(Hello! I’m Karen, an iggle from Manchester, UK and I’m one of the two new YA reviewers for the IGGPPC blog! I can’t wait to recommend some brilliant reads for all you YA lovers.)
Synopsis: When Tana awakens after a raucous party the previous night to find herself in the midst of a bloodbath, she has to think fast to survive. Welcome to a world where vampirism is a virus and should you be bitten you have only two choices. Sweat it out for 88 days, whilst enduring the agonising blood lust Or take a sip and be condemned to spend the rest of your days behind the high walls of one of several “cold towns” where blood stains the streets and there’s no hiding from the ever watchful cameras.
Review: I’m so over vampire novels. And so, apparently, are most YA readers, since bloodsuckers are most definitely not en vogue right now. But Holly Black (author of the White Cat trilogy and co-author of the Spiderwick Chronicles) would never pen a run of the mill cliché-ridden vamp romance. Coldest Girl In Coldtown is downright frightening at times and doesn’t cringe away from the gory details. Not a sparkle in sight; Black’s vampires are ravenous, callous and deadly sexy. If you’re after something fresh and darkly humorous then this is a great read.
“If people who’d gone cold drank human blood, the infection mutated. It killed the host and then raised them back up again. Colder thanbefore. Cold through and through, forever and ever.”
The concept is novel and interesting; I particularly liked the idea of vampires being sealed away in quarantined cities. The mix of fascination and repulsion that people feel for vampires makes this novel feel more believable than most vampire YA I’ve encountered. Still, easily the most redeeming feature of Coldest Girl In Coldtown has to be the protagonist, Tana. Like every good heroine, she’s got a hell of a back-story. An initial act of mercy from her drags her into a situation she wasn’t counting on, but Tana keeps her complaining to a minimum, something I found refreshing. She’s quick thinking, tough and independent. I often find it difficult to warm to female characters in YA, but Tana is instantly likeable and you’ll quickly find yourself rooting for her. Of course, there is a love interest and he wears the role of anti-hero like a snug pair of jeans. But it’s always been a credit to Holly Black that her characters so rarely act as the reader may expect. So prepare yourself; romance most definitely takes a back seat to survival in this book.
“I haven’t had a very good day. I think I might still be hung over and everyone’s dead and my root beer’s gone.”
Coldest Girl In Coldtown is dark, innovative and, at times, shiver inducing. Pumping new blood into a faltering sub-genre.