The Coldest Girl in Coldtown

Overview

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 ...

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The Coldest Girl in Coldtown

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Overview

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.

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Editorial Reviews

BCCB
"This is a solidly paced adventure studded with the occasional steamy encounter, so readers familiar with Black's mix of emotional depth and outstanding world-building will not be disappointed."
Publishers Weekly
In Black’s exquisitely imagined contribution to vampire lore, the creatures have shaken off centuries of clandestine existence and gone public, turning thousands into bloodsuckers like themselves. In an attempt to control their spread, the U.S. government has restricted vampires to ghettolike Coldtowns, where a glamorous, high-octane culture has developed, broadcasting its debauched parties to the world and creating a subculture of humans who fetishize eternal life and long to be turned themselves. Seventeen-year-old Tana wakes up after a wild night of partying to discover that almost everyone in attendance has been killed by vampires, “dried blood crusted on their clothing like rust... dotting their skin like freckles.” Wandering through the carnage, she finds her infected ex-boyfriend, Aiden, and a mysterious, half-mad vampire named Gavriel chained in a bedroom. Escaping the massacre, Tana drives them to the nearest Coldtown, knowing that if she enters, a quick death might be the best outcome. Replete with grisly violence, an intriguingly complex take on the mechanics of vampirism, and well-developed and memorable characters, this superior, dread-soaked tale will satisfy vampire addicts of all ages. Ages 15–up. Agent: Barry Goldblatt, Barry Goldblatt Literary Agency. (Sept.)
starred review Booklist
* "With rapid-fire dialogue, lavish details, and a wildly imagined world, this will enthrall Black's fans from start to finish and leave them hoping for another bone-chilling vicarious tour of Coldtown."
The Horn Book
"Black's compelling prose, descriptive yet direct, conjures a modern gothic world populated by cruel immortals, desperate humans offering themselves as food, and a few hardscrabble survivors. Tana is a winning heroine, by turns staking killer vampires and giving herself over to Gavriel's deep, smoldering kisses."
From the Publisher
An Amazon Best Teen Book of 2013
A TAYSHAS Top Ten Book of the Year
A NPR Great Read of 2013
A SLJ Best Book of the Year
A YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults
A YALSA Top Ten Amazing Audio Books
A Kirkus Best YA Books

"We've all read a million YA vampire stories at this point, but no one writes like Holly Black: Her worlds are funny and eerily vivid, and Coldtown-a rollicking and decadent ghetto-is one of my all-time favorite fantasy novel settings."—Author of The Fault in Our Stars John Green, Metro New York

* "You may be ready to put a stake in vampire lit, but read this first: It's dark and dangerous, bloody and brilliant."—Kirkus, starred review

*"Teens with a yen for dark, futuristic novels, and maybe even a few Anne Rice readers, will find this a refreshing take on vampire lit. As always, Black's writing is quick paced and thought-provoking. A must-have for any teen collection."—School Library Journal, starred review

* "With rapid-fire dialogue, lavish details, and a wildly imagined world, this will enthrall Black's fans from start to finish and leave them hoping for another bone-chilling vicarious tour of Coldtown."—Booklist, starred review

* "Replete with grisly violence, an intriguingly complex take on the mechanics of vampirism, and well-developed and memorable characters, this superior, dread-soaked tale will satisfy vampire addicts of all ages."—Publishers Weekly, starred review

"Black's compelling prose, descriptive yet direct, conjures a modern gothic world populated by cruel immortals, desperate humans offering themselves as food, and a few hardscrabble survivors. Tana is a winning heroine, by turns staking killer vampires and giving herself over to Gavriel's deep, smoldering kisses."—The Horn Book

