Book Review: The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black

The Coldest Girl in ColdtownAuthor: Holly Black

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Release date: September 3, 2013

Pages/ Format: 419, Hardcover

Purchase from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble


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.


Holly Black makes vampires frightening alluring and hot!

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown is beautifully frightening and uniquely based on vampire lore that I adore. In Tara’s world, vampires are kept locked inside cities called Coldtowns. Within the walls, vampires and humans co-exist in a glamours (if you love the vampire world) or dangerous (if you don’t wish to be a part of the vampire world) life. Tara never wanted to be a part of the vampire world, but she finds herself constantly being thrust back into it.

Unfortunately, the morning of the massacre isn’t her first time she’s come near vampires or an infected human. I won’t delve into this aspect of the story as it is a spoilers. It does have to do a lot about who Tana is as a person and why she is vigilant to stay human when she believes she may have been infected at the party.

I love LOVE love Tana’s character and development throughout the story. She is strong and does whatever it takes to survive. She makes mistakes – mistakes that could cost her her life, but I love her for it. It makes her a flaw character – a REAL character with fears and uncertainties. She’s sarcastic and a little gullible, which makes her a good person. Especially, when she helps the unlikeliest of creatures – a vampire and her ex-boyfriend who had certainly been infected.

Tana is also resourceful and a quick thinker. She doesn’t have much time to think through a situation when vampires could be lurking at the next corner.

Then, we have Aiden, Tana’s ex-boyfriend, who is a little bit of a pain, but who is also good in his own kind of twisted way. He gives Tana more headaches than her little sister Pearl. Aiden has to fight off his hunger, while Tana has to be wary of him not killing her.

Lastly, we have Gavriel who has secrets not even Tana could ever dream of until they come into realization. Gavriel is an unlikely ally that ends up being one of the only people Tana can trust. He also has his reasons for not killing her which are pretty darn admirable for a vampire.

The characters and story is what really made me love this book. Not only that, but Holly Black, creates a different vampire world where her characters have to either fight for survival or find the glory in becoming part of the world, whether its becoming a vampire or actively being a donor as they dance alongside them through the night. It’s just such a brilliant concept, in my opinion. The idea of vampirism is widely accept in Black’s world, yet, humans are still wary and keep them locked away in cities with air tight safeguards. Once you are inside a Coldown, you can never get out unless you have a marker – and that costs a lot of money or a bounty (turning in a vampire). The life of a vampire is glamorous as live broadcasting occurs within the Coldtowns that make it fun and exciting. I mean, who wouldn’t want to rich and famous?

At the center of all the glam is Tana’s story of survival which pushes the story into a crescendo of action-packed scenes. The story of Midnight and Winter also gives insight to those who wish to be part of the vampire world. The entire story is just amazing! Holly Black makes vampires frightening alluring and hot! There’s action, mystery, and a little bit of romance that will surely keep you on the edge of your seat! Highly recommend for you to read! 🙂


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  1. I haven’t read this yet but I really can’t wait to! I tend to enjoy most of Holly Black’s books and this seems like it’ll be no exception. Vampire lore, though pretty simplistic, is probably my favorite type of paranormal stories. And I’m so glad to hear that the heroine is flawed but likable; Black usually does a fab job with characterization. Anyway, nice review, Emma!

    • Thank you so much for your comment ❤

      I totally agree with you! Black's characterization is on point. She's definitely one of my favorite authors! 🙂

  2. Seen this book a lot lately, and I had to read your review to know what this book is about! The cover and title alone interests me… 🙂

  3. I have never actually known was this book was about, even though I have seen it around SO much over the years. To know that it’s about vampires actually intrigues me a lot! I haven’t read a book about vampires in SUCH a long time, so I know it would be like discovering them all over again. Especially since it seems like Black has created a vampire world unlike any that I remember reading about.

    Tana seems like such a great character, and I love it when an MC feels ~real~, rather than just a figment of imagination that is incredibly unrealistic. I think I would like to “meet” her. XD

    I’m so glad you liked this one, Emma, and you’ve definitely made me want to read it 😀

    • I hope you love this one when you get the chance to read! Holly Black’s novels are always incredibly unique! Plus, no instant vampire love in this one. It’s gradual 😉

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