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The Coldest Girl in Coldtown

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When seventeen-year-old Tana wakes up following a party in the aftermath of a violent vampire attack, she travels to Coldtown, a quarantined Massachusetts city full of vampires, with her ex-boyfriend and a mysterious vampire boy in tow.

Customer Review Snapshot

3.9 out of 5 stars
75 total reviews
5 stars
18
4 stars
35
3 stars
18
2 stars
3
1 star
1
Most helpful positive review
When Tana awakes in a bathtub after a raging party, she's shocked to find that her friends have been massacred by vampires. The only people still alive in the house are her ex-boyfriend, Aidan, (who's been bitten and is infected) and a vampire chained in the corner, named Gavriel. In her adrenaline-fueled state, she decides to take both of them with her and the three go on a roadtrip to the Coldtown in Springfield, one of the quarantine sites where vampires, those infected who will become vampires if they drink human blood, and various human hangers-on live. But in getting involved in Gavriel's life, Tana finds herself in the midst of a centuries old conflict that may end her life and those she cares about. Don't dismiss this book as yet another YA vampire novel as it definitely stands it own amongst the crowd. Holly Black has created a fascinating albeit slightly bleak world in which vampirism is a threat that lurks always in the darkness, holding both allure and terror. The novel never shies away from the inherent gore that comes with vampire and often embraces the violence and horror that walks hand in hand with these creatures. Tana is an intriguing heroine, and although I didn't always agree with her choices, I found her sympathetic and rooted for her throughout the novel. With a plot that races along, keeping pages turning quickly, I was often surprised by its twists and turns. Happily, it also has an ending that while allowing for the option of follow-up novels, leaves everything sufficiently resolved to stand alone. One of the better vampire novels I've read in a while.

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When seventeen-year-old Tana wakes up following a party in the aftermath of a violent vampire attack, she travels to Coldtown, a quarantined Massachusetts city full of vampires, with her ex-boyfriend and a mysterious vampire boy in tow. 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.

Specifications

Publisher
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Book Format
Hardcover
Original Languages
English
Number of Pages
432
Author
Holly Black
ISBN-13
9780316213103
Publication Date
September, 2013
Assembled Product Dimensions (L x W x H)
9.50 x 6.50 x 1.50 Inches
ISBN-10
0316213101

