The Coldest Girl in Coldtown

419p. Little, Brown. Sept. 2013. Tr $18.99. ISBN 978-0-316-21310-3. ebook available. LC 2012043790.
RedReviewStarGr 9 Up—A dystopian thriller with a chilling twist. Tana, 17, passes out at a party and wakes up in a house filled with corpses. Her friends lie in crusted pools of blood as she searches through piles of belongings for her keys and boots. Her first thought is that someone must have left a window open. In Tana's world, vampire attacks happen. At the tender age of six, she witnessed her mother's transformation from a loving parent to a creature so desperate for blood it would lure and attack its own daughter. It is because of things like this that Coldtowns, quarantined cities where the infected go to live and die, exist. Along with Tana, the only other survivors of the party are Gavriel, a handsome and mysterious vampire, and Aidan, her newly infected ex. She decides to take them directly to Coldtown, but if crossing the barricades means staying there indefinitely, Tana's not sure she's ready to leave life as she knows it behind. Twilight fans will enjoy the drama, but its fan base need not be limited to those who read paranormal romance. Teens with a yen for dark, futuristic novels, and maybe even a few Anne Rice readers, will find this a refreshing take on vampire lit. As always, Black's writing is quick paced and thought-provoking. A must-have for any teen collection.—Jennifer Furuyama, Pendleton Public Library, OR
In an alternate here-and-now, vampires are sequestered in “Coldtowns” guarded by barbed wire and Homeland Security. Live feeds from inside the Coldtowns broadcast the glamorous Eternal Ball with its celebrity vampire hosts, attracting thrill-seekers who are welcomed inside but can never leave. After losing her mother to vampirism, Tana keeps her distance until she wakes up from a party one morning to a house littered with the drained corpses of her friends. The only other survivors are her charming but cheating ex-boyfriend Aidan, left infected and tied to a bed, and beautiful, mysterious vampire-guy Gavriel, chained beside him. Fighting her instinct to run, Tana compels herself to help them get to the nearest Coldtown. Inside, the town is more ghetto than glamour, and Tana becomes entangled in a deadly vampire feud. Black’s compelling prose, descriptive yet direct, conjures a modern gothic world populated by cruel immortals, desperate humans offering themselves as food, and a few hardscrabble survivors. Tana is a winning heroine, by turns staking killer vampires and giving herself over to Gavriel’s deep, smoldering kisses. As in previous works (The Poison Eaters & Other Stories, rev. 5/10; the Good Neighbors books, rev. 1/09, 1/10), Black displays her gift for channeling the dark side, seeming to wake the very shadows around us. lauren adams

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