BOOK REVIEW: The Coldest Girl In Coldtown – by Holly Black

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Title: The Coldest Girl In Coldtown
Author: Holly Black

Genre: YA, Fantasy, Horror
First published: September 3rd 2013
Publisher: Little, Brown Books For Young Readers
Finished reading: October 15th 2016 
Pages: 419
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“Even from the beginning, that was the problem. People liked pretty things. People even liked pretty things that wanted to kill and eat them.”

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I’m ashamed to admit I’ve had this book collecting dust on my shelves for ages, and it was actually on last year’s Halloween TBR as well. Oops?! I’m glad I finally gave in though, because The Coldest Girl In Coldtown turned out to be a perfect Halloween read. I was actually pleasantly surprised to find out that I enjoyed this story that much, because I normally detest vampire stories. Kudos to Holly Black for showing me there are also decent vampire stories out there! Because it doesn’t happen often that I give a so-called ‘bloodsucker’ story such a high rating. Why is The Coldest Girl In Coldtown an exception? First of all, the vampires are actually dangerous like they should be. Their world is still a bit too glamorous to my taste, but I like the background story behind it all. The Coldest Girl In Coldtown is also fast-paced, well written, has a lot of action, not too many romance scenes and the right dose of creepy. In short, a very entertaining Halloween read that has convinced me I will definitely need to read more of Holly Black‘s work in the future.

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Tana lives in a world where walled cities called Coldtowns exist. There are monsters in the world and they can infect humans with the Cold. If either infected humans or monsters are found, they are quarantined inside those cities, living in a decadently bloody mix of predator and prey. And once you pass through Coldtown’s gates, you can never leave… One morning after a party, Tana wakes up surrounded by the corpses of her friends and classmates including her ex-boyfriend. She wasn’t infected somehow, but he is, now tied up in a bedroom together with a mysterious boy with a terrible secret. Tana shouldn’t help the two and just save herself, but she cannot just leave them there. She now enters a race against the clock to save the three of them by facing danger straight on…

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I honestly wasn’t too sure about this book, but The Coldest Girl In Coldtown turned out to be one of the few vampire stories I actually enjoyed reading. It probably has a lot to do with the fact that there is almost no romance involved and the vampires are actually dangerous. I liked the worldbuilding and the story is without doubt well written with a lot of action scenes. It also has just the right dose of creepy and it is definitely entertaining to read. Recommended!

WWW Wednesdays #107 – October 19th

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WWW WEDNESDAYS is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

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I still haven’t finished The Adventures Of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain, and that’s mostly because I’ve been wanting to finish a few ARCs first. I’m going to try and finish it before I continue with Faithful by Alice Hoffman though… I’m only a few pages into that one so far, but it sounds really promising.

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

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* I first finished Ivy Feckett Is Looking For Love by Jay Spencer Green. I guess this is one of those books that just isn’t for me, because the other reviews are really positive. There was just too much explicit sex talk, romance and colorful language to my taste… I liked the general plot and the geocaching though.
* I then read The Best Friend by Shalini Boland, which turned out to be another brilliant psychological thriller. Fast-paced, many many plot twists and characters that might be unlikeable but work perfectly with the plot, suspense… This story has it all and more.
* I was finally able to read a Halloween themed book as well: The Coldest Girl In Coldtown by Holly Black. I was surprised to find out that I enjoyed this story that much, because I normally don’t like vampire stories. This one is an exception though; well written, not too many romance scenes and the right dose of creepy.
* I also finished Dark Water by Robert Bryndza, the third book in a new detective series that is without doubt entertaining. I would have liked to see less romance and I thought the spark of especially the second book was missing, but it was still a solid thriller read with quite a few plot twists and action scenes. I kind of already saw the ending coming though…
* Finally, I was able to read Trow-Truck Pluck by Annie M.G. Schmidt yesterday. The Dutch version (and the rest of her work for that matter) was one of my favorite childhood books and probably one of the first stories I read by myself… It was so good to revisit that world with this English translation that was provided by me by Netgalley and the publisher. It has the perfect bedtime stories to read to the little ones.

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

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Next up are two pending thriller ARCs: Worth Killing For by Ed James and The Good Sisters by Helen Phifer. The first is a sequel (review of the first book will be posted tomorrow) and the other sounds like a great Halloween read. I also want to read Bad Girls Don’t Die by Katie Alender for the same reason… And my newest TBR jar pick is still The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson.

