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Best YA of 2013: 'The Coldest Girl in Coldtown' by Holly Black

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'The Coldest Girl in Coldtown' by Holly Black


This review is part of a recap of this reviewer's picks for the Best YA Books of 2013.

Vampires may not be the “hot” thing in paranormal YA literature right now, but they sizzle within the pages of Holly Black’s The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, one of the most original, stunningly written vampire sagas of all time. And it’s only one book!

Inspired by her own short story of the same name, Black has elevated the vampire mythos to a whole new level with The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, building a frightening alternate version of our world in which vampires are real and deadly — and populating it with characters so engaging, it is near-impossible to let them go by the book’s final page. (So much so, that though I love finding an amazing standalone novel such as this one — I really, really would love it if Black turned this into a series. Really. At least point me in the direction of some Coldtown fan fiction pronto!)

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown is gripping from page one, as Tana picks her way through the corpses of her classmates and comes face-to-face with a horde of thirsty vampires — all the while dealing with an ex-boyfriend who, as it turns out, is now turning into a vampire, and another mysterious boy with some dark secrets of his own. (Sure, you can probably guess one of them — but you’ll keep flipping the pages to find out more!)

The book is action-packed from the beginning, and continually keeps readers on their toes as Black steers the plot in surprising new directions. Throw in some steamy, toe-curling romance, a bit of familial sacrifice and love, and a centuries-long feud between vampires, and you’ll find that The Coldest Girl in Coldtown is near impossible to put down — and even harder to let go of once you’ve finished the last page.

It’s explosive, poetic, sexy, and simply brilliant from start to finish. It is, if I dare say, easily the best vampire book I have read in ages, and possibly ever.

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown is in stores now. Here is the official synopsis:

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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