The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black

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I hate to say this but I was definitely one of those thirteen-year-old girls fascinated by vampires. The odds were stacked against me: I was the right age, Twilight had just come out and I’d always loved Interview with the Vampire, Queen of the Damned, and Underworld (all that leather). It was naturally unnatural. I was never a psycho super-fan of these books and movies. However, I did do a ton of vampire research including new age stuff like emotional vampires. I even got my whole family to read the entire Twilight series because I was drunk with power. Thankfully, I grew out of this phase just in time to avoid being labeled neurotic. However, I still enjoy a good vampire story and especially any where vampires are still horrific, but some have redeeming qualities. Just hold the sparkle, please.

The title, The Coldest Girl in Coldtown is definitely not what drew me in, but as I read more of the book it started to make more sense. I love Holly Black so I couldn’t resist reading this once I read the synopsis. I still don’t think it’s the best title since Tana doesn’t come across as emotionally cold which is how most people will read the title initially. But the title didn’t ruin it either so I’ll let it pass.

How Black has created this vampiric world is …realistic. That’s a weird word to use in connection with a vampire book, but I mean that if vampires were to crop up I could see there being a quarantine erected to keep everyone “safe.” I can also imagine all the fandoms such a scenario would create considering the love some people already hold for vampires. The opening lines of the novel describe how a vampire could grow so used to being romanticized as to begin to romanticize himself and thus lead to an intentional outbreak. A good mix of the old and the new views on vampires.  

Tana is such an entertaining main character. She’s brave and willing to do what needs to be done which is fairly rare in the main character. I wondered about her decisions though. It’s a strange thing because I can’t pinpoint exactly what she could or should have done to help the situation but I know she missed out on doing it. She made some dumb decisions but she also made some smart decisions and some kind ones so it balanced out.

Aidan… Just Aidan. Ugh! He’s so irritating with his constant whining. He’s emotionally manipulative and is constantly dragging Tana into more trouble. Sometimes she had the chance to walk away from him while other times he made it impossible and stuck her in a completely hopeless situation that she only got out of thanks to her own bravery and intelligence. I hated him.

Gavriel was just the right amount of scary and endearing. He’s a little crazy but in an understandable way. Also, I liked the way he treated Tana which is a huge plus for me. I do worry about his sanity moving forward, but who knows maybe he’ll heal.

I enjoyed the ambiguous ending. The way Black wrote it no matter what the “end” is it’s okay. She did an amazing job of allowing the reader to imagine what happens next without it feeling like a cop-out. Very few writers can do an ambiguous ending truly well and have each possibility fit cleanly, but Black pulled it off.

Overall, I really enjoyed listening to this book and the narrator did a good job including the accents and Aidan’s whining. It’s not the best book I’ve ever read, but it is one of the top ten vampire books I’ve ever read.

I would recommend this book for fans of Holly Black, readers who enjoy vampire books (with new or old plot lines) and for readers of YA paranormal.

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