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Customer reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
The Coldest Girl in Coldtown
Format: Paperback|Change
Price:£7.42+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

on 1 March 2016
(I wrote this a while ago)

I’d seen plenty of people on twitter raving about this book, and how great it was. So I was excited, hopeful, and bought it pretty quickly.

Unfortunately for me, this didn’t live up to its hype.

I’ll explain.

The main character, Tana, is a likeable enough girl. She wakes up in a bathroom in a farmhouse, having drunk the night away at a party that held lots of raving teenagers. Until she finds everyone dead.

The beginning of the book was easy enough to get into and I found the opening creepy, hope that the rest would live up to the great start. Sadly, Tana’s behaviour was a bit too…calm. I know, she was freaking out, but the actions afterward were a little too weird, and if I’d been her I’d have legged it half way to China Town.

She saves her ex-boyfriend and a vampire. What normal person would do this? Tana, apparently.

I really thought the pacing was too spread out, and I found myself waiting for something to happen. Little bits caught my attention, and the book was set out over about 4 days? But nothing really grabbed me until the last quarter and that disappointed me.

On the other hand, I loved Gavriel. He was a very old but very young looking vampire, and had that bad boy image. And his connection to Tana was sweet, even if he was crazy half the time. Actually, he reminded me a lot of Myrnin from the Morganville Vampire series (by Rachel Caine, You should check it out.) Anyway, he had that edge. He’d start rambling off Shakespeare one moment, and in the next would talk absolute sense. And Tana is drawn to him. The romance was slow. Too slow in my opinion, but since I guess it wasn’t the whole point of the story, I’ll let that go.

Don’t get me wrong, there were small sections that I really enjoyed. Valentina and Jameson were two of my fave characters, but Midnight and Winter irritated me to no end. But most of the characters didn’t really hold much interest to me and they might as well not have been there. Tana’s will to stay by Aidan even though he lost control was brave of her but he got on my nerves when he started keeping a certain thing from her. The vampires were gruesome and scary in parts, and the author didn’t shy from detail. The usual attributes for them were used, and the twist of them being on a TV show was interesting.

The one thing that I noticed, and what others have said in reviews, is that just as something good was happening, the scene would liven up and then… the next chapter would be a flashback. And I thought a lot of the flashbacks were not needed. I don’t need to know about a person’s past if they’re not going to be in it much or it’s going to be relevant. The look into Tana’s sister, Pearl, and what was going on at home was nice to see, but little bits just took me out of the story. As for the writing in general, there was absolutely nothing to fault. Easily read, although some of the modern culture references like social sites, etc, were maybe not needed, but otherwise it wasn’t a heavy read.

For me, the best part was at the last few chapters when everything heated up, and that’s what made me give this 3 stars. I was really looking forward to this book and I have enjoyed Holly’s other works, so I thought this would be something great. Unfortunately nothing truly hooked me and I finished it feeling deflated. I wasn’t sure if this was a stand alone, and I’d hoped if it wasn’t, then that was the reason for lack of action, but apparently it is, which made me wary.

If you enjoyed Curse Workers, you might well enjoy this. I know there have been mixed feelings from other people, so like with most books, it will or won’t hit the right spots.
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on 3 December 2014
For quite a while now, I have seen many a book vlog, and many a review raving about Holly Black as an author, and how some of her books are by far the favourites of many a book reviewer. The main book from people’s reviews that drew me to her was that of The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, it has a complete mixture of reviews, and because I am a sucker for a vampire story (no pun intended) knew I had to give it a read and see for myself what it was all about. The blurb drew me in instantly; it brought a picture of almost a post apocalyptic world full of vampires, and this one girl’s story of survival within it.

I was worried at first that there would be no originality within the story, I mean, what more could be done with a vampire story, they have all been done before. However, I was pleasantly surprised at how different this story was, certainly no sparkly Cullen’s but more of the monstrous blood sucking vampires we have seen in the past. Throughout this book you are worried about the cold infection, and the transition into becoming a vampire. The entire journey follows the main protagonist Tana, her ex boyfriend Aiden who has been infected with the cold virus after a massacre at the party they all attended, and a mysterious boy/vampire named Gavriel. We follow Tana, a strong willed, and seemingly independent girl and her journey deciding on how to save her ex, her will to make him not turn and to outlast the cold virus the full 88 days that it ravages through the body. We learn of her past, and see snippets of her life pre the life changing horror at the party, learn of her past experiences of her mum and the cold virus and the devastation left in its wake. We see her unusual relationship with Aiden, and flashbacks to that of their time together, and on top of this we learn more about the horror of Gavriel and his past. Now I don’t really want to go into too much detail about each of their stories, as they all provide that little something extra, and that bit of horror and gore and what has happened, and even the shock factor. There is nothing better than reading it all first hand.

