Review: The Coldest Girl in Coldtown

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black
Published September 3rd 2013 by Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Pages: 419

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 ordinairy party, Tana wakes up surrounded by corpses. The nly 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, opulen heart of Coldtown itself.

"Every hero is the villain of his own story." 
- Holly Black, The Coldest Girl in Coldtown

I'd like to get straight on with my main issues of the book: the pace and the writing style. These two combined made it quite hard for me to even finish it. I thought the writing didn't do much in general and was that kind of style that's so formally written you'd have to get used to it before you could enjoy it. I didn't get used to the writing until I was already fifty percent done with it. Also the overall descriptions and details were really unnecessary. The pace had the biggest role to play in why I didn't find myself liking this book. There are so many flashbacks of Tana's family traumas which I didn't care for, and way too much repeating information. I get if one wants to have good world building. I'm not going to lie: The Coldest Girl in Coldtown has an amazing concept with a vampire apocalypse, yet still having the stereotypical vampire feeling while reading. I almost forgot to mention endless chapters of Tana whining and her monologues. They just didn't do much good to the story in general and got me out of the world I was supposed to be sucked in. This and, again, the pace in general managed to bother me throughout the entire book.

Did I felt like the only one when I say that the plot went nowhere? Already from the synopsis the only plotline  I got was Tana going to Coldtown. The whole idea is set around that journey. I wondered what was going to happen when they finally arrived. A happily ever after? Nothing really happened. This has yet again to do with the pace, but the feeling of it going nowhere made it way too easy for me to put it down. I hate to be writing about this in a bad way, because - as in many other books I've recently read - the beginning of the book is just great. There's action and it immediately grabs your attention. You're sitting on the edge of your chair, and that's the moment Holly Black decides to take it slow. Eventually you're going, nowhere.

As stated earlier on in this review, I actually really liked the world in general. It's original, and I don't think it should have been more than a standalone. What did bother me a little was it being set in modern times. I wouldn't have minded a couple of references here and there, but after tons of mentioning popular social networking sites and modern electronics, it's clear we're in the twenty-first century. I wanted to get a rather dark and mysterious feeling while reading this book, and those mentions make you stay in the world Holly Black wants you to be. I think, although the whole book being boring, the ending was a nice conclusion. It ended the way I wanted it to be, and it even had a faster pace as we got closer and closer to the end.

Out of all the characters, Graviel has to be the I cared most for. His flashbacks were the ones that actually grabbed my attention and his personality in general can be addictive. However I didn't care that much for him that I actually shipped him with Tana. The romance wasn't that well done He was a fun character, yet nothing more than that. To talk about other characters, Tana occasionally felt like a pain in the ass and the others... There's really nothing to talk about, really. I liked Midnight in the way of her flaws such as her little naivete of the real world and wanting to escape it.

At first this seemed like a hard review to write. Now that I've cleared my thoughts, The Coldest Girl in Coldtown wasn't a book I love after all.

Aurélie Cremers is an eighteen-year-old living in Belgium. As an active member on Goodreads, Edelweiss and Amazon, she's always spreading her reviews to express her opinion and influences her followers to read the books she fairly enjoyed. When she's not writing, you can find her at her local bookstore or in a classroom. With her blog, "Exploring Pages", Aurélie hopes to gain a larger public in the near future and to continue that what she'll always love doing: writing.

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