Customer Reviews

5 stars
18
4 stars
35
3 stars
18
2 stars
3
1 star
1
Most helpful positive review
3 customers found this helpful
When Tana awakes in a ...
When Tana awakes in a bathtub after a raging party, she's shocked to find that her friends have been massacred by vampires. The only people still alive in the house are her ex-boyfriend, Aidan, (who's been bitten and is infected) and a vampire chained in the corner, named Gavriel. In her adrenaline-fueled state, she decides to take both of them with her and the three go on a roadtrip to the Coldtown in Springfield, one of the quarantine sites where vampires, those infected who will become vampires if they drink human blood, and various human hangers-on live. But in getting involved in Gavriel's life, Tana finds herself in the midst of a centuries old conflict that may end her life and those she cares about. Don't dismiss this book as yet another YA vampire novel as it definitely stands it own amongst the crowd. Holly Black has created a fascinating albeit slightly bleak world in which vampirism is a threat that lurks always in the darkness, holding both allure and terror. The novel never shies away from the inherent gore that comes with vampire and often embraces the violence and horror that walks hand in hand with these creatures. Tana is an intriguing heroine, and although I didn't always agree with her choices, I found her sympathetic and rooted for her throughout the novel. With a plot that races along, keeping pages turning quickly, I was often surprised by its twists and turns. Happily, it also has an ending that while allowing for the option of follow-up novels, leaves everything sufficiently resolved to stand alone. One of the better vampire novels I've read in a while.
Most helpful negative review
3 customers found this helpful
Firstly, Ill admit th...
Firstly, I'll admit that I love the idea of this book. While there are some aspects of the world building that simply don't work (for example, how do vampires seem to keep getting out of the supposedly sealed Coldtown), for the large part it's very well thought out and a unique take on the tried and tested vampire-lore. The tone touches upon the post-apocalyptic in places, setting up a world where both vampires and vampire hunters are celebrities and people, and does a great job of illustrating the pros and cons of turning. However, the story isn't fantastic. The actual plot of the story is fairly short in simple, padded by poor pacing and long chapters of exposition. While some is relevant, a lot could have been cut from the story or better integrated so it didn't have to be written en mass. The twists of the story were too well sign posted to be especially surprising and the ending was a little downplayed. I won't spoil it here, but I was left feeling that the story had ended with more of a whimper than a bang. Then there was the characters. I just didn't understand Tana at all. Her motivations skewed wildly, sometimes wanting to be a vampire and other times not. She was also master of making poor decisions. Constantly. Tana seemed wilfully dense at times, having no apparent sense of risk and frequently making rash decisions. Like interring herself into a Coldtown when NOT EVEN KNOWING THAT SHE'S INFECTED. Beyond that, the characters were neither especially memorable or likeable. The only one that I actually grew attached to was Valentina, but I was disappointed that she barely featured in the story at all. It felt like a waste, as her reasons for coming to Coldtown were probably the most interesting and I'd like to have learned more about her. So, all in all, I was left disappointed. I loved the concept and setting but, beyond this, the novel went down hill pretty quickly after its admittedly gripping opening. I'm sure there are people that it will appeal to, but it's not one for me.
Most helpful positive review
3 customers found this helpful
When Tana awakes in a ...
When Tana awakes in a bathtub after a raging party, she's shocked to find that her friends have been massacred by vampires. The only people still alive in the house are her ex-boyfriend, Aidan, (who's been bitten and is infected) and a vampire chained in the corner, named Gavriel. In her adrenaline-fueled state, she decides to take both of them with her and the three go on a roadtrip to the Coldtown in Springfield, one of the quarantine sites where vampires, those infected who will become vampires if they drink human blood, and various human hangers-on live. But in getting involved in Gavriel's life, Tana finds herself in the midst of a centuries old conflict that may end her life and those she cares about. Don't dismiss this book as yet another YA vampire novel as it definitely stands it own amongst the crowd. Holly Black has created a fascinating albeit slightly bleak world in which vampirism is a threat that lurks always in the darkness, holding both allure and terror. The novel never shies away from the inherent gore that comes with vampire and often embraces the violence and horror that walks hand in hand with these creatures. Tana is an intriguing heroine, and although I didn't always agree with her choices, I found her sympathetic and rooted for her throughout the novel. With a plot that races along, keeping pages turning quickly, I was often surprised by its twists and turns. Happily, it also has an ending that while allowing for the option of follow-up novels, leaves everything sufficiently resolved to stand alone. One of the better vampire novels I've read in a while.
Most helpful negative review
3 customers found this helpful
Firstly, Ill admit th...
Firstly, I'll admit that I love the idea of this book. While there are some aspects of the world building that simply don't work (for example, how do vampires seem to keep getting out of the supposedly sealed Coldtown), for the large part it's very well thought out and a unique take on the tried and tested vampire-lore. The tone touches upon the post-apocalyptic in places, setting up a world where both vampires and vampire hunters are celebrities and people, and does a great job of illustrating the pros and cons of turning. However, the story isn't fantastic. The actual plot of the story is fairly short in simple, padded by poor pacing and long chapters of exposition. While some is relevant, a lot could have been cut from the story or better integrated so it didn't have to be written en mass. The twists of the story were too well sign posted to be especially surprising and the ending was a little downplayed. I won't spoil it here, but I was left feeling that the story had ended with more of a whimper than a bang. Then there was the characters. I just didn't understand Tana at all. Her motivations skewed wildly, sometimes wanting to be a vampire and other times not. She was also master of making poor decisions. Constantly. Tana seemed wilfully dense at times, having no apparent sense of risk and frequently making rash decisions. Like interring herself into a Coldtown when NOT EVEN KNOWING THAT SHE'S INFECTED. Beyond that, the characters were neither especially memorable or likeable. The only one that I actually grew attached to was Valentina, but I was disappointed that she barely featured in the story at all. It felt like a waste, as her reasons for coming to Coldtown were probably the most interesting and I'd like to have learned more about her. So, all in all, I was left disappointed. I loved the concept and setting but, beyond this, the novel went down hill pretty quickly after its admittedly gripping opening. I'm sure there are people that it will appeal to, but it's not one for me.
1-5 of 75 reviews

Not five stars because...