Holly Black creates this visionary world of horror and imagination. The detail within it really enables the world to build and develop within your own imagination. The detail used to create the Coldtown really provided the dark and almost fearful place, you worried for Tana when she simply walked down the street at night, the fear circulating the development of the vampires allowed you to worry about Tana, and you really just didn’t know what would happen. Holly had no holds barred as to who would be a victim and who would be a villain, the twist which happens around the middle of the book genuinely shocked me, and I couldn’t believe I had been fooled either. I felt with most authors as a reader you could see what was about to happen, and I honestly didn’t, I felt angry for Tana, and willed her survival even more.

I have to say I loved Tana's character, the moments where she had that awkward moment of wanting to laugh when in an awful situation surrounded by bodies, the hysteria of not knowing how to deal with the horror that has happened but to want to laugh, yet her dealing with the whole situation she found herself in was handled better than most, and I really felt she should have given herself more credit for how she dealt with it all, and then the strength she found amidst the fear and horror she found herself trapped within.

Then there was Gavriel, I wasn’t sure what to make of him, he was this mysterious boy tied up with chains that Tana found, and yet knowing what he was felt she had to save him. Very little is given away about Gavriel in the first few chapters, you are left with Tana's impressions and descriptions of him, and it is only when we learn more about his past and about the horrors endured that you really get to know him. I ended up really liking Gavriel, I loved the development between himself and Tana, and I loved the dangerous side to him, the crazy mixed in with the sane, you just didn’t know which way he would go. In the end Gavriel certainly becomes swoon worthy and my only upset was that we didn’t get to see enough of him with Tana, as I really enjoyed seeing the two of them together; I felt with Tana we were able to see a completely separate side to him again.
The ending to this book was ANOTHER major twist I did not see happening, it all seemed to be going on, but I loved it! I didn’t expect it, and I loved that I found out just as other people did and I had no clue as to what would happen.

I have to say when I started the book I did find it a little slow and I wasn’t sure how I would continue as i was struggling to be sucked in (even with the opening pages being filled with such horror), but then the next thing I knew I couldn’t put it down, and I have no idea where that started but it was still pretty early on in the book. So for the story to develop the further along you go into it, the more hooked you get. So for those who maybe want to start out the book and are finding it a bit slow in the first chapters, it does get better, it is simply scene setting and character building at first. But I can honestly say I really enjoyed this book and I do recommend it to those who love vampire stories, with gore, twists turns and who just love to lose themselves in such a well developed world as that which Holly Black has created.
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on 31 January 2016
n THE COLDEST GIRL IN COLDTOWN, Tana is among the sole survivors of a vampire attack. Supported by a vampire and her infected ex-boyfriend she now has to find a way to save her ex from fully turning.

What intrigued me: I'm attempting to read every vampire novel ever published.

Fresh concept, but a very, very frustrating read

THE COLDEST GIRL IN COLDTOWN definitely brings a fresh concept to the table and surprised me with it. I love the idea of Coldtowns and the way Black treats vampires in this new world.

However, the execution of it all couldn't really grip me as much as I would have liked. The writing is very difficult - it reads like you're trying wade through mud and the reading flow is often broken by narrative passages.

There are flashback-like narrative info dump passages at the beginning of every chapter that annoyed me immensely. The story is very interesting and getting thrown off the main storyline by having to read through these flashbacks is a little irritating. All of these do serve a purpose, but I think they could've been implemented into the story more elegantly. Because of all this narration the concept is basically trampled down and it took me ages to read even a couple of pages of this. I never really got really into the story, couldn't possibly because of all those flashbacks, and it's really sad because I love the basic idea.

The first love triangle I tolerate, but an annoying cliche vampire

The characters are interesting, If you're going to do a love triangle, please do it like Black. I loved how her annoying ex-boyfriend tried to compete for her attention while vampire Gavriel wasn't even trying. I absolutely loved the relationship Tana and Aiden have and it's super amusing to read - I almost wish there was a contemporary novel about the two.

