I’m not often into vampires. I choose my vampire media very carefully, and usually only after it’s been recommended to me by someone whose taste I trust.
I’m saying this because I know a lot of people who have been burned by Twilight and the boom in vampire YA that followed it. They hear “this YA book has vampires in it” and shut down. If you’re one of those people, I want you to know that I’m the same way, and The Coldest Girl in Coldtown is different.
If you’ve read Holly Black before, that’s probably not a surprise. She’s an amazing, talented writer and a super-awesome person. I’m already crazy about her, and then I read The Coldest Girl in Coldtown and it just might be my favorite of her books. (And not just because it has one of the most gorgeous covers, oh my god, look at it)
“I haven’t had a very good day. I think I might still be hung over and everyone’s dead and my root beer’s gone.”
These are not secret vampires. These are vampires that the entire world knows about, and we get to see how the world has responded and changed. One big part? Coldtowns. They’re walled cities where the vampires live with some humans. Thing is, once you go in, you don’t get out. Our protagonist, Tana, is headed straight to the nearest Coldtown in a desperate attempt to save herself, her ex-boyfriend, and a new, mysterious friend.
Although Coldtowns are (usually) a one-way trip for vampires and humans alike, they’re far from being a dirty secret. The Coldtown Tana goes to has huge, decadent vampire-hosted parties every night, and these parties are streamed online for the entire world to see. Humans attend hoping to be infected, to become one of the undead, but vampires are very picky about who they turn.
People liked pretty things. People even liked pretty things that wanted to kill and eat them.
Holly Black has a gift for dialogue, especially banter. The plot is pretty serious. It’s literally life or death.Tana’s trying to save herself and others but could very easily just end up getting herself and everyone else killed. I love a book that can take a serious plot like that and still provide humor. In bad situations, I’m the first person to start cracking jokes. The Coldest Girl in Coldtown balances real emotion with Buffyesque banter, and does so beautifully.
And yes, there’s some heart-pounding, swoon-worthy romance, but for me, it doesn’t take over the book. There’s enough to satisfy me and make me squeal (“GOD, WHY WON’T YOU JUST KISS ALREADY?”), but Tana still stands on her own and has more going on than just the cute new guy.
What I’m getting at is: READ THIS BOOK.