Not five stars because it's the best book ever. Five stars because I am completely enchanted with its tough-as-leather heroine. Tana Bach awakens in the bathroom of a friend's cabin, sincerely regretting her excesses of the night before. She is hungover and feeling awful, but not as awful as she is about to feel. When she staggers out of the bathroom, she finds all her friends are still at the party...but also, they are all dead. The only survivors of what appears to be a bloody vampire feast are her annoying ex-boyfriend, Aidan, and a very hungry-looking boy with red eyes: a vampire. Aidan and the vampire are both tied up, and they both present a deadly danger to Tana: Aidan has been bitten by a vampire, which is turning him Cold and giving him an unquenchable thirst for human blood; if he gets his fix, however, he will die and be resurrected as a vampire. Gavriel, the vampire, is injured and hungry and apparently being hunted by vampires who are still on the premises, sleeping off their feast. Tana should get out, and get out fast. But Tana is not that girl. And this is why I love Tana: she is brave in a very specific sort of way. She is not reckless and dauntless; she's just more aware than most people are. As the story continues, the reader learns Tana's history: as a child, she was the proximate cause of her beloved mother's death, and she only survived herself because someone else did the right thing, despite its enormous personal cost. Tana is only seventeen, but she knows something that many people never learn: that dying is not the worst thing that can happen to you. Sometimes living with the consequences is much, much worse. Which is why Tana is THIS girl, instead: "No one else was going to get killed today, not if she could save them. Certainly not someone she'd once thought she loved, even if he was a jerk. [note: He WAS a jerk. Tana is not wrong. Tana is an excellent judge of character.] Not some dead boy full of good advice. And she hoped not herself, either." This is Tana all the way through. Yes, she cares about these people: Aidan, Gavriel, her little sister Pearl, the people she meets in Coldtown (which, by the way, is the designation for quarantined cities inhabited by humans infected by vampires, and by vampires themselves - scene of endless parties and 24-hour reality TV). But she doesn't delude herself. Her dogged courage is not simply on their behalf: Tana just refuses to be a part of another loved one's death, no matter how inevitable that death seems. Tana has a cold eye for the risks and benefits of her actions. I enjoyed this book enormously, despite some minor flaws and the initial slow pace. (Also, the blood. I don't really read vampire novels because ALL THAT BLOOD.) I think what I really got a kick out of was how the characters stayed themselves: Aidan , for example, is always 100% Aidan, no matter what happens to him, always half jerk and half charming, irresponsible teenager. I liked Midnight and Winter, twins who are simply itching to become part of the decadent mess that is Coldtown; I liked the (too-brief) backstories on Lucien and Elisabet, the reigning consorts of Coldtown. And here's another thing I REALLY liked. You should know that I am a person who loves knowing the meanings of names, so I looked up the names of the main characters. Gavriel is Russian for Gabriel, which is delightful because his opposite number is named Lucien - do I even need to explain that one? Aidan, the boy who is going Cold, has a name which translates as "Little Fire." And Tana's own name derives from Tatiana, or Titania - the ruthless Faerie Queen, in her own way the Coldest Girl in Coldtown.

When Tana awakes in a ...

When Tana awakes in a bathtub after a raging party, she's shocked to find that her friends have been massacred by vampires. The only people still alive in the house are her ex-boyfriend, Aidan, (who's been bitten and is infected) and a vampire chained in the corner, named Gavriel. In her adrenaline-fueled state, she decides to take both of them with her and the three go on a roadtrip to the Coldtown in Springfield, one of the quarantine sites where vampires, those infected who will become vampires if they drink human blood, and various human hangers-on live. But in getting involved in Gavriel's life, Tana finds herself in the midst of a centuries old conflict that may end her life and those she cares about. Don't dismiss this book as yet another YA vampire novel as it definitely stands it own amongst the crowd. Holly Black has created a fascinating albeit slightly bleak world in which vampirism is a threat that lurks always in the darkness, holding both allure and terror. The novel never shies away from the inherent gore that comes with vampire and often embraces the violence and horror that walks hand in hand with these creatures. Tana is an intriguing heroine, and although I didn't always agree with her choices, I found her sympathetic and rooted for her throughout the novel. With a plot that races along, keeping pages turning quickly, I was often surprised by its twists and turns. Happily, it also has an ending that while allowing for the option of follow-up novels, leaves everything sufficiently resolved to stand alone. One of the better vampire novels I've read in a while.

