The Coldest Girl in Coldtown

Title: The Coldest Girl in Coldtown
Author: Holly Black
Language: English
Pages: 419

The Book
The Coldest Girl in Coldtown focuses on Tana Bach, a 17-year old girl who wakes up after a party to find every other person at the party brutally murdered by vampires. She’s the lone survivor of this massacre only because she fell asleep in the bathtub. Vampires are normal things in this world and it’s uncommon for people to go out after dark. Technically vampires should be in Coldtowns, but some get out, or they have no trouble getting out because they’re powerful badasses. The Coldtowns are also full of Cold people, people who have been bitten, but not yet transformed because they haven’t had human blood, and vampire groupies. Vampires permeate the entire culture. TV feeds go out from the Coldtowns and there are TV shows about vampire hunters. They come off as really glamorous and it’s a bit creepy.

Tana finds her ex-boyfriend Aiden in one of the bedrooms, he’s been bitten so he’s Cold, and next to him is a vampire chained to the wall. The other vampires are still in the house and Tana gets Aiden and Gavriel out of the house, planning to go to Coldtown. On the way out she’s scratched, and is worried she’s now Cold. Her plan is to hand over Gavriel, which means she can get a Marker which grants her a ticket out of the Coldtown if it turns out she isn’t infected, or if she can fight of the infection.

What I thought
So I thought I read this because John Green said it was awesome. I have either imagined this, or I am not very good at finding things, because the video in which he said it I can’t find. I now have no idea why I initially found out about this book and I’m worried I might be going a bit crazy. Other than that: I read the Coldest Girl in Coldtown, and I really liked it. It seems like the reviews are sort of split, but I really liked it.

1. Tana is a good protagonist in my opinion. She makes some slightly questionable choices, why bring a crazy vampire you don’t know on a roadtrip? Why not just shove your Cold boyfriend in the trunk and dump him in the Coldtown? But she’s kind and she’s a responsible human being so she looks after her slightly dopey ex when he turns Cold. She seems to be a bit emotionally traumatized/damaged. Her mother turned Cold when Tana was little and her dad had to eventually kill his wife when she fed on Tana. Tana’s relationship with Aidan seems mainly focused on him acting like a total asshole to her and her not actually caring enough about him to react. She’s a good person though. She’s tough, she took care of her sister when her mother died and her father had a meltdown that led to alcoholism. Unlike other vampire groupies, or girls in other vampire fiction (Bella Swan), she has no desire to turn into a vampire. Even if she is clearly drawn to a vampire she doesn’t actually want to become like him. This is a principle that stands through the entire book, which is commendable. She is willing to do anything to protect her sister, even though she’s only 17 and it’s strictly speaking not her job. I liked her, she’s tough, hard, snarky and cool.

2. The world they live in is cool. It’s believable. Vampires come in and take over pretty much everything and people instantly become obsessed, they’re on TV, they’re discussed by scientists, wannabes come from everywhere to join them in the night. It reminds me a lot of an episode of Buffy (s02e07 - Lie to Me) with a bunch of idiots referring to vampires as the Lonely ones or some bullshit, and wanting to be like them. 

Diego, or Marvin, which is his real name. Seriously these people are stupid.

Although, who wouldn't want to be this?
And yes I will spam you with Buffy pictures any chance I get.

It seems like a logical development and I like how much vampires and vampire culture had obviously taken over the regular media and social media. I also liked how comfortable Holly Black was with social media. If you’re not used to social media it can easily sound fake, but she knows her stuff. I sound really condescending, but she’s a badass. Also it’s not overwhelming, it isn’t trying too hard, it’s just a part of culture, like it is now for people in Tana’s generation (I assume, she’s about 10 years younger than me, so what do I know?).

3. I am going to sound like a fawning fangirl now but I really like Gavriel. He’s creepy and a little demented because of years of torture and brooding, because he’s a more interesting Angel. The romance aspect is a bit insta-love-y, but I really couldn’t care less. He’s interesting and funny and weird, and I love weird characters. The weirder and more demented the better. I like weird because I find it more interesting than nice and bland. Yeah, so Gavriel is a plus for me.

4. I liked Midnight and Winter, the side characters, in the sense that they are terrible, terrible people, very misguided and over dramatic, but I like them for it. They’re believable in that sense. And Midnight’s pledge to film and blog everything going on is sort of a cliché, but it is a cliché that works superbly.

5. I like how believable Coldtown felt. It’s a horrible place full of angst and terror and wannabes in the place they think they want to be. It’s also a place where runaways end up and people who are on the fringes of society, or kids who don’t fit in with the other kids. I also liked the way the LGBTQ issues were handled. There was nothing to it, it was just there, as a part of it. Like it is a part of the world, which it is, which I think was pretty good. It’s common in a lot of American cities that a lot of runaway kids are gay or lesbian teens who have been thrown out, so it’s natural for this kind of book that they would gravitate towards Coldtown with other runaways.

6. The ending felt a little bit disappointing to me. It was a bit too tied up with a nice bow, but it was still a good book and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Final thoughts
I really liked it. I liked Tana and Gavriel. I liked the characters that made up the fabric of Coldtown. I liked how solid the world they lived in was. There were little smaller chapters where some part of the science was explained, or Gavriel’s background was delved into and it made the story richer and it made for a really interesting book, so I liked it. Go Holly Black

Have you read this book? Did you like it? I’d love to hear your input. And go.