My Precious Shelf

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Review: The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black

Reblogged from Munira @ In Vogue with Books:
The Coldest Girl in Coldtown - Holly Black
The name may strike as another conventional vampire book. Girls, boys, vampires, bloodsucking and violence, suspense and forbidden love etc, right?
When I started reading it,  I also had somewhat the same kind of idea about the book. But it is wayyy more than that! This is one vampire book you'd not want to miss really!
Tana Bach is a girl with not so pleasant past memories to deal with. And no, she is not a vampire. But after passing out on a party night on a friend's house and waking up all alone, she is faced with bigger complicacies than that. She has the disturbing and haunting memories of her mother's tragic death, her father's grief, a broken relationship and to top it off, she may or may  not be infected, and she is not even sure.
What I loved about Tana most is her determination and patience. She is not perfect. She is flawed. She has problems, has fears, her own nightmares. She knows it. In spite of everything, she doesn't give up. Tana is of the most realistic heroines I've ever read about. She is hopeful, and yet she is not hopeful in a way to just sit and believe everything would be alright on its own accord. She has this fighter attitude even in the worst cases possible.
I am through believing things will work out on their own.
Even the way she tries to convince herself in a stressing situation is commendable:
Get over your fear of this or get over of your fear of murdering in cold blood someone you care about, because those are your choices.
It was, admittedly, a pretty crappy pep talk. But it worked.
I think the character of Tana is the major thing that makes the story this much interesting, along with the plot and other elements. She is loveable, flawed, broken and "more dangerous than daybreak."
Though the main lead of the story is Tana, the author is no less successful in portraying the existing main and supporting characters. Gavriel, for one, is a treat. It may seem pretty cliche with all the vampire look and handsome face and charming talk, but it's not. He is a character FULL of surprises, until the end. You may even get confused at times as to what his real intentions are. But whatever he is, and whatever he plans for, is sure to leave you surprised. This idea gets clearer as Tana speaks of him at different points. If Gavriel considers Tana "more dangerous than daybreak" than Tana is no less in thinking him sanely insane.
Mad as a dog, mad as a god.
He is odd in nature. It is hard to define what he actually means when he says something. Most often his words are ambiguous or vague or contains abstract meaning. He is sincere. He is dangerous. He is careful. He is crazy. He is so much of everything it can often leave you dizzy with feelings (in a good way). He is a boy, who may not be just a boy at all.
-tall, bare feet, jeans, and a black t-shirt turned inside out, messy black hair...looking like a shadow of a regular boy, a boy her age, who wasn't a boy at all.
When Tana first meets Gavriel, it's not like an insta-love thing, she does not feel 'irrevocably in love' with him. The way they interact with each other and the way Tana trusts him at times over her instincts to be afraid and run is wonderful.
At least someone seemed to know what to do, even if that someone wasn't her. Even if that someone wasn't human.
Gavriel too, despite being crazy, cannot help careful for Tana.
"If I'm hurt, you must be very must be careful of me."
He hadn't been worried he was going to get hurt. He'd been worried that he was going to hurt someone else."
I also liked the way Tana thoughts revolved on Gavriel. it wasn't the typical hot and steamy thoughts, excess of which makes me puke.
she thought that every day since the one he'd died was not one where he aged, but rather one where he grew away from humanity. He didn't seem older than he must have been when he died; just entirely stranger.
 It was pretty philosophical, which is again why I have Tana throughout the book (again the tana-girling). She has both sides prevailing on her. She has the normal, romance loving, giggling girly side to her, and she also has this philosophical touch to her character, making her look like a girl of her age and also not only that. She's just a little of everything :)
I have feelings for you..Big, weird, crazy feelings.
For catching the___Maybe she'd get her own TV show: Teenage Bounty Hunter.
We all wind up drawn to what we're afraid of, drawn to try to find a way to make ourselves safe from a thing by crawling inside it, by loving it, by becoming it.
Among others, I LOVED Pearl-Tana and Pauline-Tana bonding. I love books where sisters or brothers and friends stand for each other no matter what. Pearl is one of the sweetest fictional sisters I've ever come across. While her own father kind of abandons Tana (though they are apparently for good reasons), Pearl (i don't care that she is little and therefore illogical) doesn't treat Tana's situation as something grave:
Everything weird and boring here. U better have fun fun fun and send pix so I can be jealous.
Aidan was a sheer pain in the butt from the beginning till three-fourth of the book. I guess the author is successful here too because Aidan's character is supposed to behave like this. At times, I felt like punching him in the face hard. And so, in the end, when his behavior become a little different than usual, I got suspicious, really! And I wish I really could know what Aidan ACTUALLY felt for Tana. I know I never would *sigh*
Then there is Jameson and Victoria, really wonderful characters lighting up my mood all the more every time I heard their names. Lucien, obviously, was a great villain. The ending kind of made me pity him :p
The narrative was spontaneous, the setting is creepy and yet very interesting. The description of coldtown made me feel like I was in there all by myself and someone may jump at me anytime to rip my throat off.
The only issue I had with this story was its ending (lately I seem to have become very picky about the endings).. I was craving for more, seriously. I would have really liked to know more about the Spider-Gavriel story. It was finish within a few sentences. Well that's not how you are supposed to describe so many years of activities. And the ending, I believe it's positive and yet I feel myself haunted with questions, what happened afterwards? Did Tana succeed? Did she go back to where she belonged? I really would have liked to see those. For me it was quite of ac cliffhanger, and there is no second book for this.
Overall, it's a really, really good book. It's hard to not like this book once you've read it and able to connect to Tana. SHE is the star of the book :D If you have given up reading vampire books altogether, you can definitely make a comeback with this one.

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