Welcome to Coldtown. ...

"Welcome to Coldtown. Breakfast at dusk. Lunch at midnight. Dinner at dawn."The Writing and WorldbuildingThis is my second foray into the writing of Holly Black and my first one didn't really impress me. Unfortunately, neither did this one, really. There's little that's unique or meaningful in her stories. She grazes the surface but can't seem to dip under. Between The Darkest Part of the Forest and this book, nothing is very different. Many of the characters are exactly the same (the MCs as a great example of this, though I found her to work better in this story than in the other one), and the endings both felt like set up for an non-existent and unnecessary sequel (because of how vague and unfulfilling they are). The writing itself is simplistic and unremarkable, relying too heavily on chapter epigraphs to provide meaning, and was often redundant when attempting worldbuilding, even if the concept was already adequately explained, and I felt like I was reading a lot of filler to make the book appear bigger even though nothing had actually happened.Honestly the premise felt like True Blood for teens but less convoluted and less exciting. I'm trash for vampires so I did enjoy it, but it's not something I ever see myself reading again. Strangely, it felt like something Scott Westerfeld would have written, and he tends to be hit-and-miss a lot of the time, spewing the same meaningless, inoffensive teen novels that ultimately tend to hijack and burn their own virtues by the end.But that's besides the point.It was quick and fun and anticlimactic at the end, leaving no lasting impression, but it did keep me reading, and I liked some of the characters enough to care.The CharactersTana: She's basically a better thought out version of Hazel from TDPoTF. She's headstrong and persistent. I liked her enough.Aidan: He was funny and all and I really enjoyed his descent into madness but ultimately he was just a jerk and I don't really like people like him anyway, and found some of his actions at the end inexplicable because he lacked a clear character arc.Gavriel: Definitely the highlight of the book. He's a little whacked in the head and has a lot of fun dialogue that I really enjoyed.Midnight: She was the character that felt the most Westerfeldian. She would have fit right into the Uglies universe.Pearl: Honestly I don't really see the point of her storyline.Lucien: He's basically just a dollar store LestatConclusionBlack has yet to impress me but I did enjoy the book enough to give it 4 stars. A lot of the scenes were quite visceral and I just have a soft spot for vampires, so it was okay. Likely won't reread but still fun.We all wind up drawn to what we're afraid of, drawn to try to find a way to make ourselves safe from a thing by crawling inside of it, by loving it, by becoming it.

Vampires were fairy t...

