By Holly Black; Published 2013.
I don’t know why this book sounded interesting to me- it’s essentially a young adult paranormal romance novel. But I did read it and I’m glad I did because it was much better than I was expecting.
Here’s the official description:
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.
I’ll be the first to tell you that I hate paranormal romances and I hate them even more in the guise of young adult novels. But here, it works. Holly Black has taken the idea of Twilight and somehow made an intelligent, interesting story.
Here’s what I mean: I imagine everyone knows the story of Twilight by Stephanie Meyer. The human Bella is in love with the vampire Edward, deathless and flawless in every way imaginable. Women everywhere fell madly in love with the book and an intense fan base formed around the stories and the movies. So imagine that was real. Not just that vampires existed, but that thousands of people adored them and wished to be one of them. That is the world that Black has created in this book.
So while I have serious issues with yet another book directed at young women where a romance is one of the major plot lines, I love that Black shows vampires honestly. Yes, they are beautiful and seductive, and yes, it would be nice to be beautiful and powerful and adored. But Black never shys away from showing their monstrous-ness. They murder countless people, their blood lust is uncontrollable, and the longer they are vampires, the less human they become.
And I like Tana too. I can’t say that we would be friends, but she’d be a great companion in a tight spot.