However, it doesn't get more vampire cliche than Gavriel. Strangely talking in a weird accent, extremely aware of every phrase he speaks.
I have a huge problem with characters who speaks in awkward, archaic lingo and it almost never works. The entire time Gavriel was on screen I pictured the author trying to come up with a witty, deep line rather than the character. He seemed utterly one-dimensional and pretty unappealing to me. It's kinda sad that this otherwise so fresh and promising read plays into the typical vampire stereotype personality-wise with him.


Overall: Do I Recommend?

Ugh, difficult. I think it's not a must-read. I like that it's a stand-alone, but the writing made this terribly difficult for me to read and I just am not a fan. Probably not.
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on 2 February 2017
Firstly, I'll admit that I love the idea of this book. While there are some aspects of the world building that simply don't work (for example, how do vampires seem to keep getting out of the supposedly sealed Coldtown), for the large part it's very well thought out and a unique take on the tried and tested vampire-lore. The tone touches upon the post-apocalyptic in places, setting up a world where both vampires and vampire hunters are celebrities and people, and does a great job of illustrating the pros and cons of turning.

However, the story isn't fantastic. The actual plot of the story is fairly short in simple, padded by poor pacing and long chapters of exposition. While some is relevant, a lot could have been cut from the story or better integrated so it didn't have to be written en mass. The twists of the story were too well sign posted to be especially surprising and the ending was a little downplayed. I won't spoil it here, but I was left feeling that the story had ended with more of a whimper than a bang.

Then there was the characters. I just didn't understand Tana at all. Her motivations skewed wildly, sometimes wanting to be a vampire and other times not. She was also master of making poor decisions. Constantly. Tana seemed wilfully dense at times, having no apparent sense of risk and frequently making rash decisions. Like interring herself into a Coldtown when NOT EVEN KNOWING THAT SHE'S INFECTED.

Beyond that, the characters were neither especially memorable or likeable. The only one that I actually grew attached to was Valentina, but I was disappointed that she barely featured in the story at all. It felt like a waste, as her reasons for coming to Coldtown were probably the most interesting and I'd like to have learned more about her.

So, all in all, I was left disappointed. I loved the concept and setting but, beyond this, the novel went down hill pretty quickly after its admittedly gripping opening. I'm sure there are people that it will appeal to, but it's not one for me.
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on 17 October 2013
See my review of this book, and many more, at TalesfromtheGreatEastRoad.wordpress.com

When Tana wakes up in a bathtub the morning after a high school party, she thinks the most she'll have to worry about is facing her ex-boyfriend, Aidan, sober and dealing with one hell of a hangover. Little does she know the party had some visitors during the night - and now all of her classmates are dead. All except Aidan, who has been bitten and tied to a bed, with a chained up vampire. Tana pities the vampire, named Gavriel, and makes a rash decision, bundling him and Aidan in the back of her car before more vampires bust into the house and catch them. Tana is nearly caught, escaping with a scrape from a vampire tooth. Now she may be infected with the vampire virus, and if so must resist human blood for 88 days, or she'll lose her humanity forever.

So begins the road trip of a vampire, a newly infected, and possibly infected human to their only refuge: a Coldtown. Famed for being a harbour for vampires, and broadcast across the world as a never ending party, with humans enthralled and offering up their blood in hopes of being turned. There, Tana may be able to find salvation for them all. That is, if the vampires hunting Gavriel don't catch them first.

I've been a long time fan of Holly Black's work, ever since I first read Tithe as a teenager and feel in love with urban fantasy books, especially those featuring faeries, and I have avidly read all her work. But I must admit, to my disappointment this has to be her weakest book. Having said that, it is still a Holly Black book, which puts it leagues above many others out there. So, the good. The concept of Coldtowns is a very original one, and the mystery and allure surrounding them draws in the readers as well of the characters. The descriptions of the Coldtown parties, and vampire bounty hunters are pretty captivating. It adds to the casual horror of the novel, which has got to be the strongest part of The Coldest Girl in Coldtown. The gore and monstrous nature of the vampires is very well done, making this not a book to be read by the squeamish. I like my vampires with a lot of bite, which made this almost perfect in that respect.

