Sunday, June 22, 2014

Book Review: The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black

Book: The Coldest Girl in Coldtown
Author: Holly Black
Rating: 4/5 stars- dark, tense, exciting, yet makes me wonder if I'm being really generous with this one?

Synopsis (as found on Goodreads):

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.


Where should I start.

I had a somewhat of a decent expectation going into The Coldest Girl in Coldtown. I LOVED the cover, and I've heard good things about it before going in.

(Wait sorry Human by Christina Perri just came on and now I'm choking from the irony)

I was cruising through the first third when it was then I realized: I was done the first third.
I was confused.
At around the first third... I still felt like we were in the basic set-up and world building. The plot hasn't ACTUALLY started moving yet.

This when I started going through the rest of the book with somewhat lower expectation and curiousity in what and how it's going to happen.

While the second third was a little dragged out, the last third was most definitely the most the enjoyable part.

I enjoyed how the plot wrapped up and turned out at the end and how everything came together. Even though I said, the second third of the book was a bit dragged out, it built up the image and feel of Coldtown really well. Everything was dark, tense, and exciting.


Although I was emotionally invested into the plot of the book, I didn't care for about... almost every character. It's like watching a TV show and you're excited about the mystery they've presented in the show, but you don't really know the characters.

I feel like I don't know Tana that much. OK, I know her backstory. But do I know the little things and who she is on a deeper level? I can tell through her actions that she's courageous, loyal, etc. but it kind of pans a little. I felt like Holly Black tried to show us that and it didn't click with me. And that I was kind of spoon fed her backstory.

The ONLY character I liked was Gavriel. There was an air of mystery to him and I liked how HIS backstory unraveled and became relevant to the plot and just rounded him out a little instead of just knowing him as "sexy hot badass vampire dude".

Everyone else I kind of hated. Midnight? ANNOYING. The only reason I tolerated her existence is because she kind of helped out the plot. Pearl? DOUBLE ANNOYING. Honestly that is the most annoying little sister you can ask for. I feel cheated that we wasted three chapters AT LEAST on her. Honestly we could just do away with her in the book and it would make no difference.

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Aidan was OK.

I liked the others but again, I don't really know them.

I don't mean this in an insulting way, but I felt like this story would've done better at another author's hands. I felt like with better writing invested in character development would've pushed this book to a full five stars for me. I really think you can get rid of a couple characters (e.g. Pearl). Holly Black's writing isn't awful but I felt like it didn't do the story justice. It's such a great premise and such a great story and world and EVERYTHING, I just wish I had some emotion invested the characters as well.

Overall, I wouldn't say The Coldest Girl in Coldtown isn't not worth reading. It's like a good TV show you watch but it's never going to be something you'll diehard fangirl about. Enjoyable, but maybe not entirely memorable.


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