Book Review: The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black

12813630The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black

Synopsis

“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.”

Jen’s Review

I finally got my hands on a copy of The Coldest Girl in Coldtown. And good news: I liked it! A lot. It was chilling, unique and thoroughly entertaining. I literally felt cold the whole time reading it.

Brrr--It-Is-Cold-OutsideI’ll be honest and admit I’m not the biggest vampire fan. However, every now and then, I enjoy a good bloodsucking tale, and this one definitely ensnared me from the start. Just the concept of The Coldest Girl in Coldtown was enthralling. The idea of vampires being imprisoned in “Coldtowns” with other humans was intriguing alone. But then you add in a Hollywood-like infatuation for these cities from those living on the outside, and you’ve got a creepy recipe for success.

Besides the concept, the characters were the strongest components of this story. First, of course, was Tana. She was an ideal combination of daring, fearful and determination. When faced with the worst of the worst (death and destruction and whatnot) she’d shutdown like any normal person would. Then, despite her terror and uncertainty, she’d pick herself up and do something certifiably insane yet awesome (fight back, rescue a vampire, sacrifice herself for someone else). She never gave up even when I was urging her to do so. I kept saying, “Geeze, Tana, just throw in the towel already!” But she didn’t. And that was cool (no pun intended).

Tana was supported by an eclectic group of characters. From the selfish and (somehow) endearing ex-boyfriend, Aidan, to the deluded and disturbing blogging duo, Midnight and Winter, to the ravenous and manipulative vampire, Lucien. And, of course, the mysterious and troubled, Gavriel. He was possibly one of the most curious and unpredictable love interests I’ve ever come across. I couldn’t pin down if he was good or bad, sane or insane, more human or more monster…He was all over the map! And I loved him for that.

Gavriel also didn’t make me want to barf or roll my eyes like so many other troubled vampire boys in books…Not naming names, but I’ll give you a clue:

If you’re in the mood for a chilling, dark and exciting story, check out The Coldest Girl in Coldtown. It’s definitely worth your time.

Jen’s Rating

4 Star

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Summer Reads – Part 1

Happy Monday! As summer slowly draws to a close (so sad!), I’ve decided to go back and reflect upon the books I read this season. Some were great, some were not so great. I suppose that’s to be expected when you’re willing to give anything a shot, right? So, without further ado, here are my Summer Reads, Part 1.

Walking Disaster by Jamie McGuire

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If you’re looking for an entertaining romantic read about a dysfunctional couple, then here you go! Walking Disaster is the sequel to the New York Times bestseller, Beautiful Disaster. Well, it’s not really a sequel. It’s the same story as before, only this time it’s told from Travis’s, not Abby’s, perspective.

To be honest, I enjoyed this version of the turbulent love story a lot more. I liked living inside Travis’s head and seeing things from his POV. It also helped me understand his crazy mood swings and violent, put-a-restraining-order-on-him behavior. The only downside was I didn’t like Abby in this version. Even more than the original, she came across as a heartless you-know-what.

Jen’s Rating:

3 Star

For a fully synopsis, click here.

City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare
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I finally read the fifth installment of The Mortal Instruments series after purchasing it back in October 2012. After eagerly buying it, I set it aside so I could first finish my pile of library books (because, heaven forbid, I take any of them back unread!). Well, before I knew it, six months had passed and I still hadn’t read City of Lost Souls. Oops!

Well, I’m happy to announce I read it and I liked it! Just like the first four books in The Mortal Instrument series, City of Lost Souls kept me turning pages faster than Camille Belcourt can blink. I’m still creeped out by Clary’s brother’s incestuous infatuation with her, but then, who wouldn’t be? So, if you enjoy witty banter, fast-paced action and memorable characters, this is a great book/series to pick up.

I look forward to finishing the series when City of Heavenly Fire is released on May 27th, 2014. And don’t forget! The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones hits the big screen on August 21st!

Jen’s Rating:
3 Star

For a full synopsis, click here.

Blue Bloods by Melissa de la Cruz

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Okay, so back in March, during the NCAA’s March Madness craze, I came across a “YA Swoon Madness” bracket. Yeah, I know. Score! My friend Kelsey and I were giggling and laughing like two high school girls, debating which YA beau should win this awesome tournament. (All of you Delirium fans should be happy to know it was Alex that took home the big prize). Anyways, I decided to use this bracket as a resource and marked down all of the books I hadn’t read, including Blue Bloods.

As luck would have it, I found Blue Bloods at a garage sale a couple of weeks later. I even bought its sequel, figuring the risk was worth the 50 cents. Unfortunately, it wasn’t. This vampire tale was…boring. I’m not sure if it’s because I’m officially over vampires, or if the story itself was a snooze, or if I felt like I needed to be a 14-year old to really enjoy it. Whatever the case, I don’t plan on continuing the Blue Bloods series. Its sequel will simply have to accept its grim, dusty fate on my bookshelf…Or, more likely, in a box at yet another garage sale.

Jen’s Rating:

1 Star

For a full synopsis, click here.

Defiance by C.J. Redwine

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This YA novel came upon the trusty recommendation of a co-worker. And, as expected, her suggestion paid off. Defiance was an adventurous combination of The Hunger Games, Legend and Enclave. You have a kick-ass female protagonist, a cute boy, and a monster that bursts from the ground and scorches everything and anything in its path. It doesn’t get much better than that! My only complaint would be the ending. I know that in the genre of YA, series are practically expected. But this felt like it could’ve ended after one. Nonetheless, I’m planning on checking out Defiance’s sequel, Deception, which can be purchased on August 27th.

Jen’s Rating:

3 Star

For a full synopsis, click here.

I’ll be posting Part 2 of my Summer Reads soon! Stay tuned!