT.
It opens by throwing you right into the super cool premise. It’s like an alternate world, but still this same Earth that we live in, where vampires are real and have always been living in the shadows. But that was until an outbreak of vampires occurred and started messing up, well, everything. Now they live in quarantined cities called Coldtowns, which are televised and broadcast for the world to see their magnificent parties. For the whole world (and all the preteen girls) to look at monsters sucking human blood and be like, wow, this is amazing, I totally want to have my blood sucked and be a vampire!!! BUT they ALSO have broadcast shows of VAMPIRE HUNTERS in addition to VAMPIRES and they’re both popular and if that doesn’t show you how messed up this world is, I don’t know what will.
In fact, this paranormal/fantasy read actually felt a lot like a dystopian at times, and it was so creepy and frightening I loved it. It almost seemed to be satirizing our society’s infatuation with celebrities, and our desire to be like them no matter what, as well as the need for social validation. Especially with a pair of crazed fangirls vloggers who want nothing more to become vampires and vlog the whole experience. You want to kill me? Cool, just let me make sure the camera’s turned on first!!
Tana was…wow. You know, at first I thought she was kind of crazy, and honestly through the entire thing she really want pretty crazy. There were times when I really questioned her actions (which seems to happen with a lot of Holly Black’s characters–maybe why I love her books so much!!). But she was also so badass and strong and able to deal with vampires, super powerful, crazy vampires, and I was just like wow I want to be you (except not really because I don’t want to live in a world overrun by vampires so just kidding).
The love interest was so good ahhh I’m sorry I’m a hopeless romantic at heart and let’s be real, pretty much all vampire books these days have a dark, seductive romance. And I was HERE FOR IT! I thought there was just the right amount of romance–enough to make me so happy apsodljfk but ALSO not to overtake the story and plot.
I loved how all of the characters were sometimes questionable at best, or totally twisted at worst. There is no clear defined good and bad omg they’re really fleshed out characters and the entire time I was like okay, someone is going to get betrayed is this too good to be true? (or too bad to be true???)
Honestly, this book almost tinged on horror, and I while I normally won’t touch horror with a 39.5 foot pole, I was strangely drawn in and like, yes, give me more of this. The vampires and death really aren’t romanticized–at least, not once we get inside of Coldtown itself and see how things really are when the cameras aren’t rolling. There are horrifying deaths and injuries and they really give the story its creepy, dark feel.