[ARC Review] The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black

Monday, September 02, 2013

Title: The Coldest Girl in Coldtown
Author: Holly Black
Genre: YA, Paranormal, Vampires
Format: Hardcover, 432 pages
Release Date: September 3, 2013
Publisher: Little Brown, Hachette
Source: ARC received from Publisher for honest review

Amazon | Chapters | TBD | Goodreads

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.

Vampires have not been my thing since Twilight blew up into a phenomenon that to this day still makes me cringe. But when I read the synopsis of The Coldest Girl in Coldtown I knew that would be very different from all the other vampire books. And I was right. I have not read a book quite like this one before. But sadly I did not enjoy it as much as I was hoping.

Tana is a young girl who lives in a world that encompasses both humans and Vampires. That in and of itself made me curious. The fact that vampirism was public and celebrated by some was a very interesting way of building a world, and I really liked it. But the awe inspiring world was shadowed by flat characters and too much descriptive writing.

At the beginning of the book I was engrossed more than I thought I would. The gruesome details and mystery aspect was high and I loved it. But everything seemed to fizzle and die after that. Tana, although a very independent character, which I loved, really had no relatable characteristic to her. I tried very hard to feel for her, but it was extremely hard. I found that the story was too much in her head. I was lost in her thoughts most of the time and I never got to see the girl outside of that. I wonder if there was more dialogue I would have liked her better because I believe that is where true characters are revealed. In the way that they interact with others.

The secondary characters were much the same, although I would have loved to have seen more of Gavriel because in my opinion he is the best character in the book. He is the one with the interesting background that deserves to be told. And to be honest I loved his relationship with Tana. The two of them are so different, yet have aspects of their lives that are utterly the same that it made for a great relationship. Aiden on the other hand meant nothing to me. I found him to be winy and unnecessary, in reality I don't understand why he was even in the book. He have no direct effect on the plot of the book and I found him to be very annoying, which made me hate his character even more.

Although the prose of this book was beautiful and complex I found that it was detached from the plot. I couldn't really connect with the characters or the events because I was too focused on what was being said and that was a big distraction. I wanted to feel the emotions of the characters, especially Tana, but that never happened and that was very frustrating because I absolutely loved the world that Holly Black created. Ms. Black has always been amazing at taking a genre that is well known and turning it on its head, and I give her credit for doing it once again in The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, but sadly that was one of the only aspects of the book that I loved.

If you love Vampire novels then this one is for you. If you are on the fence about this genre and are getting sick of hearing about them, then I would tread carefully here. Although the world is different from everything out there, it is still a vampire novel. This book was not for me, but honestly there are a lot of people who will love this book, so give it chance and see for yourself!

You Might Also Like


  1. Sorry the book didn't live up to your expectations. I'm a vampire van, so I might still try it out!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

  2. This is an average book. Thanks. If you need any writing assistant visit.