THE SUNDAY REVIEW: The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black


Screen Shot 2014-12-06 at 10.00.45 PMSo, I realize I’m a little late to this party. I’ve heard people talking about this book for quite some time, but I only just got around to reading it this week, on a flight back from DC (shout out to my weird seatmate who alternated between blatantly reading over my shoulder and elbowing me in the side as he enthusiastically played Candy Crush).

And honestly, after reading it, I’m torn. About 95% of me absolutely loved it — it was so original and clever, and the main character, Tana, was fantastic. I was SO close to giving this 5/5 stars, but unfortunately, the 5% I didn’t like kept nagging at my brain.

For one thing, I think it should have been written in first person. I hate saying that, because I’m bored to tears with all the first person YA, but in this book, I think it would have worked brilliantly. To me, it actually felt like it might have been written in first person originally, then changed. There were also a couple of awkward moments where it jumped from third-person close to third-person omniscient.

Another thing that bothered me were the quotes at the beginning of each chapter. I just found them a little bit too showy, like they were trying too hard to be meaningful — but that’s completely a personal thing.

And last but not least, there was Tana’s little sister, Pearl. I feel like this is a under-recognized YA cliche — the little sister who we (the readers) are supposed to love, simply by virtue of the fact the main character loves her. Like The Hunger Games‘ Prim — do we ever see any evidence that Prim is worth all the trouble Katniss goes through? I don’t think so. And in The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, I really liked the main character, Tana, but her little sister Pearl annoyed me to no end. I skimmed impatiently through each of her (mercifully short) chapters. But I’m a huge cynic, so this one’s probably on me 😉

Anyway — at the end of the day, this is all super nit-pitcky stuff, and should in no way deter you from reading this fantastic book. The writing is brilliant, the characters are vivid and unique, and the romance is awesome. An easy 4/5 — and the closest I’ve come to giving something 5/5 in quite some time.

Read and enjoy!

xo Elizabeth