However, there were a few problems in this novel that I just couldn't ignore. Whilst the action was fast paced and fairly intense, with chapters ending on cliffhangers, this effect was ruined by the alternating chapters which would provide background information or alternate points of view (still all in third person though). Don't get me wrong, these chapters were interesting in their own right, but they seriously disrupted the flow of the story. Also, the characters didn't feel very fleshed out, which I believe is caused by this book being based off a short story. I have read this short story, which also has the same name, and I believe it is much stronger than this book. In both, the characters aren't developed much, but this is forgivable in a short story which has less space for said development. The novel, on the other hand, felt like an idea that was stretched too thin, causing the characters to suffer as we never really get to know them that well. This leads to a lot of telling rather than showing when it comes to their personalities. Aidan probably suffers the most from this: Tana thinks many times about how he's an alright guy really, and how gentle he really is, etc,etc, but all of their relationship we see are through her flashbacks, overshadowed by how she realises now that it was never going to work, and him lying and manipulating her to make sure she comes back to save him. This also meant the romance between Tana and Gavriel was pretty lacklustre, with little attraction or reason behind it, causing it to be almost boring.

I had high hopes for this one, and I can't say, when comparing to Holly Black's other work, that I am impressed. Yet, it is still a good vampire book, and I recommend it to anyone looking for vampires and gore. Better yet, I recommend the original short story. I just can't help but be disappointed, as I know Holly Black is capable of better.

3.5 stars.
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This is the second Holly Black I've read this year (also in my whole life...) I really loved The Darkest Part of the Forest but while I enjoyed this one, it didn't quite hit the mark as much. I've given it the same rating, although I'll admit if I did half stars it would probably be 3.5 (I feel half stars is the start of a slippery slope so I've been avoiding them).

I was drawn to it mostly because of the title. Even before that meant anything to me (the Cold stuff and Coldtowns are explained in the story) something about it just sparked my interest.

And then it turned out to be about vampires. I'm just not a fan of vampire stories (I think I was a bit too old to be caught up in the teenage Twilight phase) so when I realised that was what the book was about, I did do a bit of judging. But in its defense, it didn't really follow the typical vampire love story I was bracing myself for.

It was an interesting take on vampires: I loved seeing how the digital age affected them, as it's bound to do. The idea of live streams inside all the great vampire parties, and a huge blogging community dedicated to all things dark and vampire really captured me, and it's something I've not seen before.

Black creates brilliant characters that are all well-rounded and believable. I liked Tana, though some of her choices confused me, and Aidan's charm and games felt very familiar, but I was wary of Gavriel at first. There were a few times when the things he said - poetic, odd things - felt like they were verging on the edge of brooding YA vampire, but it soon became clear he was just a bit mad. I did like his character and while there was some romance there, I was glad it wasn't all about him. I also loved that there were LGBTQ+ characters and references just dropped in there - being bisexual or transgender wasn't a big plot point, it was just who someone was, which I love.

I hated Midnight. Something about her character just captured everything I hate in people (she's obviously a greatly written character if she's produced such a reaction in me). Everything she said and did just infuriated me, but I know that kind of person would crop up if this situation really happened. It just definitely wouldn't be me!

One of the things that puts me off is the writing style. I just find it a bit odd when a chapter will suddenly jump back in time and give some background information for what's just happened or what's about to happen. This was the same for The Darkest Part of the Forest but, with the fairytale nature of that book, I felt it fitted in. With Coldtown it felt a bit odd, and I wished this background stuff could just been incorporated into the main storyline rather than taking you out of it.

This isn't the typical vampire love story I thought it would be, and I like the fact that vampires aren't glamourised too much - they're real monsters to Tana and she fights so hard to keep herself becoming one. I'd give it a read if you're looking for a different take on a vampire-occupied world.
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on 18 May 2014
You know when you go to a concert and the band leaves the stage because its “over” but the crowd knows that there will be an encore, so everyone starts chanting “WE WANT MORE, WE WANT MORE!” over and over until they come back on. Well, that’s all I can hear in my head while writing this review. Although I thoroughly enjoyed this book I cant help but feel a little let down with the ending. This is a standalone novel but could easily be part of a duology or even a series. Has Holly Black purposefully left this open ended or is that really it?

This book had been on my radar for quite some time prior to this review. Having not read anything by Holly Black before I thought it was time to give her a go. Believe me, it certainly won’t be the last time I read a book of hers. Although this had its flaws, I was able to look past them and enjoy the book for what it is.

