Thursday, March 27, 2014

Review: The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black

Title: The Coldest Girl in Cold Town
Author: Holly Black
Published: September 3rd 2013
Add It: Goodreads
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository

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.
Let’s play a game of never have I ever. Never have I ever read a Holly Black book before I read The Coldest Girl of Coldtown. Never have I ever been excited about reading it. Never have I ever thought that “ooooh, ME NEEDS TO READ THIS ASAP OR I’LL DIE.“ No. Nothing of sorts. Yeah, a bunch of people enjoyed it, Giselle and Rachel among them, but I still didn’t feel like reading it. Thank goodness for the magic that is audiobooks or else I wouldn’t have given it a try at all. Yay that I did.


“If she was going to die, she might as well die sarcastic.” 

I really liked the world. Kind of reminded me of The Sookie Stackhouse series (or the Southern Vampires series as some of you may know it) what with its world’s obsession with vampires and whatnot. Especially in the HBO’s TV show even more than in the books. The writing is absolutely gorgeous and it took me to another place entirely while I was listening to this book. However, I feel like not much happened plot-wise because all they do is ride to this destination, but you know, whatever—I’m not complaining over a road trip. I love me some great road trips. Then again, there were lots of twists and turns that took me by surprise. Like the story behind Gavriel? Yeahhhh.. that one indeed. Really enjoyed the family storylines; both of them—Gavriel's and Tana's.

The narrator did a very good job. I actually tried to listen to it once before, but the sample didn’t convince me that it was a book I’d like to “read“, but a few months later I gave it another go and totally ended up loving the narrator’s job so I got the book. The narrator gives the main character this good ole Daria vibe with her sometimes sarcastic and quite a bit serious voice that she does well and it suits Tana's personality extremely well. Plus, the narrator made good voice intonations so that I knew who was speaking without having the need to mention the name. That’s some skill here.

After about 60% of the book I got tired and was ready for the book to be over with. I think that a lot of it could have been cut, because for such a huge book, not much happened as I already said and that was kind of the downfall of it all in my eyes. What does it matter though? Most people love this novel to pieces. Also, I’m glad that this is a standalone and I don’t mind it in the least. We need more standalones and less series.

Overall, I am very pleased that I decided to give it a try. I liked it, but I didn’t love it. If it wasn’t for the ending dragging so much and the not-so-much-happening plot-wise in such a long book, it would have been a higher rating, but it is what it is hence we’re stuck with this rating. I still advise you to give it a go, because the writing and the ideas definitely make me want to explore more by Holly.

PS. I know this review didn't really say anything, but I don't have anything to say. It was likable, but nothing special except for the writing.

Overall rating: 3.4 out of 5.0
Stars: ★★★

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26 comments:

  1. I have this on hold at the library...so excited!! I've read Spiderwick...but nothing else (does Spiderwick even count?? I think Holly Black co-authored it) so I'm pretty keen to try some Holly Black! My friends rave about her. :) I really like audio books too, eh? They're awesome. I like listening to them while I do my boring things like cleaning (gah, how does my room get that messy anyway? all I do is read. It SHOULD be perfect). Can't wait to start this!

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    1. I actually have no idea, I know that she has some cat series :D White Cat? Black Cat? White, I think? :D Haha. I have the same problem with my room :D I hope you enjoy, Cait!

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  2. Lovely review Siiri, I have this one on my shelf but haven't gotten around to it yet. I just LOVE the fact how this is a standalone, yes please! The gritty version of vampires is something that I've been craving too.

    Jeann @ Happy Indulgence

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    1. Ha, they don't sparkle or anything and are quite malicious so if you're in the mood for this then definitely pick it up ;)

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  3. I have this audio too, I've listened first 4 chapters so far and it's okay. I agree about narrator - she doesn't annoy me like the one in Wait For You by J. Lynn.
    Too bad it wasn't better for you, but I saw more 3 star ratings than higher ones so I'm not expecting something spectacular.
    Great review, Siiri.

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    1. I think you'd quite possibly like it more if you don't raise your expectations that much so going into it with low expectations is good. The writing nad characters are pretty cool so I hope you enjoy:)

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  4. Hmm ... This book had so many negative reviews. I just decided not to read it after all those negative reviews, but it sounds like you enjoyed it overall. It sounds like a good chunk of it could have been eliminated. I haven't read anything by Black either, but I've heard good things. I think I'll stay away from this.
    Great review!

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  5. “If she was going to die, she might as well die sarcastic.”

