The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black

The Coldest Girl in ColdtownThe Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black
Published by: Little Brown Books for Young Readers on September 3, 2013
Genre: Paranormal, Vampires
Pages: 432
Source: BookExpo America
Buy on AmazonBook Details
Rating: ★★★★★

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 a wholly original story of rage and revenge, of guilt and horror, and of love and loathing from bestselling and acclaimed author Holly Black.

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown is haunted and addictingly disturbing! This book starts off with a bang, and I promise it’s a sign of what’s to follow. It’s dark, gruesome, and gory. After that, I’ll admit that it took me a little while to get fully into the story, but once I did, OH MY WORD!!!

“They’ll drink up the whole world if we let them.”
Page 92

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown takes on an insanely horrifying vibe. There’s lots and lots of blood, brutal deaths, and terrifying scenes. These vampires aren’t like the ones in Twilight where they try to not be monsters… these vampires are bloodthirsty, brutal, and have no mercy. Every time I thought something was so crazy and so vile, I figured, “Well this is it. This is the most creepy and violent scene of the book, there’s no topping that.” But I was proven wrong every.time. Because Holly Black always topped it.

“Every day since the one he’d died was not one where he aged, but rather one where he grew away from humanity. He didn’t seem older than he must have been when he died; just entirely stranger.”
Page 147

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black - I believe she gets to pick the weapon. I hope she picks me.

Things just get more and more twisted, dark, and terrifying, until I couldn’t look away. It’s like when there’s an accident on the freeway and you CAN’T. NOT. LOOK. It’s horrible, it’s sad, but you can’t not look. This is the same thing. The Coldest Girl in Coldtown is all kinds of twisted, with bloodbaths, murders, and no happily ever afters. Sometimes in books I think, “Well these characters obviously won’t die.” There is no feeling like that in The Coldest Girl in Coldtown. Holly Black has no mercy and that’s what makes this book terrifyingly realistic. There are VAMPIRES out there so there will be many deaths and they will be brutal as hell.

There’s also a really unexpected (or expected, however you look at it) romance that develops, that had me HOOKED! It’s the ultimate kind of dangerous, forbidden love. But it’s not cheesy. I kind of couldn’t figure it out, but that’s why it was so awesome! The whole relationship was so unexpected—the way they acted, the things they said.. everything. But it wasn’t unexpected in the way that it doesn’t work. Quite the opposite. It worked, and it was so sweet, but it kept you on your toes.

“You are more dangerous than daybreak.”
Page 160

Above everything else, The Coldest Girl in Coldtown is exploding with bloody originality. I’ll admit that I haven’t read a ton of vampire books, but this one was so different from everything I thought to expect in one.. and I loved it! It’s dark, twisted, wrong, and so addicting!! What I love most about this book is how it caught me by surprise. I didn’t expect to love it nearly as much as I did, and I kind of love it when that happens!

The Verdict


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  1. Oooh see, normally if I hear the word “vampire” I run in the opposite direction, but I’m actually curious about this one. I’m not sure what’s to blame though… the fact it was written by Holly Black or the pretty cover? Of course, after reading this review I’m even more curious to check it out. I like that these vampires are actually sort of monsters and that it gets crazier as the book goes along. Love it! Great review 🙂

    Asti (A Bookish Heart) recently posted: Top Ten Tuesdays: Things That Make My Life Easier
    1. I’m normally exactly the same way. Vampire books make me very wary. But this one rocked!!

  2. I’m so happy you loved this one! I feel like a black sheep because I gave it three stars, but I agree, it definitely was dark and disturbing. I think I found that the plot really slowed down in the middle for me, but the romance was kind of expected yet also unexpected with the way it was presented, if that makes any sense.

    Fantastic review, Ashley! <33

    Eileen @ ***Singing and Reading in the Rain*** recently posted: Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas
  3. OH DANG. This sounds fabulous. Now I’m super excited to read it soon!!!!! I’m so in the mood for something like this. I’m so glad to see that you loved it!!!
    (And thanks again for the ARC. It maketh me happy)


  4. I’ve heard such wildly varied opinions on this novel as to leave me exceedingly puzzled! I’ve seen very few ‘middle of the road’ opinions – People either seem to love The Coldest Girl In Coldtown, or hate it. That said, I still have every intention of reading it as I think the premise sounds fascinating and I love stories with a darker edge. While paranormal novels are hardly the genre I typically gravitate toward (Particularly ones that feature Vampires in any capacity) I love that fact that Holly Black seems to keep you guessing about the characters’ futures and that no-one is safe. I wish more authors were as fearless when deciding their character’s fate!

  5. Ohh so glad you loved this one! I’ve been intrigued by it but hesitant because I DNFed White Cat. I loooove dark stories! The fact that it’s gory definitely draws me in. I’m not usually a fan of vampires, with the exception of The Immortal Rules (which is also on the dark side), so I’d like to find one I can really enjoy. I’m very curious to read this one now!!

  6. Squeals!!! Looooved it so bad! It was just like you said, bloody and twisted which made it even more exciting!
    I also had a hard time describing my feelings for the romance as it was really ..interesting. Can’t wait for the next book!

  7. Whoa. WHOA. The quote you showed about the “duel” GOT MY ATTENTION. I already wanted to read this one, because I have heard such great things about HB’s books. I figure if anyone can make vampires seem new again, it’s her.

    I love how you described this one, Ashley! The romance seems like the type I’d go for, so I’m so psyched for this one.

  8. I hadn’t even realised this book existed. Thanks to you (and your reviews by author section) for bringing it to my attention 😀

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