WWW Wednesdays #106 – October 12th

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WWW WEDNESDAYS is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

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I’m almost finished with Ivy Feckett Is Looking For Love by Jay Spencer Green, which is about time since it’s been too long since I first started it. I also decided to read The Adventures Of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain, because I have been seriously neglecting my classics this year and somehow I have never read the original Tom Sawyer story?! Or at least I don’t remember. I’ve also started The Best Friend by Shalini Boland, a very fast-paced and intriguing thriller so far.

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

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* I finished reading The Bitter Side Of Sweet by Tara Sullivan first, which turned out to be a brilliant read. Even though it’s a fictional story, it’s based on actual facts and the descriptions are really well done. Two young brothers forced to work at a cacao farm under difficult conditions and without pay… It definitely gives you something to think about.
* I then finally finished Empire Of Storms by Sarah J. Maas, which has turned out to be a mayor disappointment. The story is overlong and most characters are basically horny teenagers that want to sleep with each other all the time. What’s with all the romance?!!!! I seriously hope book 6 will be better, and that cliffhanger ending made the wait for the next book even more painful. Sigh.
* The last book I read is Who We Were Before by Leah Mercer, a book I requested on a whim from Netgalley. I’m normally not really into drama, but the blurb sounded interesting enough and I’m glad I gave it a go. The ‘present/Paris’ chapters weren’t as strong as the ones set in the past, and maybe not as believable either. Still, it was interesting to learn more about how the two main characters met and how it all started to go wrong… Poor little kid.

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

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I have two thriller ARCs up next: Dark Water by Robert Bryndza and Love You To Death by Caroline Mitchell. I can’t wait to start reading both; Bookouture is quickly turning into my favorite Netgalley publisher! I also still want to read The Coldest Girl In Coldtown by Holly Black to get into the Halloween mood. And since I have decided to not read ACOMAF until the third book is published (there is NO way Sarah J. Maas will have me pining over TWO unpublished sequels), I have a new TBR jar pick: The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson. I was originally going to read Since You’ve Been Gone first, but the TBR jar has spoken…

WWW Wednesdays #105 – October 5th

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WWW WEDNESDAYS is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

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Basically, I’m still reading the same books from last week plus a new one. Oops?! I guess it shows I was away for the weekend… My main focus is The Bitter Side Of Sweet by Tara Sullivan, which is turning out to be a really interesting and fast-paced read. As soon as I have finished that one, I will continue with Ivy Feckett Is Looking For Love by Jay Spencer Green. I’m only a few pages into that one, so not much to tell so far. I also still need to finish Empire Of Storms by Sarah J. Maas. I’m enjoying it better than I thought I would, but the whole Aelin-Rowan romance is really starting to get on my nerves.

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

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* The first book I finished is actually a cookbook that caught my eye at Netgalley: But My Family Would Never Eat Vegan! by Kristy Turner. Although I could never give up meat (or cheese!) completely, I always try to prepare vegetarian/vegan meals at least two or three times a week… And this cookbook is a little goldmine! The descriptions and introductions to the recipes are hilarious as well, and there is a lot of extra information ‘special’ ingredients and how to prepare them.
* The other title I managed to finish is Safe With Me by K.L. Slater. I’m having mixed thoughts about this one. When I first started reading it, I was sure I was going to give it the highest possible rating… But as the plot twists and unlikeable characters evolved, I started having second thoughts. Everything is almost too absurd (especially during the final part of the book) and it just didn’t seem believable at all. It didn’t help that I couldn’t connect to the main character either. The ending was supposed to be a mayor plot twist, but I kind of already saw part of it coming?

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

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I’m waaay behind with my ARCs, and next up are two books I’m looking forward to: The Best Friend by Shalini Boland and Dark Water by Robert Bryndza. I’ve really enjoyed reading the work of both authors in the past, so I can’t wait to start reading these new titles! I also want to read The Coldest Girl In Coldtown by Holly Black to get into the Halloween mood, and A Court Of Mist And Fury by Sarah J. Maas is still my latest TBR jar pick (and will be for a while longer I’m afraid).

BOOK REVIEW: My True Love Gave To Me – by Stephanie Perkins

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Title: My True Love Gave To Me
Author: Stephanie Perkins 
Genre: YA, Romance, Contemporary
First published: October 14th 2014
Finished reading: December 29th 2015
Pages: 336
Rating 3,5qqq

“He says presents aren’t important, but I think they are – not because of how much they cost, but for the opportunity they provide to say I understand you.”

