Bookish | The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black (Review)


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.

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown is a wholly original story of rage and revenge, of guilt and horror, and of love and loathing from bestselling and acclaimed author Holly Black.

Personal Enjoyment: ●●●●○
Writing Quality: ●●●●●
Recommendability: ●●●●●

I read this on audiobook and would highly recommend that medium. The narrator is fantastic, and the background music in all the most suspenseful parts really added something to the experience.

Holly Black is ever the mixed bundle of nostalgia and surprises. I read the short story which inspired the novel of the same name in her anthology, The Poison Eaters and Other Stories, back in 2010. It’s always stuck with me. I don’t know why I put off reading the full novel for so long, because I truly believe this is the best Holly Black has to offer, to date.

The worlds Holly Black contains in her head just astound me. The world of The Coldest Girl in Coldtown was so beautifully crafted, so bleak, and so real, that it was actually jarring to look up at the world around me and remember where I was.

Of course, my favorite thing about a Holly Black book is the way she has you rooting for the characters. Her protagonists are incredible, strong-willed, flawed people. Though there is an element in romance in this book as well as her others, the romance is never the focus, and Tana had a plethora of other motivations. She was capable and strong, as well as scared and vulnerable. She was so real to me.

I was happy to find some diversity in this book as well! There are a few LGBT characters and people of color, who exist as well-rounded and distinct individuals and not as stereotypes. Good representation makes my heart happy!

The only reason I didn’t enjoy this as much as I feel I should have is because I wasn’t physically reading it– I couldn’t keep track of what was going on very easily, and there were several characters who flitted in and out and I could not be bothered to remember who they were. This book speeds by pretty quickly and I wasn’t really able to give it 100% of my attention, as I was listening to it at work.

I really look forward to picking up a physical copy of this book in the near-future and reading it again. I highly recommend it to everyone. If you’re put-off by the idea of reading another vampire novel, I say get over it. You’re really doing yourself a disservice by not reading this book.


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2 thoughts on “Bookish | The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black (Review)

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