September 22, 2014
The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black
The Coldest Girl in Coldtown
by Holly Black
There are predators and there are prey. Turn cold and you are somewhere in between.
Tana lives in a world very like our own. “Reality” shows on television and the internet portray anything but reality. Teens, convinced that what they have seen is true, make life altering decisions based on these facts.
Casper Morales was a vampire who, instead of draining his victims, let them life. He thought he was being merciful, but those he had fed on all carried the virus. As the infection grew within them, they became colder and colder. Soon they were overcome by a thirst for warmth and for blood. People thought they could quarantine their loved ones, keeping them and everyone else safe until the virus no longer coursed through their veins. That’s how Tana came to be bit the first time.
When she wakes up in a bathtub, it takes a few moments to realize why she is there. A party. She came to the farmhouse for a sundown party. In an attempt to avoid her ex-boyfriend, she took refuge in the bathroom and fell into a drunken slumber. The sun is high in the sky as she slowly realizes that someone should have awoken her hours ago in a bid to use the shower. Why is the house deathly quiet?
Soon she finds herself on a drive to the nearest Coldtown. With her in the car are her ex-boyfriend, going cold, a vampire hiding from the sun in the trunk, and, potentially, a virus growing within her veins, a virus that infected her when she was scraped by a vampire’s fangs as she escaped out the window. Tana wonders just how cold and hungry she will be by the time she reaches Coldtown.
I am NOT a fan of vampire books. That’s in caps because it really can’t be emphasized enough. I honestly don’t think that I’ve read 10 in the last 3 years and given the number of books I read, that says a lot.
But I really love Black’s writing. She has a deliciously sarcastic sense of humor and has much to say about our plugged in global society. When a site I read recommended this, I gave in and gave it a chance.
Yes, it is a paranormal romance in that she is human(ish) and he is vampire. But she is not helpless, he is not trying to turn her, and just what a vampire is is called into question in the course of this novel. Are they truly damned and posessed by a supernatural evil that makes them something other than their human selves? Or are they infected by a virus, the symptoms of which drive them to do things they would never contemplate as humans? Or is answer something else? Something less comfortable? Perhaps they are simply removed from the rules and ethics that keep our true selves from shining through.
As always, Black’s characters are wonderfully drawn. Tana, our heroine, is delightfully snarky and doesn’t take anything from anyone — including her ex. Aidan is the bad-boy, or at least the troublesome player, that you just can’t help but love. He’s adorable and irritating and everyone has known a boy just like him, darn it all. Gavriel, the vampire in the trunk, is clever and endearing and crazy – or is he.
Pick this one up for the fast moving plot and keep reading it for the characters, the humor and the social commentary.