Admittedly I'm always sceptic to read paranormal fiction as it has become annoyingly tiresome since twilight. I mean, what vampire sparkles in the sun and is a vegetarian? I'm sorry Edward but you just aren't cutting it for me. I want malicious, natural born hunters. I want vampires who kill with no remorse and take everything they can get. I’m not looking for a love story. I’m looking for straight up badassery! You’ll be glad to know that this book has it all, everything that I mentioned above and more is included is this brilliantly crafted novel.

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown was a refreshing read as it is the polar opposite of Twilight. Right from the offset I knew that I was going to enjoy this book, the premise was exciting and Holly Blacks writing was incredible. I didn’t think that I’d get so caught up in this world that Black has created but I crave more of it. No, I don’t crave it…I need it.

I don’t want to spoil you too much; instead I urge y’all to give this book a chance because if you’re anything like me then you’ll love it. This is an unforgettable book that I know I will enjoy rereading over and over again. I can’t help but think that paranormal fiction is finally redeeming itself; with authors such as Holly Black, Julie Kagawa and Jennifer L Armentrout around I have hope for the genre.
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So this is the first Holly Black book I've had the pleasure of reading and it was probably the best book I could have started with of hers. I loved her writing style, it just flowed so freely and it just made for such an easy read. Now don't get me wrong, most books I class as an easy read (unless they are by the notable contemporary authors) aren't that great, they are an easy read because there is little to no substance to the book, thankfully that was not the case with this one. Not only did we have a plethora of back story as to why the vampires were there in the first place, but that was mixed with a healthy amount of flash backs.

My weakness for vampires goes back 17 years, which considering I'm on 25 is a lot. I owe my love of them to the very first episode of Buffy The Vampire that aired in 1997 and Angel made his first appearance in, since then I have been what you could call somewhat hooked. And because of this, one of the things I related to loved about this book was the Coldtowns. Why do you ask? because as silly as it is, or as crazy as people might think I am, if I lived in a world like the one Tana lives, I could totally see myself being one of the people who treks across town to get to one of this Coldtowns were the vampires live. (I promise you I'm not in need of psychiatric help haha)

The story to this book was pretty damn one of a kind, and that's something else that I fell deeply in love with. I'm pretty sure that regardless of liking it or hating it, I would have still rated this book highly for originality alone. Vampires were first exposed after a newly turned and poorly trained fledgling made his way across the country causing havoc and feeding on whoever he wanted. Soon after the discovery of their existence, Coldtowns were built where they were quarantined and left . Once you go in to a Coldtown you never come back out. Vampires have become an obsession for most in the story, what with 24/7 broadcast's from the Coldtowns to glorify them and make them seem more inviting than they are.

Tana has never been one of those people, not only does she wake up to find all her friends dead, but she finds her ex boyfriend tied to a bed with numerous bite marks and a vampire seemingly no older than her self at the side of the bed. Gavriel isn't like many other vampires though, seems to be on the run from his own kind and after they find them at the house Tana makes a rash decision, to take him to a Coldtown as well as Aiden, her ex who is now in the process of turning Cold. (a lot more happens obviously but I don't want to give anything away because its a good book)

Not only was the story line good but the characters also had a lot of promise. Tana had her moments of breakdown but through the book she managed to keep as much of a level head as she could, and even though she acted brave she was just a scared girl at the end of the day who didn't want to turn out like the rest. Aiden was probably my least favourite character. It's not that he was poorly written, I just feel he was written in such a way that you would dislike him and if so, mission accomplished, if not than I cant change how I feel haha. Gavriel however, I loved. He reminded me so much of Louis from Interview with the Vampire, and being a favourite of mine that's nothing but a good thing.

Like I said, this book was just a really unique story and I'm upset that it was a stand alone, but I guess that's a good thing in a way (that's not to say I wouldn't devour a second book). I'm pretty happy I read this, because I have been dying to. I'm just glad it lived up to my expectations.
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on 13 August 2014
Despite owning a copy of The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black for a very long time, I didn't read this book until very recently. I had my doubts about the vampires and the thought that this possibly wouldn't be the most original story, and if I'm honest, I was put off a little bit by the size of this book at over 400 pages.

Once I sat down with The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, I found myself being sucked in almost effortlessly by this story. That first chapter really surprised me. It was dark and violent and it went places that shocked me. And similarly, I quite liked the way the story ended as well, though I can see that it could make some people feel a little frustrated.

