The Coldest Girl in Coldtown

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown

4.4 97
by Holly Black
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

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…  See more details below

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.

Editorial Reviews

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"

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."—BCCB

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."
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)

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780316213110
Publisher:
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication date:
09/03/2013
Sold by:
Hachette Digital, Inc.
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
440
Sales rank:
32,207
File size:
1 MB
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years

Videos

Meet the Author

Holly Black is the author of bestselling contemporary fantasy books for kids and teens. Some of her titles include The Spiderwick Chronicles (with Tony DiTerlizzi), the Modern Faerie Tale series, the Curse Workers series, Doll Bones, and her new novel, The Coldest Girl in Coldtown. She was a finalist for the Mythopoeic Award, a finalist for an Eisner Award, and a recipient of the Andre Norton Award. She currently lives in New England with her husband, Theo, in a house with a secret door. Her website is www.blackholly.com.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown 4.4 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. 97 reviews.
Kristas_Dust_Jacket More than 1 year ago
One thing I've noticed about vampires in many of today's books is that they've been romanticized to the point where they're not really all that scary any more. Think about the vampires you know the best - Edward from the Twilight series, the Brothers from the Black Dagger Brotherhood, Simon from The Mortal Instruments. These are the sexy, sweet vampires who don't kill humans and love their women fiercely. Holly Black has reminded us in The Coldest Girl in Coldtown that vampires are inherently evil and bad and so scary. When I learned that this book was about vampires, I was prepared for the usual. What I got instead was something dark, bloody and freaky. It was awesome! Tana wakes up the morning after a party and 48 of her friends are dead. She discovers her ex-boyfriend and a vampire chained in a room and saves them. The three of them set off for Coldtown, with Tana having every intention of returning home when her cargo is delivered. Things don't happen according to plan, though, and before she knows it, Tana finds herself fighting for her life as she knows it. The Coldest Girl in Coldtown is unique in many ways. In it, our world knows about vampires and fears them. Vampirism is treated as a disease, and something that can be fought - like a cold. It's a different way of looking at it, for sure. Let's talk characters. Tana was an awesome heroine. She had something truly awful happen to her as a child, and although that event certainly helped shape her, it hasn't defined her like we see so many times in characters that are in situations like this. She's brave and strong and smart. She's cautious when she needs to be, and she doesn't blindly trust anyone. Gavriel was... wow. He was something else. A centuries-old vampire who is more than a little nuts-o, yet young-looking and hot (of course!) and so dynamic. He says the craziest things, and pairs them with moments of lucidity that make you think that perhaps there's a method to his madness. And, there's definitely more to him than what meets the eye - that was evident from the very first moment we see him. The way that Black layered the chapters with one flashback followed by one present-day helped to slowly develop the characters and the world so that it wasn't so much info dump all at once. I did appreciate that a lot. The other thing I appreciated is that, although there is a very nice slow burn romance, it wasn't thrust in with a crowbar. Many times, a romance is added just for people like me who need something like that in my stories. Not because the story calls for it. In this case, the romance is a little darker, but no less sweet. Gavriel is an a-typical hero and leading man, and I was okay with that. I still fell in love with him, just like Tana did. At 419 pages, The Coldest Girl in Coldtown is a smidge long. It could've been tightened up some. Some of the flashback chapters felt unnecessary. In fact, I think the addition of Tana's sister Pearl was completely nonessential to the main story, and I don't think I would've felt like I was missing anything important if she had been omitted entirely. Despite that, I really loved the dark and foreboding aspect of this story. The romance that I need was there, although it wasn't prominent. The heroes are exciting. The villains are confusing in a very good way (Are they all bad? Good? How bad are they?). If you like vampire stories even a little, you really should give this one a shot. I can't wait to see where Black takes this story next.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Perfect vampire book. You get the true nature of what, if real, vampires might go through. It's like True Blood meet The Walking Dead. Loved the writing!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This shows all just how horrid Twilight & other Vampire stories with little-to-no plot and only romance. Really, Twilight had quite 1-dimensional characters, while this makes you feel for them. This story takes you back to true vampires- Scary, blood sucking monsters. This has an amazing plot, the premise of Coldtowns, and interesting characters. Crazy plot twist in the end- I recommend this to anyone that likes to read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wow! This book is a wild ride - full of scares, adventure and a new take on vampires. Tana Bach is a scarred but intrepid heroine. Her trip with her friend Adrian and recently met Gavriel to the Coldtown is full of suspense and revelations. Once they reach the Coldtown you are introduced to a whole new world within the walls. I have been a fan of Holly Black for a long time and this book does not disappoint!