"Vampires were fairy tales and magic. They were the wolf in the forest that ran ahead to grandmother's house, the video game big boss who could be hunted without guilt, the monster that tempted you into its bed, the powerful eternal beast one might become. The beautiful dead, la belle mort." What's great about Holly Black's new addition to the vast pool of vampire fiction is the fact that it blends old-school elements of vampire mythology with a whole new twist on their existence. The central thing to get to grips with in this novel is the idea of 'going Cold'. When a vampire bites a human in Black's world, their body temperature quickly drops and within two days they develop a fierce and irresistible craving for human blood. With their first taste, they will die and rise again as a vampire. Their only hope of living on 'normally' is to quarantine themselves for eighty-eight days until the infection has left their body. Understandably, very few people manage to withstand this torture. Protagonist Tana's infected mother attacked her, still a small child, in a frenzy of blood lust, and had to be killed by her father. Their family has never really recovered. So, that's where we begin. Tana is now in her late teens, and has woken up at a 'sundown party' to find herself surrounded by the corpses of her friends and schoolmates. Someone has made the fatal mistake of leaving a window ajar, allowing vampires to enter. So far, so I Am Legend. Wandering through the house in shock, she stumbles across her ex-boyfriend Aiden, tied to a bed and obviously bitten, and a rather attractive young vampire, Gavriel, mysteriously chained up on the floor. As the undead perpetrators of the carnage creep closer, Tana makes the snap decision to save Aiden AND the vampire, narrowly escaping out the window, bundling them into her car and heading for Coldtown, a walled party prison-city for vampires, infected humans and all the gothic hangers-on who hope to one day win favour and be made immortal. Of course, with a Cold ex and a half-crazy vampire for company, nothing's going to be simple, on either side of the Coldtown wall. This is the story of Tana's self-discovery, of Aiden's transformation, of Tana and Gavriel's mutual attraction, of Gavriel's past and of Coldtown's secrets. It's complex and intriguing and exciting, and I loved it. Part of what makes it so good is the mixture of brilliant influences and interesting reference points. I thought Gavriel was pure Anne Rice, an old-fashioned seductive, black-haired, slightly mad vampire who holds a delicious attraction for Tana. Lucien, the bad boy of the piece, was a bit like Caius from The Twilight Saga in my head - young, blonde, arrogant - with more than a touch of Lestat in him too. The hangers-on and rather pathetic wannabe-immortals reminded me of the fang bangers in the True Blood series, the ones who just wanted to be around vampires because OMG IMMORTAL. The city itself was a tad Warm Bodies-in-reverse, a prison to keep vampires out of the way, a lawless place where parties go on all night and every debauched whim is catered for. And each chapter is garnished with a literary quote relating to death or immortality. It's very elegantly done. The constant social media theme was also quite interesting, bringing the novel right up to date. Live feeds coming from inside Coldtown - Lucien's famous party feed is one of the most popular - are eagerly followed by schoolgirls on the outside (including Tana's sister Pearl). People have posters of their favourite personalities from television, whether vampire or bounty hunter. People blog and vlog from inside the walls, and there are huge communities of wannabes whose sole aim is to get into Coldtown, meet up with friends inside, and transform into their 'true selves'. Tana, Aiden and Gavriel fall in with two of these - siblings Midnight and Winter - near the walls of Coldtown, and their obsession with documenting everything via social media is a bit sickening. The 'too much information' thing at work, even in the most inappropriate of situations... Soooo, yes! I really enjoyed the book. It was beautifully written and very immersive, so that after a while I think I even dreamed about Coldtown once or twice! Always the sign of a good book. The attraction between Byronic Gavriel and Katniss-esque Tana was the right balance of seductive and pithy, dangerous and tender, as the best vampire romances always are, and there were a couple of twists that I didn't see coming until they hit, which again, is always a good sign for me. I'll definitely be checking out more from Holly Black at some point, and highly recommend this one for anyone who likes their vampire novels well written and with a clever dose of fresh lore to... um... sink their teeth into.

Tana is one of those t...

Tana is one of those teens who don't think too much about their futures because their pasts are so disturbing to them. In a world where vampires exist, and have now been cordoned off into Coldtowns to try to contain the infection, she believes she has nothing to lose. That's because her mother was infected by a vampire when Tana was little. Her father didn't follow the law but tried to do the right thing. He locked Mom in the basement to see if she would be able to fight off the infection, and the overwhelming urge for blood. Mom talked Tana into unlocking the basement door and coming downstairs. Dad chopped off Mom's head before she could do more than scrape Tana's arm. But that's backstory. When we first meet Tana, she's waking up at a nihilistic teen party where drinking and sex are the norm. Her ex-boyfriend, Adrian, tried to capture her attention yet again. He's tied up on a bed with a vampire chained in the room. Everyone else has been killed. After Tana gets them out alive, before other vampires behind the door can get to them, they have little choice. They have to get to the nearest Coldtown. That's where vampires, those who are Cold -- have been infected but may or may not turn vampire -- and thrillseekers go. Tana will never see her still grieving, still heavy drinking father or younger sister again. The vampire chained in the room with Adrian is a famous old vampire and stone-cold assassin. He and Tana are, of course, drawn to each other. But Gavriel, the second son of minor Russian aristocracy, has a great backstory as well. With the level of violence and sex, this is easily an older teen book. It also is a very well-written horror novel of characters who feel they have nothing to lose, with the themes of betrayal and trying to do the right thing regardless of the circumstances.

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Electrode, Comp-283873769, DC-prod-dfw6, ENV-prod-a, PROF-PROD, VER-30.0.3-ebf-2, SHA-8c8e8dc1c07e462c80c1b82096c2da2858100078, CID-758e5532-425-16ee260a2159a5, Generated: Sat, 07 Dec 2019 22:00:14 GMT