Title: The Coldest Girl in Coldtown
Author: Holly Black
Targeted Age: Young Adult
Genre: Science Fiction/ Fantasy
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Does the world need another young adult vampire novel? After reading, The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, I’m happy to say, yes, we do, if Holly Black is going to write it.
When seventeen-year-old Tana wakes up at a sundown party, she realizes the terrible truth; she and her ex-boyfriend, Aiden, are the only ones to survive a vampire attack and they’ve both probably been scratched or bitten. Tana lives in a world where vampirism is caused by a virus and transmitted by scratches or bites. An infected human can get rid of the virus if the patient doesn’t drink human blood for 88 days, which means being locked up away from other humans. There are whole quarantined cities, called Coldtowns, throughout the country where the infected are sent to live.
Tana understands the danger of this disease and still bares the physical scars from when she was six years old and her mother was infected and locked in the basement by her father, in a misguided attempt to treat his wife at home. Tana watched as her mother went from a caring parent to a manipulative user who would do anything to get a drink of blood.
Rather than risk harming others; Tana decides to take herself, Aiden, and the good-looking mysterious vampire boy, chained to the bed, to Coldtown. No one leaves Coldtown but Tana’s pretty sure the vampire she’s going to turn in to to the Coldtown authorities is her key to getting out.
Holly Black takes the vampire mythology and manages to tell it from a fresh gritty angle with the quarantined Coldtowns— part MTV reality show, part cold war Berlin, and part prison. In addition to levelheaded Tana, Black populates the book with colorful characters, like Winter and Midnight, twin bloggers hitchhiking their way to Coldtown to chase their dream of becoming vampires, and Gavriel, the beautiful centuries-old vampire with a secret mission.