Review: The Coldest Girl in Coldtown

Review: The Coldest Girl in ColdtownThe Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black
Released by Little Brown and Co on 3 September 2013
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 419
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9780316213103
Source: Purchased

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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 about Tana, who wakes up to find the majority of her classmates dead. She barely escapes the house, with Aidan (her infected ex-boyfriend) and Gavriel (a vampire), and together they make their way to the nearest Coldtown, a place where all the vampires, and humans that were infected go to. Either by choice, or because they were sent there. On their way there, they meet Winter and Midnight, a brother and sister determined to get into Coldtown, to tell the world how awesome and exciting it is.

I felt kind of tricked into reading this book, because when I first read the summary on the back of the book I had no idea this book would be about vampires. As I really really dislike books about vampires, I was a bit skeptical about reading further, even though I was very intrigued by the book. Because basically, after only three or four pages, you read about a pile of corpses, and I really like stories that start like that (yes, I’m one of those people).

What I liked:

This book was filled with action, and I like it when that happens in a book. From their daring escape from the land house, to the attacks and fights inside the Coldtown, I loved every bit of those scenes. This was also one of the few (I think the first one I read) dystopia books that told you what happened outside of America. Not really in great detail, but there still was some news about what was going on there.

I also liked the entries made by Midnight (though I didn’t like her character much), I really wanted to read more of those entries, but unfortunately there weren’t a lot of them. I am just a fan of reading a story written like diary entries, which is why I enjoyed Life As We Knew It so much.

With the whole broadcasts and all the cameras being everywhere, it kind of felt like the Hunger Games, and that’s also what I kind of expected of this story. A bunch of kids locked up inside the Coldtown, with monsters (I imagined actual monsters, like big hairy animals).

What I didn’t like:

What I didn’t like were the many flashbacks in this story. Sure, they were probably needed to tell the story, but honestly I don’t really think the flashbacks of Gavriel were that much needed. There were some small things that I found very predictive, like certain romances.

I couldn’t really relate to any of the characters. Maybe I could relate to Pearl a bit, I would probably be fascinated by the Coldtowns, watch the feeds every now and then (not as obsessively as Pearl did) but I would never ever want to go there. Personally, I wanted to punch Aidan in the face every time he opened his mouth, because to me he felt like such a manipulative asshole, I can’t believe Tana even listened to him. (Sure, he saved Pearl near the end of the story, but that doesn’t make up for all the stupid things he did throughout the rest of the book).

I thought Midnight and Winter (and everyone who had the same idea as them) were the most stupid people in the whole planet. The only character I really liked were Jameson and Valentina, who were just really kind and didn’t do anything stupid at all, in my opinion.

I also had a tiny bit of a problem with the third person narrative of the book. I am used to reading books in the first person narrative, and this was quite a difference for me. Sometimes, the author liked to use ‘she/he’ a lot instead of the persons name, especially after there was a moment of describing something (like the house Lucien lived in). At those moments, I would be quite confused which she/he the author was talking about (nine out of ten times, it would be Tana, but still it was a bit annoying).

In my opinion, the book ended quite abruptly. I would really love to read if Tana makes it out of Coldtown, if she turns into a vampire, what happened to Pearl and Pauline, and yeah, I just have a lot of questions at the end of the book. But I liked it. I wouldn’t say it’s in my list of favourite books, but – for a book about vampires – it was quite enjoyable. If you are a fan of vampire novels, I definitely recommend you read the Coldest Girl in Coldtown.