Book Trailer Thursday (128)–The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black

Book Trailer Thursday

The audiobook for The Coldest Girl in Coldtown is fantastic. The book trailer makes me like the book even more now that I can see Tana and what the opening scene looks like. I also included a video featuring Holly Black essentially book talking her book. Hopefully that and the book trailer will pique my students’ interest!

The Coldest Girl in ColdtownSummary (From 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.

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown is a wholly original story of rage and revenge, of guilt and horror, and of love and loathing from bestselling and acclaimed author Holly Black.

Audiobook Review: The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black

Audio Review

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown Audio CoverTitle: The Coldest Girl in Coldtown

Author: Holly Black

Narrator: Christine Lakin

Length: 12 hrs 6 mins

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Release Date: September 3rd, 2013

Interest: Student interest

Source: Purchased via Audible

Summary (From 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.

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown is a wholly original story of rage and revenge, of guilt and horror, and of love and loathing from bestselling and acclaimed author Holly Black.

Audio Review: I’ve never listened to an audiobook narrated by Christine Lakin but I will again. Her voice is easy to listen to and I love how she so easily changes her accent to fit characters like Gavriel. I chose to listen to the audio because I really didn’t know if I’d like the book. I’ve found that it’s easier to try reading books I’m hesitant to read by listening to the audio. One of my seniors mentioned a love of vampire books on her interests survey which is what drove me to give The Coldest Girl in Coldtown a try. Anyway, this audiobook is on the longer side but it’s definitely worth a listen. At certain points throughout the audio–often at pivotal moments–different types of music play, which I didn’t think was really necessary, but I did appreciate it. This audiobook made cleaning, cooking, and driving much easier to get through. One quirk I need to mention is that I wasn’t expecting the switch in time periods/place. That threw me as I was listening, but I know it wouldn’t have been an issue had I been reading the book traditionally.

Book Review: I’m so happy to have finally found a Holly Black novel that I enjoyed! I was doubly hesitant to read The Coldest Girl in Coldtown because I didn’t liked Holly Black’s Doll Bones or White Cat and I’m over vampire books. Tana’s story is addicting, creepy, and bloody. I’m not into horror, either, but I was engrossed in this book!

I just ordered a copy of The Coldest Girl in Coldtown because I know many of my students will want to read this once I tell them about it. I have quite a few horror and mystery fans, although not as many vampire fans, but regardless I know they’ll enjoy it. I’m going to recommend this to my Anna Dressed in Blood fans because even though there isn’t as much humor in Tana’s story, there’s plenty of gore and action to keep them interested.

When it comes to characters, I really enjoyed Tana and Gavriel. Gavriel is the perfect mix of mysterious and alluring. Tana is independent and strong-willed. I loved the interactions between the two characters and honestly couldn’t decide if I wanted them to be together or not. I wasn’t sure if I wanted Tana to go cold and/or become a vampire or continue on as an unaffected human. I kept wondering what would happen to her because it seemed like she would need to go one way or another to make her story work. I’ll let you find out what happens to Tana and if anything develops between her and Gavriel 🙂

Coldtown’s setting reminds me of a post-apocalyptic world. It’s run down, dismal, and dangerous. Holly Black did a great job describing and developing it. If there’s a second book I’ll be happy to read it and learn more about Coldtown, but the ending as it is now is satisfying.

If you’re looking for a vampire story without sparkly vampires then I recommend picking up The Coldest Girl in Coldtown.

Top Ten Tuesday: Words/Phrases That Make Me Not Pick Up a Book

toptentuesday-New

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish

This might be a tough list to compile since I’m not usually thinking about what I don’t want to read when I’m picking out a book.  I’m always looking for things that make me want to read one.

1. Vampires–I’m over them.

2. Fairytale Retellings–I still try to give them a chance, but most often they don’t work for me.

3. Fairies–I can’t explain why, but I don’t like these stories. The writing can be amazing, but the stories don’t work for me.

4. “Exciting new trilogy/series”–Is anyone else getting tired of new trilogies and series? I’ll still pick them up, but I’m WAY more cautious to start a new one than I ever was before. Besides how expensive it is, it’s hard to keep up.

5. Steampunk–It doesn’t work for me.

6. “The new _______”–Nothing is the same as The Hunger Games, Twilight, Harry Potter, etc. and that’s OKAY.  I will look into these books because my students will finish one of the big trilogies or series and want something similar, but I don’t like how blurbs do that. It usually sets unrealistic expectations because while I’ve read plenty of great dystopians, none of them are The Hunger Games.  Although some have been better.

7. Insta-love–This almost never works and drives me crazy. Especially when characters get whiny.

8. Non-fiction–I hate saying this, but I don’t like non-fiction. I don’t completely write it off because plenty of my students love it, but it’s rare that I get excited about a non-fiction book.

