Thursday, August 29, 2013

ARC Review: "The Coldest Girl in Coldtown" by Holly Black

Release Date: September 3, 2013
Publisher: Little Brown Books
Pages: 432

From 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.

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."

Holly Black is, without a doubt, one of those authors who shaped my teenage years, specifically with her "Modern Faerie Tale" series- I literally cannot tell you the number of times that I reread those books growing up. However, I unfortunately wasn't a huge fan of her "Curse Workers" series, while the concept was unique, I didn't find that it grabbed me in any way, shape, or form. That being said, when I heard about this series (and saw all of the glowing reviews from my fellow reviewers), I did decide to give Holly another chance, something that I am not oft to do. Admittedly I am somewhat regretful for doing so as I once again found this series flat, not having the slightest bit of magic that I had become familiar with in her faerie series.

The first complaint that I have about this book is vampires. I am of the opinion that vampires are dead in young adult literature unless you REALLY have something that the likes of has never been seen before. Unfortunately the vampires of this book are no different than any other vampires I have seen in the genre. In fact, the vampires of this book are perhaps the most stereotypical I have ever seen before- with questionable fashion choices (poofy sleeves and slicked backed hair), brooding attitudes, and so forth.

The next complaint is the utter detachment I felt about the plot, characters, and so forth. I felt like much of the plot was overly melodramatic, but it was lacking in any REAL emotion. Characters seeing people being ripped apart in front of their very eyes? Meh. Characters declaring their undying love for one another? *Shrugs*. Any who knows me knows that I LOVE love, however, I felt that the relationship between Tana and Gavriel to be so forced that I didn't even care whether they had one or not.

That being said, I really did the character of Aiden, Tana's ex-boyfriend. I thought that he brought a lot of light-heartedness and humour to the book. Furthermore, despite the book's size, a solid inch and a half or two inches in thickness, I did find that it was an extremely quick read, having finished it almost as soon as I had started it.

All in all, unfortunately the book didn't do it for me, after finishing it having little to no feelings about it- except for the satisfaction of being able to add another tick to my count of books read this year. That being said, with this book being a combination of "The Immortal Rules" by Julie Kagawa and "Blood Red Road" by Moira Young, I do think that it will appeal to a lot of readers. Furthermore, despite my complaints, I do think that I will continue on with the series, if only to see how it ends.

Rating: 2/5

I received this book from the publisher to read and honestly review. I was not compensated in any way for said review.


  1. Oh bummer. Was curious about this one as well. I only ever read one of her Faerie Tale books, the first one and I LOVED that as well! Thought it was awesome. Tried reading her Curse Workers series and couldn't get into it. Saw this and thought maybe. But now, not so sure.

    I still like my vampires though, whether YA or adult. These guys sound a little different with the foofy? sleeves and weird outfits though. At least from the vampire books I've read. But oh well. Still not sure if I want to add this to my TBR mountain that I am trying to make into a TBR pile!

    Still, very nice review!

  2. I definitely liked this one more than you did, but YES, so much agreement re: feeling connected to the characters. Even when such intense stuff was happening I wasn't wrapped up in the emotions at all. Tana was hard to get a read on, and I don't know if it was that her decisions didn't make sense to me, or just that the 3rd person narration didn't allow me to get close? I dunno... so many people ADORE Holly's writing, so I guess we're missing out. =b

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