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.
I bought this book on a whim from BookOutlet (aka my place to buy the best kind of crack for cheap lol) and then saw Katytastic's "Favorite Stand Alone" video where she said that she loved this book. She suggested reading it even if you didn't love vampire books. I was all in after that.
This book was so different than the books I usually read. I've never really read a vampire book before (Twilight doesn't count for many reasons) and wasn't sure if I would like this. I worried it would just be another pretty book on my shelf that I didn't love, but I was wrong. Holly Black created a world that so perfectly collided today's society and vampires. She understood that people would fear them and many would be so enamored with that they would want to be them. She understood that there would be both sides to the coin and many perspectives in between.
Then she gives us characters like Tana who is so easy to connect with and yet...not. She is a typical high school girl, but she also enjoyed toying with her ex. She seemed to enjoy watching him suffer. An experience with a vampire at a young age changed her and made her darker; it made her interesting. Along the way she meets some interesting characters including Gavriel. He's an old vampire that often speaks in riddle and she wants desperately to be able to trust him. Basically I loved him.
This book was dark, funny and beautiful. If you're a fan of young adult fiction than give this book a try. Plus it's a stand alone which seems rare in the young adult world these days.