9. Cancer books that were written to make me sob–Nope. They hit too close to home.  I’ll consider one when it’s not directly about the person dying from cancer, or if it’s more humorous and not a sob-fest, but otherwise I won’t even bother.  It took me a year to pick up The Fault in Our Stars. It was good and apparently I didn’t cry at the “right” part.  No one actually said that to me, but from what I’ve heard, the big “you’re going to cry” moment wasn’t the moment that made me cry.

10. Fiction written by celebrities–Really? Not going to happen.

The Farm by Emily McKay Blog Tour: Review & Giveaway

The FarmTitle: The Farm

Author: Emily McKay

Publisher: Berkley Trade

Release Date: December 4th, 2012

Interest: Post-Apocalyptic / Blog Tour

Source: Finished copy received from the publisher

The Farm Website

Summary (From Goodreads): Life was different in the Before: before vampires began devouring humans in a swarm across America; before the surviving young people were rounded up and quarantined. These days, we know what those quarantines are—holding pens where human blood is turned into more food for the undead monsters, known as Ticks. Surrounded by electrical fences, most kids try to survive the Farms by turning on each other…

And when trust is a thing of the past, escape is nearly impossible.

Lily and her twin sister Mel have a plan. Though Mel can barely communicate, her autism helps her notice things no one else notices—like the portion of electrical fence that gets turned off every night. Getting across won’t be easy, but as Lily gathers what they need to escape, a familiar face appears out of nowhere, offering to help…

Carter was a schoolmate of Lily’s in the Before. Managing to evade capture until now, he has valuable knowledge of the outside world. But like everyone on the Farm, Carter has his own agenda, and he knows that behind the Ticks is an even more dangerous threat to the human race…

I honestly had mixed reactions when I started reading The Farm.  The concept is cool which is why I decided to try it and join the blog tour.  I’m not really big on vampires, but I like post-apocalyptic books.  My students still like reading paranormal vampire novels and the post-apocalyptic genre is a big hit with them as well.  Emily McKay’s debut is another book that I need to break down into what worked and what didn’t work.

What Worked For Me:

  • The multiple points of view–The Farm is told from Lily, Mel, and Carter’s points of view told in alternating chapters.  My favorite chapters are Mel’s because she’s autistic and has a really unique perspective and understanding of the world around her.  The story works with this format because there’s so much going on and the characters are so involved.  I learned more about Carter and his history during his chapters than in any of the other chapters, and I really don’t know how we could have learned as much about him without this format.  Overall it added more layers to the story and really defined the characters.
  • Lily–I like what a strong heroine she is.  She’s quick on her feet and stands up for herself and her sister.  Her sense of humor, despite how horrible her life is, is witty and snarky.  I really think teens with siblings who they’re close to or protective of, will connect with Lily and enjoy her character.
  • The pacing & action–The Farm is full of suspense, twists, and action.  Emily McKay did a nice job balancing The Farm’s character development and plot development; it doesn’t feel like one more than the other (character driven or plot driven).  I enjoyed the suspense and wondering how new developments were going to come to light.  The pacing it great and will keep my students interested as they read.

What Didn’t Work For Me:

  • Vampires–I’m over vampires.  I don’t have much else to say on that topic.
  • I tried to keep an open mind on the vampire front, but some of the background storyline didn’t work for me.  I don’t want to ruin anything because much of that isn’t revealed until 100+ pages in, but when I came to that story I sort of cringed.  I had to start thinking of the book as more of a book for my students than for me at that point.  And sometimes that’s what I really need to do when I read a book outside my comfort zone; I need to think about the students in class who will like it more than me.
  • I really liked Lily, Mel, and Carter, but I didn’t find myself connecting to them and their story until 75 or more pages in.  I needed more earlier than that.

The Farm Blog Tour Exclusive Content

Lily is such a strong main character. How did you decide to give her this fierce identity as opposed to the weak female characters that are so often present in books?

To be honest, I don’t know any weak teen-age girls.  The teen-age girls I know are strong and smart and giving and determined and I just drew on that to create Lily.  Years ago, I taught in a lower-income area and one of the things that I still remember from that time is how tough the girls I taught were and how devoted they were to their families.  I wanted to channel some of that into Lily, and hope I succeeded.

Tour Stops:
Yesterday–Actin’ Up With Books
Monday–Addicted to Novels

Giveaway Details

Giveaway sponsored by the publisher
Open to the US only
One lucky winner will win a copy of The Farm + “Vampire Apocalypse Survival Kit”
Must be 13 years or older to enter
Giveaway ends January 4th, 2013 at 11:59 pm EST
Only one entry per person
Winner will be emailed and given 48 hours to respond
No extra entries required, but spreading the word is appreciated 🙂

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