    *snort* I like this book already Siiri! While it clearly didn't blow you away, I'm really glad you liked it overall. I still have yet to try and audiobook, I just don't think I'm patient enough! They're so much longer than if I just read the book, so I think I might stall out around midway through as you did as well. I have this on my maybe list because I do really want to read something by Holly Black:):)

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  6. Totally agree with more stand-alones needed.
    Glad you liked the narrator :) I'm very picky when it comes to audiobooks and end up returning a lot of them even if the sample seemed fine.
    Great review :) Glad you liked it overall. Perhaps I'll give it a go now!
    Cora @ Tea Party Princess

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  7. Writing reviews for books that were just "meh" is the hardest. I often postpone them for ever which makes it even more difficult! I should really know better... Anyway, I might still give this one a go in audio seeing how you liked the narrator.

    Carmel @ Rabid Reads

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  8. I've been wanting to check out this book, but a slow ending does not sound promising. I still want to give it a go though because I've read the Curse Workers trilogy by the author and enjoyed it. Great review Siiri :) PS: I love audio books, but my library is always slacking lol

    Janina @ Synchronized Reading

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  9. I haven't read anything by Holly Black, but I plan to give this a try at some point. Most reviews I've read have expressed similar feelings in regards to the length, so I hope I won't get too bored. :) Thanks for your review!

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  10. I liked Black's Tithe series quite a lot. Of course, that was 5-6 years ago, so I'm not sure I would still love the story, but I would still like her writing. This one hasn't called to me either, but I'm glad you liked it, Siiri!

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  11. Sorry you didn't love this one, Siiri. The narrator can make such a huge difference in how you enjoy a book or not. It doesn't sound like this one was all that great. Holly Black's writing is different and quirky but it works for me. I enjoyed her Tithe series and The Curse Workers series. Great review, Siiri. Hope your next read is better. :)

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  12. Not sure if I want to read this! There have been so many mixed reviews- with the majority seeming to just think that it's average.
    I rather like the sound of this Daria-like MC haha. Might be worth reading just for the sarcastic narration :P

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  13. I've been on the fence about this book for awhile. And I'm still on the fence, LOL. I'm sorry this was such a MEH read for you, Siiri :/

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  14. I commented on GR instead of here! But I'm glad you gave this book a shot and enjoyed it overall. I can definitely see your points, though this is one that I loved. And I think its better because of how it ends. This is sort of like a fairytale unfolding, and you're right, it doesn't have a huge amount of action. But I still loved it.

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  15. I started reading this book and I have to say I struggled slightly with it and I don't know why. I love LOVE Vampire books. If I see one I will read it. I even loved True Blood/ Sookie Stakehouse books. But for the life of me I couldn't get into it and that really disappointed me. I'm glad you enjoyed it though. Lovely review Siiri! :)

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  16. The narrator and world building do sound good, but this isn't one that has called to me.

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  17. I loved her Spiderwick chronicles from when I was younger so I have been very eager to try this! I do own it, probably hiding behind some stack somewhere O.O It's a shame that it got a little boring after sometime!

    Brilliant honest review, Siiri! <33

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  18. Hmmm, I keep hearing positive reviews for Holly Black but I have to admit I'm a little skeptic. Little Pieces seems good, just not my cup of tea, I guess. Thanks for an honest review :)

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  19. I need to sit down and write my review for it. I've been a bad, bad blogger. Glass should lecture me more as my lazy butt is not going to do things. BUT do you wanna know why I wanted this book in a first place? Well beside hearing amazing things about Holly and her writing as soon as I saw the main characters name I wanted it! I mean Tana is as close to Tanja as I'll get :D I agree about you that some parts of this book were too much and it did get boring at moments, but everything else was great. Great review, Siiri :)

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  20. Yay for audiobooks! I'm growing a liking to them as well, but still prefer to read at my own pace because I tend to tune out/fall asleep haha. I've read a few mixed reviews on this book - not really a huge fan of Holly Black, her books just never captured my attention...like you said, not much happens in them. Wonderful review Siiri!

    Joy @ Thoughts By J

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  21. Yep - like we were discussing on GR, it was an okay book, but it just didn't blow my mind (aside from the kiss lol!).

    Holly Black can definitely write though. Her descriptions are intense and vivid and really conjure up a distinct picture. The plot just moved a little too slow for me and I didn't really like the characters all that much. It kind of felt a bit bland

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  22. Annnd I'm still not sure if I should read this book. First of all, I love that you compared the world to the one in Sookie Stackhouse because I'm a HUGE fan of True Blood! Also, I like that it's a standalone, like you said, we need more of those and especially in pnr genre. But I don't think it's the right book for me a this moment. I'm staying away from all the 3 stars reads, but I'll definitely give it a try later on. I need to read a Holly Black book soon and figure out the hype surrounding it. Great review, Siiri! :)

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  23. bah another big book with not much going on for moments in time, well thats unfortunate thought it still sounds like a very good read! the setting and everything.

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