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Another Christmas read I end up reviewing in January… Although I’m finally starting to catch up with my reviews! Since My True Love Gave To Me is actually a collection of twelve Holiday themed short stories, I’ve decided to to this review slightly different from my normal format and discuss every story separately. As a whole this bundle edited by Stephanie Perkins is without doubt an entertaining read and perfect for the Holiday season, although I did like some stories better than others. If you haven’t read this one yet and like themed reads, put this one on your December 2016 TBR! On to the separate stories…

Midnights by Rainbow Rowell. (4,5/5)
This is such an adorable little story to start the collection with, and also very Rainbow Rowell! Without doubt one of my favorites… Midnights is basically story about what happens between two teenagers on various New Years Eves.  It’s funny, it’s awkward, it’s adorable and very well written as well.

The Lady And The Fox by Kelly Link. (2,5/5)
Meh I didn’t particularly like this one. It was without doubt an original story with a touch of magical realism, but I can’t say I was put under its spell. This is one of those stories that might have worked better as a longer novella… Because I felt it lacked proper explanation and character development.

Angels In The Snow by Matt De La Peña. (3/5)
This one was better than the second story, but I can’t say I was a fan of the prose. The story itself is quite funny where the main character is cat sitting and doesn’t have money for food, and the only other person in the building is a girl his age with a broken shower… You get the idea. The story itself sounds interesting, but like I said, I didn’t particularly like how it was told.

Polaris Is Where You’ll Find Me by Jenny Han. (4/5)
Such a cute little story! I love the idea of a human being ‘rescued’ by Santa and living with the elves. I also like the fact that this story was different from the others and the fact that it took place on the North Pole. Original, interesting and adorable!

It’s A Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown by Stephanie Perkins. (4/5)
I enjoyed this story! It was sweet but not too sugary, and that is just how I like my Holiday themed reads. It’s about a girl who wants to ask a favor of a guy who sells Christmas trees and ends up buying a tree she doesn’t have room for… And he offers to help her organize her home.

Your Temporary Santa by David Levithan. (3,5/5)
This story was quite entertaining and I liked the glbt angle. I wasn’t 100% convinced by the prose, but I have had problems with his work in th epast. It’s a cute story though and perfect for the Holiday season; a boy who dresses up as Santa so he can convince his boyfriend’s sister that Santa is real.

Krampuslauf by Holly Black. (3,5/5)
This one was interesting enough, although not amazing. I liked the fantasy element in the story and the prose and descriptions… I have a feeling it would have worked even better as a longer story, because the characters sound interesting.

What The Hell Have You Done, Sophie Roth? By Gayle Forman. (4/5)
Quite an entertaining story! Not the best of the lot, but definitely one of the better stories. I’m seeing a lot of race/religion/sexuality diversity in these short stories and I like it! I wasn’t completely convinced by the main characters, but it did made me crave winter food.

Beer Buckets And Baby Jesus by Myra McEntire. (3/5)
I can’t say this was a great story, but it was not that terrible either. I just wasn’t convinced by the general plot or actions… Although I know others loved this one. Somehow a boy who is in love with the pastor’s daughter and accidentally burns down the church just before Christmas is just a little too cheesy to my taste.

Welcome To Christmas, CA by Kiersten White. (4,5/5)
YESSS! Food AND Spanish?! I’m sold. If this isn’t my favorite story it would come a close second, because I really loved this one. A girl lives in a town called Christmas and works at a diner when a new chef arrives… And he is not only a great chef, but attractive as well. Cute, well written and the perfect Holiday read!

Star Of Bethlehem by Ally Carter. (3,5/5)
This was such a sad story! Well written like I would expect of Ally Carter (I loved reading All Fall Down last year) and definitely worth reading, even though it’s not one of my favorites of the bunch.

The Girl Who Woke The Dreamer by Laini Taylor (4/5)
This story confirmed to me that I really have to start the Daughter Of Smoke And Bone series soon, because I loved the prose. Very beautiful and such a creative worldbuilding for a short story. It was a little confusing and strange, but without doubt very interesting.

Friday Finds #16 – November 28th

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FRIDAY FINDS is originally featured at Should Be Reading and showcases the most interesting books I’ve encountered during, in this case, the last two weeks and have added to my neverending TBR list on Goodreads. I’m still trying to limit new additions in order to downsize my TBR list, but as you might guess it’s too hard to ignore newly found books and I’ve added quite a few new titles anyway. Below you can find a selection:

My finds:

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