Photo by Felix Russell-Saw on Unsplash
Tana lives in a world where vampires are alive and well. They live in Coldtowns, quarantined like towns in America that keep the vampires in and stop the spread of infection. After a house party goes wrong, Tana finds herself surrounded by the corpses of her former classmates. The only ones left alive are Adrian, her ex-boyfriend and a mysterious stranger. When Tana finds out that Adrian is infected, she takes it upon herself to make a run towards the nearest Coldtown and give him a new chance at life.
Coldest Girl in Coldtown is probably my new favorite book from Holly Black. I’ve loved her writing from Tithe when I read it back in middle school. I liked her darker take on fae when, at the time, I was reading more fairytale/Twilight-esque novels about them (remember when Barnes and Noble had a whole section dedicated to Paranormal Romance). Coldtown really had all the elements of the classic vampire stories that we’ve grown accustomed too (yes, this is I guess including Twilight). This is why I loved it so much, there was a level where it understood what kind of book this was and wasn’t trying to be new or edgy. It’s another vampire novel with all the stuff we love about vampire novels.
Tana, Gavriel, and Adrian are a pretty interesting trio. Tana and Adrian are a bit tense because… well Adrian dumped her before the narration begins and then Tana and Gavriel have an ongoing attraction from the beginning of their interaction. The thing that was quite refreshing about the story was that Adrian and Tana weren’t hostile towards each other. Yeah, they had some messy history behind them, but at the core, Adrian isn’t that bad of a guy. He’s a good guy and so while Tana might be a bit sore over the whole ordeal, she actually doesn’t have any ill will. In addition to this Adrian and Gavriel don’t have any gross love triangle business going on with them. Gavriel and Tana are completely free to develop their feelings through the novel without Adrian being super dumb and possessive even though he’s the one that broke up with her (I really, really hate this trope).
I slightly hate myself for saying this, but Gavriel is very yummy. He has a lot of charisma and the total vampire trope of being super old and speaking in archaic speak is something I am completely and utterly weak for. He also had this air of mystery. Gavriel really brings in the classic vampire tales we know and love.
There’s also a lot of inner turmoil that Tana goes through throughout the novel. I think it really added to the story and also gave her a more validated reason for her actions in certain parts of the novel. I feel that if there wasn’t that whole arc, I wouldn’t have been a fan of what she did mostly because it just seemed kind of foolish. Because of this I kind of love and hate the ending. It leaves really open ended and part of me wishes that they closed it nice and neat but the other part of me absolutely loves the ending.
The Coldest Girl in Coldtown is a really nice homage to all the classic vampire stories we love. It’s a pretty hefty tome, but still a great story. I think this would be a really great read for the Halloween season.
I liked the book so much that I decided to make a playlist for it. There are some songs you might recognize from a certain vampire movie franchise, but otherwise these are some picks I felt like worked for this novel.
Title: The Coldest Girl in Coldtown
Author: Holly Black
Published: September 3, 2013 by Little Brown Books