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Book Review

Publisher's Note:

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.…

Overall Book Review:

To say I had a hard time reading this book in its entirety would be an understatement.  Towards the very end, I did become curious as to how Holly Black, the author, was going to tie everything up neatly. Disappointed in the lack of closure, I can see how there could be a sequel.   If you like dystopian cities, blood, guts, gore, killing, vampires, slaying, drinking (blood and alcohol), and gruesome scenes, this book is for you.  The author takes her time getting the storyline mapped out, and I grew impatient having to read through the horror scenes to continue the story.  Her characters were not easy to like as they made forced wrong choices and bad decisions.  However, had there not been so much gore, I might have grown to like them and wish for the best for them.    The story could have been told, maybe even more effectively, without so much gore.  If you are looking for a ‘cookie cutter’ vampire romance, you will be disappointed.  If you want to see the more dangerous, blood-thirsty side of vampires—this is the book for you.

Content Analysis:

Profanity/Language:  7 religious exclamations; 19 mild obscenities; 2 derogatory name; 4 scatological words; 4 anatomical terms; 2 offensive hand gestures.

Violence/Gore:  Carpet is stiff with blood; walls are streaked with bloody handprints; more than three dozen teenage bodies lay in a room; vampires are assumed to have caused multiple deaths; character recalls a raid where humans were killed with tanks and shot; vampires were said to be burned in the sunlight or beheaded; guards were reportedly killed; teens were said to have been butchered by a vampire; vampire is said to seduce victims and drink some of their blood and move on; character recalls a businessman found surrounded by gnawed corpses; character recalls a vampire child biting an adult; character’s mother is said to have been bitten by a vampire; patient is said to have attacked a doctor; characters’ mother is locked in basement and screams non-stop while minor children listen; character uses chain mesh gloves to feed his wife; minor age character’s mother bites her with details; father hacks mothers head off with a shovel in front of kids and is described three times;  character admits to thinking about blood;  infected people are said to attack their families; details are given of how maggots would be on dead bodies; character has violent dreams about turning into a vampire and biting her mother; the taste of blood is described in several ways in multiple scenes; story is retold of a vampire being locked in a cage and tortured with vivid details; vampires are described after gorging on humans (in detail); multiple vampires attack characters and drink their blood with many details-multiple times; character recalls the vampire’s mouth full of blood; character recalls a minor aged friend that cut lines on her thighs with razor blades; character attacks another character with minor details; character tries to lick blood off of another character (non-sexual); character explains the scientific details of changing from a human to a vampire; characters discuss drinking animal blood, their own blood, and vampire blood and staying drunk to reduce the hunger for human blood; blood is given to vampires through needles and tubes in human arms; characters discuss blowing up corpses; gory pictures and videos are described; character imagines what it would feel like to tear into another character’s neck; bodies are laid out in a row covered with tarps; vampires are burned by the sun in gruesome detail; details are given on how to kill a vampire; character saws off vampires head; character licks blood from a wall and fingers in detail; character drinks blood from a wrist in gory details; character kills an entire family; kids are said to have tied up a character and killed him in vivid details;  character kills a close family member; characters watch other characters change from human to vampire; character describes drinking someone’s blood dry in flowery detail; girls and boys are gagged and bolted to the wall for vampires to feed upon; a knife is thrown into the chest of a vampire and he dies with details; vampires cut off several vampire’s heads with details; vampire bites character in a fight with vivid details (2 pages); characters kill vampire’s in multiple ways such as knives, screwdrivers and saws (all with vivid details, one scene 2 pages another 3 pages);  character is chopped into 13 pieces; brothers have a duel and one dies.

Sex/Nudity:  Boy asks his ex-girlfriend to make-out with his current girlfriend; character wakes up in the shower after a party; character considers removing a cell phone from the bra of another dead character; character is bound to the posts of a bed (non-sexual); character is chained and gagged (non-sexual); character shimmies over the window sill with details (non-sexual); characters kiss; character recalls another character making out with boys and girls; character plays ‘sex chicken’ with another character; two male teens make out with little details; male character convinces female character to make out with another male character that he has been kissing; characters kiss; character kisses a vampire with details (two pages);  character confesses to be a girl—but was born a boy; prostitutes are mentioned; characters feed off each other in a sexually seductive scene (2 pages). 

Mature Subject Matter:

Bi-sexual activities, suicide, sex change, self-mutilation, murder, killing, death of family members, spouse abuse, illegal drugs, underage drinking, underage smoking, abandonment, death of a child, death of friends.

Alcohol / Drug Use:

Teens are at a party; teens play an alcohol shot game; teens dance and swig whiskey from the bottle; character is known to have parties every weekend; character refers to previous times when she was wasted; booze and drugs are said to have been used to fight off hunger for blood; male character is said to drink himself to sleep; character drinks half a bottle of Jack Daniel’s; character recalls drinking beer and dancing; character recalls having a few beers; minor age character makes reference to attending multiple parties and drinking a lot; character drinks tequila; multiple characters smoke; character mentions bringing alcohol and weed for trading; character is stumbling drunk; characters have bruises and needle marks up their calves and thighs; characters drink moonshine and discuss how to make it; alcohol is served from vats; kids pass joints.

Overall Book Rating

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About the Reviewer

My husband and I have two beautiful girls. When I am not taking them to gymnastics, AWANA, or FFA activities, I like to cook outdoors, crochet, walk/run, and spend time with our extended families. We live in the country and raise chickens and rabbits. Reading with my girls is a time that I treasure. My hope is that they will grow up to be life-long lovers of books.