Review: The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black

Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Vampires, Dystopian, Romance, Mystery
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers Publishing
Publication Date: September 3rd 2013
Source: ARC Provided by Publisher via Netgalley

Goodreads Summary:

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown

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.


I’ve got to admit that with the overabundance of vampire themes, I didn’t think that Holly Black would create an original story, and I’m glad to say I was wrong.

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown was one of my most anticipated reads this year, and I’m glad that my expectations were met, and exceeded.

Forget about the humane, sugarcoated, sparkly vampires that we’re used to seeing in pop culture. In this book, Holly Black isn’t afraid to get explicitly gritty and thoroughly creepy. I’m finally met with a vampire book that makes me fear vampires.

Vampires were fairy tales and magic. They were the wolf in the forest who ran ahead to grandmother’s house, the video game big boss who could be hunted without guilt, the monster who tempted you into his bed, the powerful eternal beast one might become.

-The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black

I loved the world-building. How vampirism was explained as a disease and the Coldtowns were created was a wonderful move. There was no denying that it was wholly original and refreshing!

Setting aside the, vampire concept for a second, the characterization in this book was amazing!

We meet Tana, a girl who has already been introduced to the vampire world. She’s sarcastic, resilient, and a TOTAL BADASS. I loved Tana. Her world was falling apart, yet she always found a way to make the situation more sarcastic, or she always found a way to make the best out of her situation.

Not only was Tana great, but also Aiden, Midnight, Jameson, Lucien and Gavriel were so well developed. Here the secondary characters play a role just as important as the protagonist!

Can I have a moment to swoon over Gavriel for a bit? I’ll most probably even create a MPB post for him because I loved him so much!

Gavriel was the main love interest in this story, and I’m glad because he was just so damn amazing! Let me make something clear: Gavriel is completely insane. There is no doubt in my mind that going Cold affected his brain in some way or another. But… even in his insanity, he is completely swoon worthy.  The way his insanity is portrayed is amazing. And, when Gavriel is sane… dang.

He’s such a complete gentleman that it hurts. It hurts to know that he isn’t a real person!

“Tana. In all my long life, though there were many times I prayed for it, no one has ever saved me. No one but you.”

-The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black 

I love characters that are multi-faceted and Gavriel is no exception! Kudos to Holly! 🙂

One might think that this book is just about romance in a vampire world, but it’s not. This book also touches so many different themes, and one of the main ones is family.

We see Tana trying to protect her family in one way or another, and we see small insights into her life with different flashbacks, which help us understand more why Tana is how she is.

Also, this book has beautiful prose (which doesn’t surprise me, because Holly Black has written many wonderful books) and the pacing is very good; it builds up to a wonderful plot twist that I was not expecting in a million years.  This book is (sadly) a standalone, which leaves more to be desired, but nevertheless wrapped everything up beautifully.

Overall, a vampire book that I’d definitely recommend, with a wonderful romance, colorful characters, great prose, and memorable quotes.

Rating: 5 stars.


After a wild night of partying in someone’s house, Tana wakes up to find that every single one of her school mates were sucked dry of blood. All except her, her ex-boyfriend who’s chained to a bed and infected, and a vampire tied with chains. For some reason, Tana decided to save both of them and head for Coldtown, a place where the government keeps locked up vampires and people who are going cold. Between ugly past memories and secrets, Tana must make it there and alive. With a vampire willing to be handed over in exchange of a reward, Tana enters a world that only years ago was something for dark and mysterious novels.

For as far as I can remember I’ve been a big fan of paranormal, especially vampires. I find it my duty to read as many vampire stories as I can frequently. This book couldn’t escape my sight, I had to read it.

The plot was wonderfully made, in my opinion. There were odd times when it felt slow or boring, but it was something necessary for something bigger and better to happen more into the story. There were so many unexpected twists, I was mind blowned once the book ended. I couldn’t believe that such a story existed.

My only problem was the pace. Sometimes it was fast and slow when needed, but other times, maybe it was the pace or the story tone, but something there affected my perception of how some information was delivered. Some felt like informational dumps but you somehow know that it’s vital information. Or maybe it was just me. I was, after all, reading this story while going through school stress.

The characters, oh wow…

From likeable to “what-the-actual-fuck,” you have a bit of everything. There are no characters that are exactly the same, each one blooming on its own accord. There were some I loved to bits (Gavriel *swoons* and, surprisingly, Aiden) and others I just wanted to strangle from either being annoying (Aiden again!), stupid, naive, or plain evil. I can’t say they were plain cardboard ones, because, at least for me, they felt really real. Even the ones that had minor appearances were able to imprint their way into my mind. A month later and I can still remember vividly the book and the things it has. Amazing.

My favorite character, and I’m sure that everyone that liked this book will agree, is Gavriel. Gosh that vampire is so asdfghjkl;’ Handsome, complicated, twisted, romantic, sarcastic and funny, he has it all. But putting aside the romance and extremely good looks *swoons*, I liked him even more because of his personality and how he worked. He was a twisted character, even a crazy one if you may, that was so well made. I have to admit it. I love well made characters that make you think beyond, really think, and that are that way because of these or those things and it all makes sense. Even if you try to hate them, like the main character Tana tries, you can’t. Either like them, or fall in love with them. You can’t have them in the “I hate you” list.

Again I’m bringing up the pace, but not for bad. Thinking more of it, the slow pace it sometimes had was good, because this is a vampire book. I began to read Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire, but because of some reasons I wasn’t able to finish it. Anyways, that book was one of the best vampire story I’ve read, and the pacing was slow (only bad thing was that at a point it became excruciatingly slow that I stopped almost finishing). My point is, it’s perfect for a book like this. You just have to be patient. But it’ll be worth it.

I recommend this book to all vampire lovers. This book stays really close to the original legend of vampires, but with its own ingredient, resulting in an unique and intriguing mixture. It has action, mystery, hot and steaming romance, fangirl moments, slap-your-mouth-can’t-believe-it moments, infuriating ones, all of it. Though I must admit, I was left unsatisfied with that ending. I can’t believe it, I refuse to it. And it’s a shame that this, so far, is a stand alone novel. Either way, I’m really looking forward to reading more of the author, Holly Black, in the future.

Rating: 4 stars

Overall Rating:

it was really good


7 thoughts on “Review: The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black

  1. Glad you love this book, ladies! I too, feel the same way about vampire books nowadays but I’m looking forward to Holly proving me wrong as well. 😉


  2. I loved this book! I totally agree on all the characters being amazing. Even the ones who didn’t make a huge appearance had distinctive personalities. Gavriel! *Swoon* I loved him so much. He was such an interesting and different character. I love your Jenna Marbles gif, Marianne. I was cracking up when I saw it. My thoughts exactly. I do agree that the pacing at times was a bit slow, but for me it was all so interesting that it didn’t matter. I loved this book and only wish that there was going to be a sequel. 😦 Great review ladies!


  3. I totally saw this book yesterday at Half Price and wondered what it was. Any Holly Black book usually means “READ THIS” in my world. I’m not a vampire fan, but your review has intrigued me. Especially with the crazy, insane hot Gavriel. And your awesome gifs. Okay, you’ve officially convinced me to pick it up.


    1. Now I’m afraid that you’ll hate us if you don’t like it… haha I wish I had it in a physical copy *sigh* Enjoy your read! 😀 ~Jennifer


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