Children's Literature - Claudia Mills
The creepily chilling title promises a spooky tale, and best-selling author Holly Black does not disappoint. The book begins with a wallop: Tana wakes up in a bathtub after a wild teen party, only to find that the other partygoers are dead, victims of a marauding vampire. Tana’s world is eerily similar to our own (references to Photoshop and Twitter abound), except that vampire outbreaks are common and those infected by vampire bites (the Cold ones) need to be quarantined in specially designated Coldtowns until their desperate craving for human blood abates. In the aftermath of the fatal party, Tana travels with her now-Cold former boyfriend Aidan and a sexy but conscience-stricken vampire named Gavriel on a pilgrimage to the safety of the nearest Coldtown. Her courageous compassion for both an exasperating ex and a threatening new male companion makes her a sympathetic character, but the book is overly long with too many flashbacks to fill in the gruesome backstory. Each chapter begins with a haunting epigraph about death, which can also be disturbing; while vampire-obsessed readers will agree with Walt Whitman that “Nothing can happen more beautiful than death,” those who are not already Holly Black fans or vampire devotees may agree instead with W. Somerset Maugham that “Death is a very dull, dreary, affair, and my advice to you is to have nothing whatsoever to do with it.” Reviewer: Claudia Mills, Ph.D. AGERANGE: Ages 14 up.
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—A dystopian thriller with a chilling twist. Tana, 17, passes out at a party and wakes up in a house filled with corpses. Her friends lie in crusted pools of blood as she searches through piles of belongings for her keys and boots. Her first thought is that someone must have left a window open. In Tana's world, vampire attacks happen. At the tender age of six, she witnessed her mother's transformation from a loving parent to a creature so desperate for blood it would lure and attack its own daughter. It is because of things like this that Coldtowns, quarantined cities where the infected go to live and die, exist. Along with Tana, the only other survivors of the party are Gavriel, a handsome and mysterious vampire, and Aidan, her newly infected ex. She decides to take them directly to Coldtown, but if crossing the barricades means staying there indefinitely, Tana's not sure she's ready to leave life as she knows it behind. Twilight fans will enjoy the drama, but its fan base need not be limited to those who read paranormal romance. Teens with a yen for dark, futuristic novels, and maybe even a few Anne Rice readers, will find this a refreshing take on vampire lit. As always, Black's writing is quick paced and thought-provoking. A must-have for any teen collection.—Jennifer Furuyama, Pendleton Public Library, OR
Kirkus Reviews
This eagerly anticipated novel (based on Black's short story of the same name) bears little relation to the sparkle-infused vampire tales of the last decade. Ten years ago, a vampire "started romanticizing himself" and went on a rampage, turning people until new vampires were everywhere. As much as possible, they are contained in walled Coldtowns, along with humans who idolize them--or were trapped when the walls went up. Outside, people avoid going out after dark, watch endless feeds from Coldtown parties and idolize vampire hunters. When nihilistic Tana, whose emptiness seems to stem from events surrounding her mother's infection with vampirism, wakes up in a blood bath to find her ex-boyfriend infected and a terrifying but gorgeous vampire chained beside him, she is determined to make things right. What follows is a journey that takes her into Coldtown and out of the grief that has plagued her for years, with plenty of sharply observed characters and situations that feel absurdly, horribly believable. There's dry humor and even a relationship (to call it a romance would be too easy; this is something entirely more complex). Perhaps most unexpectedly, there is no happy ending, just a thread of hope in humanity. You may be ready to put a stake in vampire lit, but read this first: It's dark and dangerous, bloody and brilliant. (Horror. 14 & up)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780316213097
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
  • Publication date: 8/12/2014
  • Pages: 448
  • Sales rank: 210,704
  • Age range: 15 - 18 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.25 (h) x 1.25 (d)

Meet the Author

Holly Black

Holly Black is the bestselling author of contemporary fantasy novels for teens and children, including Tithe: A Modern Faerie Tale and the #1 New York Times bestselling Spiderwick series. She has been a finalist for the Mythopoeic Award and the Eisner Award, and the recipient of the Andre Norton Award. Holly lives in Massachusetts with her husband, Theo, in a house with a secret library. Her website is www.blackholly.com.

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