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My daughter and I both love Holly Black as an author. She didn't disappoint with this book. It's good for young adults and adults. We both loved it and want more of it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Usually I don't go off of reviews when choosing my next book to read. But, it had good ratings, and it was on sale, so I thought why not? This book reminded me EXACTLY why I don't go off reviews alone. THE PROS 1) The book is very detailed throughout. I was clearly able to visualize all of the settings within the book. 2) It was a standalone novel. With so many series these days, it was great to read a story that actually ends in one book. 3) The end of the story was actually very interesting. Although predicable, the end does make you wonder what happens to Gavriel and Tana. THE CONS (there are many...) 1) The characters are not likeable whatsoever. I didn't fall in love with ANYONE, which is a first for me, because there seems to always be someone I absolutely love. They are all so bland, and so... original. Nothing stood out about any of them, really, despite the author's efforts to have them do so. 2) The author tries to hard to appeal to different audiences by bringing unneeded details into the book. For example, the details of Valentina being and Aiden being bisexual. These details were not necessary to the story AT ALL, so I'm not sure why they were even mentioned in the telling of the story. If you're going to mention these things, emphasize on how these characteristics make them special. Otherwise, you just look like you're making them so to attract fans. 3) The plot development was SO SLOW I nearly couldn't stand it. Half way through the book, I was still bored to tears. Only in the last 75 pages does the story really pick up. The only reason I kept reading and didn't put it down was because it was a standalone book. Had this been part of a series, I would have been long gone from it. The flow was just awful as well. So slow, worthy of one thousand "Zzzzzzzzz"s. 4) The surroundings/setting were often TOO DETAILED, which in my opinion, added to why the progress of the story was so slow and the flow so terrible. Furthermore, for as descriptive as the settings were, a lot of the characters were "under described", for lack of better words. I couldn't tell you what any of the characters looked liked aside from the generalization of all vampires having black hair and pale skin and Winter and Midnight having blue hair. 5) Relationships between characters are faulty. People disappear from the story, then randomly show back up when the plot line starts to fall. The main character this happens to is Jameson. He's not a key character in any way, but someone he's one of the guys who saves the day. The entirety of events that occur from him being in the picture were such a far reach from the author it was unbelievable, literally. It's like she had no idea how to tie her ends together. 6) There is a random, five sentence chapter in the middle of the book that has NOTHING to do whatsoever with the story. Starting with "Once Upon a Time...", this was so cliche and unnecessary to the plot line. A waste of a page, and caused nothing but confusion. 7) The story says once people are in Coldtowns, they can't escape. If so, then why could some of the vampires come and go as they pleased? The hole in the plot line made me really angry. Overall, the entire story starts out grungy and ends a pathetic, bloody fairy tale corpse romance. In my opinion, this book is absolutely forgettable. I never thought I was say this in my life, but I would rather recommend Twilight five times over before recommending this.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great read.......I would love if you continued the story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sure it was a little slow in the beginning but when u hear more about everyone's back story u like it more and then when u see how insane and dangerous the love interest is, it makes u absolutely love him and the story
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and didn't want it to end.
EverAfterEsther More than 1 year ago
The vampire trend in YA books seems to be dying down, but I'm still interested in reading books that have a creative twist on an old favourite. The synopsis for Holly Black's new release initially drew me in, particularly because of the Coldtowns introduced in the book. Unfortunately, I didn't quite get the creepy, intriguing book I desired and was left feeling a bit disappointed with the story. Reason to Read: 1. Coldtown is a great setting: The Coldtowns are a main focus of the story, and easily the most fascinating aspect. There's so much mystery and eccentricity stemming from Coldtown; I couldn't help but want to know more about the place and I was eagerly awaiting the characters' arrival in Coldtown. I also thought that was a great approach to take in a story where vampires are real and the world is trying to learn how to handle that reality.  The beginning of the book had me hooked very quickly, but unfortunately that just didn't last. The pace slowed down considerably early on, and I found it dragged on for a while. Much of the story seemed to revolve around Tana's internal thoughts and feelings about the events taking place around her. As a result, she didn't seem grounded in the story at all.  On top of that, I couldn't connect with any of the characters in the slightest. I was indifferent towards them, at best. They never really grew on me, as much as I wanted to be invested in their lives. Their personalities weren't consistent, and the ending didn't feel like a natural result of characters' decisions but simply because the plot demanded it.  The Coldest Girl in Coldtown is well-written, but I found it difficult to be excited about the story or care about the characters.  Review copy received from HBG Canada for review; no other compensation was received. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this book for fun and because it was reccommended. I read quite a bit and enjoy a variety of books. The angsty teen vampire thing has really been played out, however based on the reviews I thought this book would be a good read. It was not entirely awful, just very forced feeling. The charcaters were all incredibky flat and dull, everything about them was so contrived and sterotypical I had to check to make sure this book wasn't written in 1982. It was as though the author had never heard a teenager speak before. The "love" story was forced from the very begining and felt fake. The good characters were 100% good and perfect and the evil characters were 100% evil. There was no actual conflict and the main battle never actually happened. This book reminded me of a poorly written twiglight fanfic.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I couldn't even finish this book because it was so boring. It moved too slowly and the characters were completely unlikeable. I didn't care what happened to any of them. Not her typical work.
