I realize I won the geographical the jackpot, growing up in the Chicago suburbs, living in a village just outside of the city. I have access to Chicago’s finest and I (generally) don’t have to deal with terrible, awful traffic. One of the other plusses: I have access to great, beautiful, awesome bookstores. It’s like Candy Land–and not the Django kind. There’s libraries where I vet my books (and let’s face it, serve the more wealthy of Chicago’s suburbanites) and then there’s bookstores where I buy my stash. I’m a book junkie. I have too many books. I can’t part with them. Someday, I’ll have piles and piles of books all over my house and Hoarderswill have to come and dig out my cat from under a pile of Penguin Classics.
Now back to this book. I went to Anderson’s Bookshop to pick up my new copy. Now, don’t be jealous, but it’s totally autographed. I’m such a fangirl. I was just telling a friend about it tonight and literally started squealing like a teenager. I ended up finishing The Coldest Girl in Coldtown in about a day and a half, & reading it just made me want to re-read everything else of Holly Black‘s because she’s just so dark and romantic. She has this way of throwing fairytale creatures (fairies, changelings, demons, vampires) into the modern world. I think reading Tithe, Valiant and Ironside as a teenager is what gave me my dark, morbid, and at times very charming sense of humor.
17-year-old Tana wakes up in a bathtub. No joke. She was at a party the night before, she remembers going to the bathroom, but she doesn’t remember laying down in the tub and she sure as hell has no idea how her dress got all messed up. She walks around the house and starts seeing bodies. Where is her ex, Aiden? Wasn’t he there at the party? She realizes quickly that what she’s seeing is the aftermath of a vampire attack (they probably escaped the ghettos scattered throughout the country called “Coldtowns”). As quietly as possible, Tana makes her way to the bedroom where she left her purse the night before and sees Aiden tied to the bed… Alive.
That’s also the first time she sees him. Gavriel. He’s as handsome as he is truly terrifying.
After throwing together a shoddy rescue, the trio make their way to the nearest Coldtown because Aiden is infected and Gavriel is… well… a vampire. Little does Tana know that Gavriel has revenge on his mind and only the death of his enemy will slake his bloodlust (although he does try draining every human Tana will let him near). He’s killed several people along the way and it terrifies her (which is a nice change, don’t you think, from the star-crossed lovers you’re always reading in YA novels) while at the same time mesmerizes her.
Per usual, Black does a beautiful job melding the modern world with the classic dark vampire motif that’s all over YA lit today. There is real violence in several passages (and I say this having read all of Anne Rice‘s works) and definite sexual tension that only YA novels can create. It’s a totally new universe where reality TV is usually streaming directly from one of the U.S.’s coldtowns. Will Tanna become a vampire? Will her family ever be whole again? Will Gavriel exact his revenge? Read Black’s The Coldest Girl in Coldtown to find out.
Paranormal Romance, Vampires, Fantasy, Young Adult, Modern
Compelling, haunting, foreboding, gritty, hard-edged, sarcastic, romantic, provocative, vivid characters, flawed characters, episodic, open-ended, graphic violence, urban, contemporary, polished, lyrical.
“If the enemy of my enemy is my friend, then surely you should be friend to my friend.” (Gavriel page 316).
“You are more dangerous than daybreak” (Gavriel page 160).