Rating: 5 Stars
FELLOW BOOK LOVERS WHO GREW UP ON YA VAMPIRE AND SUPERNATURAL NOVELS!!!! MY FAITH IN VAMPIRE BOOKS HAS BEEN RENEWED!!!!!
Synopsis via Goodreads:
Tana lives in a world where walled cities called Coldtowns exist. In them, quarantined monsters and humans mingle in a decadently bloody mix of predator and prey. The only problem is, once you pass through Coldtown’s gates, you can never leave.
One morning, after a perfectly ordinary party, Tana wakes up surrounded by corpses. The only other survivors of this massacre are her exasperatingly endearing ex-boyfriend, infected and on the edge, and a mysterious boy burdened with a terrible secret. Shaken and determined, Tana enters a race against the clock to save the three of them the only way she knows how: by going straight to the wicked, opulent heart of Coldtown itself.
Sooo you’ve probably seen this cover around. In the local bookstore you frequent, online, other people possibly fangirling-like-they-just-don’t-care, ect, ect, . . .
And I was the same. I’ve seen it around and decided I’d really like to read a good vampire book, for old times sack. I had no preconceived notions on what this book was going to be like; the most I knew about this novel was the synopsis you just read and scrolling through other reviews, but not really reading them, just looking at how many stars people were giving this book.
First of all, forget Twilight and every other vampire book you’ve ever read. Because I feel that you have to for this novel.
It’s not that it’s such a unique idea about what vampires are (though it sorta is), but more so that it doesn’t feel like you’re reading your A-typical vampire novel. It doesn’t start out with a normal teenage girl who has something unique about her that draws the attention of a hot vampire (maybe two . . . or three). It’s not like that at all.
As the synopsis says, Tana wakes up to find all her friends dead at a party, and what really drew me into the story was how vivid the descriptions of the bodies and blood are. Holly Black doesn’t sugarcoat it. And there are much, much more scenes such as this throughout the novel.
Okay. Tana. Let’s talk about the girl the story revolves around.
She’s tough. First thing I noticed. She wakes up surrounded by death and danger, and she tells herself – though her fear and anguish – that she needs to think and work this out. She peps talk herself into going to find her boots and keys, and walks in on her ex-boyfriend tied to a bed – alive – and a vampire chained down, just out of reach.
Finding her ex infected – bitten on his ankle – she realizes she needs to get him out of there too. Now, she could have very easily torn down the cover on the window, therefore frying the vampire and getting rid of one problem. But she doesn’t. It doesn’t even really occur to her to kill a chained and weak vampire. She’s not cruel. It also never occurs to her to leave her ex – who had been a total jerk to her before – or to even leave the vampire. They need help, and so she helped.
I realize some would say Tana is rash and makes really stupid decisions, but I completely disagree. She thinks about what’s right – saving herself or trying to help her ex and the vampire – and the answer is clear to her. The same goes with the rest of her decisions throughout the novel. Does she realize that she will most likely die trying to save someone who might not give her the same courtesy? Yes, yes she does. Completely.
Tana doesn’t mope around about the love interest. There is no “does he love me . . . does he not love me . . . does he love me . . .” crap going on.
Girl takes care of herself and forgets all the rest.
And she doesn’t have a death wish. She doesn’t want to become a vampire, or she’s at least confused about it. Sure, she thinks about what it would be like; everyone does.
Who could possibly not think about becoming the monster in the closet?
Because we’re human, and we’re drawn to what we fear.
Tana makes all the right decisions in my book. I would have done the same things.
Also, NO LOVE TRIANGLE.
No, no. I’m being serious.
I know right? When was the last time you’ve read a good vampire book without a cliché love triangle?
I didn’t expect much from this novel, but I started it around 5:00 p.m. yesterday, and I stayed up until 3:00 a.m. to finish it. A 419 page novel.
I don’t regret anything.
I could try to talk about the love interest, but honestly, you need to read about him yourself. I cannot think of a way to describe him to do him justice.
But this is me whenever he was in the book (and especially at the end):
I EMBRACE MY WEIRDNESS.