Sweettea93 More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book. It takes you on a wild adventure into a world where vampires are really monsters and not what people have turned them into today. I enjoyed it and will read it again. 
AllBookedUp More than 1 year ago
Not your typical vampire story So, I don't even know where to start with this review...I think I've written it 4 different ways already and still have not come up with the best way to say that, yes this is another vampire book but no, it's not just ANOTHER vampire book. The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black wickedly portrays the vampire theme in a refreshingly dark and twisted new way that will leave you breathless as you root for the human, the cold and the vampire. Black slowly and methodically builds up memorable characters with flashback style writing that will open a window into our main character, Tana's past and present from her point of view showing her struggle with the whole "vampire" apocalypse from a startlingly early age and how that affects her reactions today. The pace can seem a bit slow (especially in the beginning), but it didn't seem to detour my interest as it seemed very fitting and definitely picks up later on. Do not make the mistake of overlooking this gem of a novel because you're tired of vampires or it's not action packed in the first few chapters.  I can't tell you how many times I read a synopsis now-a-days and think, "oh another supernatural/dystopian novel...hope this one isn't like the rest of them." I can tell you, Coldtown is darker and does not have the expected fairytale "everyone is happy" ending. Black does not hold back on the gruesome scenes, leaves out the whole love triangle bit (thank you) and even squashes and pokes some humor at the stereotypical vampire traits. So if you're looking for that storybook ending...look elsewhere, but if you're looking for an action packed thrilling story of death, revenge, and love with a twist that will shock you, then this is definitely for you! My synopsis in 50 words or less: Human girl goes to party. Girl wakes up to find everyone dead. Girl frees ex-boyfriend and vampire, realizes she might be exposed and heads to the closest Coldtown. Coldtown is not what it seems on TV. Humans come there to become vampires and vampires rule Coldtown. Girl kicks ass.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm usually picky when it comes to fantasy books but WOW, I fell in LOVE with this book. Holly Black was able to do many things with this story that many aren't able to when it comes to writing about vampires. I was amazed at how much I wanted to keep reading more and more, never wanting to put the book down. Can't wait to see what is next from Holly Black!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
AMAZING!!!!
Anonymous 4 months ago
A completely different, sadly believable vampire story
imbrium 8 months ago
Anonymous 8 months ago
Good book. Could use a sequel but fine as it is.
Anonymous 10 months ago
I have purchased this book not knowing that it was about vampires. I have never liked vampire stories or movies. Everybody knows that. I have to say that this book was actually very interesting. I never thought that I would like it, even after the first chapter I was excited about reading it. My mom was scared because I wouldn't put it down to do anything. When I finished the book I was wondering what would happen if there was a second book. I still want a second book an I was thinkg of writing to the author. I never have. I REALLY like this book!!!! :-)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a wonderful book. It has suspence and so much more. I was at odds with reading another vampire book because they all just seam the same but not this book. You are in for so much more then what yoh expect and if you are like me you will not want to put the book down are be truly happy when it ends. It has a good ending but the sory needs to continue I want to know what becomes of everyone. What problems will they have to face next in hope to live and be with the ones they love. This book is definatly a must read!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hesitancy describes how I felt about this purchase, after all, it was a VAMPIRE book. I couldn't get the idea of Twilight or gore out of my head. I hate blood almost as much as a hate cheesy romance. But I decided to give it a go, why not? It was in the top teen list, it had amazing reviews, and it didn't cost more than I was willing to spend. After debating about it for weeks, I finally caved in and bought it. Boy, am I glad I did. It isn't often I run into perfect writing, but this book is pretty close. I was upset I didn't think of it myself. I could see Tana's ratty dress and long black hair, hear her fear, and feel her loyalty. I even wanted to be like her. How crazy is that? This book is clever and beautifully written. It is full of depth and excitement. I felt like I was on a journey with the characters. I was even a little bit surprised with how many times I've read this book in the short few months I've had it, and how every time it feels like a new story I never tire of hearing. A story of a girls racing thoughts, an ancient vampires insane poetry, and a golden monsters smile fading with the cameras red light. It spoke of selfishness, and how, underneath is all we are just monster fighting for a semblance of control in our crazy lives. How we wish we could just let ourselves go to be who we really know we are. This book is beautiful, and I think it is perfect for anyone who is creative, open to new ideas, or who just wants to read an amazing book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Holly Black is probably the best writer of teen spec fiction right now. She has created a fascinating world of vampires under quarantine in this book. Definitely wish it wasn't a stand alone novel.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Couldn't put it down.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of my favorite holly black books yet! Thriller all the way to the end with a well ended story line. Highly recommended!