The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black
I listen to a lot of books in my car as I am tooling around town, to and from work, to and from the grocery store, etc. Some of them adapt quite well to being listened to in short bits – this one did not. I did enjoy the book, but I think this is one I would have enjoyed more had I read it, or listened to it somewhere other than the car.
It starts out very quick paced – Tana wakes up in the bathroom of a farmhouse after a party, and discovers that all of her classmates have been killed by vampires. All of them but one – Aidan. He is tied to a bed, and while he has been bitten, he is not a vampire yet. If you are not killed by a vampire when they bite you, then you turn Cold. After turning Cold, if you drink human blood within 88 days, then you die and become a vampire. If you are able to lock yourself away somewhere for 88 days – and actually survive, then you will beat the infection and be human again. Also in the room with Aiden is a vampire who is chained up. His name is Gavriel. You learn very quickly what kind of person Tana is, as she cannot leave either one of these two behind – because, you see, there are vampires in the basement – and when night falls, they will be killed.
The story is told from many different points of view – Tana’s, Gavriel’s, Pearl’s (Tana’s little sister) – and it jumps back and forth from the present, to Tana’s recent past, to Gavriel’s long ago past. I think this is one of the reasons that it didn’t work well for me to listen to it in bits and pieces.
So once Tana frees Aidan and Gavriel, she gets them into her car and they set out for Coldtown. There are many Coldtown’s across the U.S. where vampires, or those who have been infected, are imprisoned. They are entire cities and this one is in Springfield. (Sort of like Springfield from The Simpson’s – you have no idea where). Along the way to Coldtown, they pick up two siblings – Midnight and Winter – who want to go to Coldtown because they want to be vampires. Oh – and I almost forgot – Tana was “scratched” by one of the vampires upon fleeing the farmhouse, so is afraid that she hasn’t got a lot of time before she turns Cold.
You would think that this being a Vampire book – where there is lots of killing and death, that it would be a grim book – but Tana has an outlook (or she is just naive and lucky) that she can accomplish pretty much anything. I don’t think she starts out believing this about herself, but she does a lot of things in the book to stay alive – and to keep others alive — that she didn’t know she could do. Tana teaches us about loyalty, and family, and hope — and of course, love.
Find it in The Vault.