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“We all wind up drawn to what we’re afraid of, drawn to try to find a way to make ourselves safe from a thing by crawling inside of it, by loving it, by becoming it.”

What is this book about?

This was a contender for our YA book club, but lost to Half Bad. In The Coldest Girl in Coldtown vampires are out in the world, being kept as much as possible in coldtowns. A coldtown is a city that became ‘infested’ by vampires and was then walled off by the government to contain the threat. Our coldest girl is Tana, a sixteen year old who lost her mother to vampirism and then turned into a bit of a wild child. When she wakes up after a night of heavy partying she finds the living room filled with the corpses of her friends and a group of bloated vampires hiding out from the sun. After escaping she thinks she might be infected as well, so Tana has nowhere to go but the nearest coldtown. The problem is though, once she is in, she won’t be able to get out.

Why is it boring?

The premise is great, but it does follow the known vampire love story tropes. Young girl falls in love with mysterious boy who is a 500-year old powerful vampire. The vampires are of course luxurious and glamorous and will be killed by all the known things. They don’t sparkle. So, straightforward vampire story then.

Who would you recommend it to?

If you like supernatural love stories or anything fantastical YA, give it a read. Holly Black is a good writer and she spins an interesting and exciting story for you. She weaves in modern technology with ease, giving the reader a pretty interesting look into what a modern day vampire would be like.

Why should I read it if it’s boring?!

I was hooked with the opening scene. The way Black describes Tana waking up with a hangover and then coming to the conclusion that all of her friends but one have been murdered by vampires immediately pulled me in. From there Black continues with the action and somehow this sags when they get to the coldtown. This confused me, because entering the coldtown should be exciting and dangerous, and even though it was dangerous, I started to lose interest in the bigger story. Vampire hunk Gavriel, the young-looking old boy Tana falls in love with, quickly turns out to be a much more important vampire. From there we go deeply into vampire lore and a war between the old and the new vampires. Holly Black does a great job fleshing out her world, but this part of the story really couldn’t hold my interest. The final blow-out between the warring factions of vampires was kind of dull, especially compared to the strong beginning. Besides this, most characters aren’t all that interesting. I liked Tana and her crazy obsession with trying to kill herself, but Gavriel and ex-boyfriend Aiden were a snooze. Gavriel is the typical pretentiously eloquent vampire, espousing strange wisdoms at Tana while she has no idea she’s falling for him, while Aiden is just a horrible person. The rest of the vampires are theatrically evil and the only other people I really liked were vampire-adoring goths Midnight and Winter. It’s a vampire story, so these are all ‘flaws’ I can accept. My biggest problem is really just the second half of the novel. In the coldtown everyone starts to make ridiculous life decisions and I lost all understanding for them. The book just isn’t able to keep up the strong start and with the bar set that high, Black can’t help but fall down a little.

Rating: 3,5/5

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Author

Esmée de Heer is head honcho over at the Bored to Death book club website, writing the daily content and making sure the site stays up and running. She's one of the founding sisters of the book club and enjoys reading and giving unsolicited love advice.

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