This story is set in America at a time when vampirism has spread like crazy. In order to combat the spread of vampires and to protect humans, Coldtowns were created. These are walled cities in which vampires live and are meant to keep them in. Once you enter a Coldtown, you're not to leave. Coldtowns also have become reality TV sets as people are so fascinated and intrigued by vampires and are desperate to know what's going on in them.

The main character of this story, Tana, wakes up from a party only to find out that there has been a massacre and everyone at the party except for her and her ex-boyfriend have been slaughtered by vampires. It's all a little bit tense getting out, but she manages to save herself, her ex, AND a vampire and goes on this journey towards the nearest Coldtown.

I thought Holly Black brought us some incredibly interesting characters in this story, characters that I really wanted to know more about. I liked the main character, Tana, even if I didn't always fully understand her decisions or motivations. My favourite thing about her was her relationship with her little sister and how much Tana wanted to protect her. I also found it interesting to see some of Tana's flashbacks and memories of what happened with her mother.

Along the way to the Coldtown, Tana not only spends time with Aidan, her sweet but exasperating ex, and Gavriel, this mysterious vampire but also comes across other fab characters. Midnight and Winter, brother and sister, are vampire-wannabes who are heading to Coldtown hoping to be infected and turned and to broadcast their experiences on their website. I liked that there was not only revulsion and fascination shown towards vampires but also this obsessive longing from some characters. In fact, the entire mythology of Holly Black's vampires was very interesting and it gave it a new twist.

My only criticism of this book is that there are all of these great characters populating the story and unfortunately, I didn't really felt the connection that they had with each other. There's a lot of backstory told between Tana and Aidan's previous relationship and a lot of build-up of tension and feelings between Tana and Gavriel and I just didn't believe in it throughout. In fact, towards the end, several key players start dying and doing shocking things and I felt slightly distanced from these events. I thought the action was exciting and the pace was fairly quick for a book of this length and, like I said, I loved the characters. I just didn't quite feel the friendships or romance at all. Despite all of this, I shall definitely be picking up more stories by Holly Black...
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on 9 April 2014
I should start by saying that I love books about vampires. Always have - when I was a kid I fell in love with fantasy, S&F and the mystical & magical. If I saw anything about vampires, I tried to read it! Unfortunately now the genre has been marred by the countless poorly written clones of the "Twilight" series, so it takes much longer browsing to find a worthy book.

I am totally amazed at this one! The moment I started reading it, I couldn't put it down. I was reading it at home until late at night, and couldn't wait to get back from work to continue. I think I read it in 3 days, only stopping when I had to eat and sleep! I can absolutely say I LOVE IT.

It tells of a world in which Tana, the main character, lives - a world in which humans close and bar the doors and windows at night, so that they are safe from the infected Cold Ones - vampires - roaming the outside. Tana is a pretty wild teenager going through a turbulent relationship with her on-and-off boyfriend Aidan and dealing with her own painful past, until a fateful night when she goes to a party and wakes up next day in a house full of the dead bodies of all her friends... except Aidan, chained to a bed, and a mysterious young man chained next to him. An unlocked window makes it clear that Cold Ones have got in, but when she hears them whispering through the door and trying to get in, and she realizes the young man is a Cold One himself, she has to make a decision on whose life to save. And so begins an unexpected whirlwind of events which will change her life completely.

The book has a series of unexpected twists and turns and I'd hate to give anything away, as I got so much pleasure out of reading this book waiting with bated breath to see what happens next. I can definitely say that while I think this is supposed to be a "young adult" novel, it reads like any adult book - I definitely didn't find it childish or immature in any way. It has some of what is termed "mature content" - several very well written sensual scenes that definitely make you want more!

Tana is a strong heroine, who behaves and "felt" to me like a real live person. I identified with her throughout, and felt she made the best decisions she could under the circumstances which life threw her - such a difference to often annoyingly portrayed teenage girls in books. Actually Aidan was much more flighty than her... so much for stereotyping! Practically all the characters in here are believable living people who have to face their own weaknesses and life's difficulties - and we see what kind of a person they are by the way they face them. It's not a morality play where good always conquers evil - this absolutely feels like real people facing real life dilemmas.

This whole book leaps out at you, grips you and draws you in - I would thoroughly recommend it to anyone who can face a darker side of the world.
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