When I heard that the just released book by Holly Black was a book about vampires, I was a bit skeptical. Everything I’ve read in writing trends and publishing these days says that vampires are dead (pun intended) in Young Adult Fiction. The genre has moved on…but The Coldest Girl In Coldtown is not another Twilight wannabe. TCGIC made me forget all about those romanticized blood suckers (Edward who?). This book is the raw, gritty, chilling way vampires really would be in our internet happy world today.
The Coldest Girl In Coldtown’s list of characters is led by seventeen year old Tana. She’s lived through the decade old plague that has descended on the world. In this book vampires came out of hiding and started running rampant across first the US and then the other continents. Everyday, more and more people become ‘infected’ and begin craving human blood.
The government’s answer is to quarantine the places where the outbreaks start. Huge walls are built to trap those inside. These places are called Coldtowns. Humans and vampires live side by side in these twisted self-ruled cities. Horrific video feeds and news stories pour out of these places describing how the vampires maintain their food supply.
The first and most famous Coldtown is in Springfield, Mass. This is where Tana is heading after she wakes up one morning in a bathtub to find that she’s the only person at a ‘sundown’ party left untouched by a pack of vampires (Do vampires roam in packs? Maybe it should be a gaggle of vampires. Perhaps a pride of vampires.). Traveling with her are an ‘infected’ ex-boyfriend named Aidan and a boy vampire that was chained up in the house beside Aidan. It’s not your typical road trip.
This story is gruesome and disturbing, but also eloquent and beautiful. I couldn’t put it down. In fact, my whole weekend was shot because all I could do was read this book. Who needs clean laundry?
Go get this book. Right away. I mean now. It will be a nice Halloween read for you. You can check out more about Holly Black and her writing at her website, blackholly.com.