YA Review: The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black


Coldest Girl in Cold TownThe Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black

Publisher: Little, Brown and Company, 2013

Format: Library Hardback

Reviewed by: Judith

Genre: YA Vampire

Final Score: 8/10

Judith’s thought process when picking out a book: “oooh, great cover! Sold! Wait…now, what? It’s about what?” A lot of times that awesome cover grabs me and sucks me in and then I’m stuck with a dud. Luckily that didn’t happen here! Look at that cover! It’s freaking-fan-tastic! And score! I was only just mildly confused and pleasantly surprised by this unique brand of vampires…

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Sentinel Blog Tour: Character Interview, Half Blood review by J.L. Armentrout + giveaway!

Sentinel Blog Tour banner

6 days only. That’s right. Only 6 measly days until you can get your hands on the 7th and last book in JL Armentrout’s legendary Half Blood series! Sentinel will be out on November 2nd and to celebrate it’s a week of awesome build up to the release. Today is officially Half-Blood day here at I Love YA Fiction and we thought it’d be fun to repost a hilariously irreverent interview featuring Seth and Aiden (as imagined by Ellen and Judith) + our Half-Blood review from a while back. We’ll also give you an opportunity to win a $200 gift card (to buy more books obviously…and maybe share with Judith? No? Hey! I like free books too!)

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The Keatyn Chronicles: Date Me by Jillian Dodd

The Keatyn Chronicles: Date Me by Jillian Dodd

Publisher: Bandit Publishing (April 9, 2013)

Format: Kindle

Reviewed by: Ellen

Plot: Homecoming! Private planes! Trips to NYC! Stalkers! As with Kiss Me, this book picks up right where the

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last one ended and continues Keatyn’s experiences at her posh boarding school. There’s still a lot of shopping/fashion talk, romance, and great parties with her friends, but there are also new problems with creepy stalker Vincent, revelations about one of her bffs, discovering more about one character that really sheds light on that person’s actions, and some heartbreak. Oh, and of course tons of hot guys! Read More

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Release Day Giveaway: Date Me by Jillian Dodd

Guess what’s coming out Tuesday, April 9th? Should I give you a really big hint?! Okay: It starts with D, ends with E, and looks just like this:

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Readers’ Choice Best YA/NA Books of 2012, part 2

Your list of your favorite books of 2012 was so large I had to break it up several times over! Here’s part 2 of your favorite books of the year!

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The Keatyn Chronicles: Kiss Me by Jillian Dodd

The Keatyn Chronicles: Kiss Me

Publisher: Bandit Publishing (November 28, 2012)

Format: Kindle

Reviewed by: Ellen

Plot: Picking up exactly where the first book left off, Keatyn is still at her posh boarding school far away from her family and friends in order to protect them, and herself, from creepy stalker Vincent. At school Keatyn’s days are filled with hot guys, fashion choices that make me beyond jealous, furnishing the fabulous loft she’s purchased and, oh did I mention the hot guys? I believe there’s a little school work thrown in there too but honestly, who can remember when there’s Dawson and Aiden and Riley (oh my!) to focus on?

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Deity Blog Tour Stop #1: Review, Interview, and tons of giveaways!

Hi all! We’re excited to be one of the first stops on Jennifer L Armentrout’s Deity Blog tour. As we all gear up for Deity’s release on November 6th, let’s take a moment to reread Ellen’s fabulous review of Deity which Jennifer herself called the perfect balance of spoiler and review! It won’t give a lot away but it will make you salivate even more for Covenant book #3. You can read it here.

On to the fun stuff! Giveaways, an interview, and…more?

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The Keatyn Chronicles: Stalk Me by Jillian Dodd

The Keatyn Chronicles: Stalk Me by Jillian Dodd

Publisher: Bandit Publishing (August 20, 2012)

Format: Kindle edition

Plot: Sixteen year old Keatyn lives a charmed life in Hollywood. She’s the daughter of America’s sweetheart, the beautiful actress Abby Johnston and she is young, gorgeous, and rich in her own right. From the outside, Keatyn seemingly has it all. Only problem is the script that she wants her life to follow isn’t living up to the actuality: the intricacies of high school baffle her, the boy she wants to fall in love with her only sees her as a friend, a close male friend decides to spring his love on her, and her own boyfriend won’t touch her no matter how beautiful she is or how much she throws herself at him.  To top it off, a stalker begins harassing her mom and eventually sets his sights on her, leaving increasingly aggressive letters in places that only a family member or close friend could get to.

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Deity by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Deity (The Third Covenant Novel) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Publisher: Spencer Hill Press, 2012

Format: Real book, made of paper (which is so challenging after using my Kindle)

Of course there are SPOILERS from the first two books so if you haven’t read those then you should probably stop now (or at the very least read Judith’s reviews of Half-Blood and Pure). I’m also going to try to keep the spoilers from this book to a minimum since I know it doesn’t come out for a few months (there’s even a countdown on JL’s blog) and I don’t want you all to spontaneously combust due to intense longing.

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Half-Blood by Jennifer L Armentrout

Half-Blood by Jennifer L Armentrout

Publisher: Spencer Hill Press

Format: Kindle Edition

Plot: In this day and age, gods really do exist and from their unions with mortals come the Hematoi, demi-gods called Pures. When the Hematoi mix with mortals, further diluting their blood, they make Half-Bloods. The life of a half blood is easy: either train to become a Sentinel or become a mindless servant for the Pures. To be honest, life as a Sentinel isn’t so bad as long as you’re able to keep away from the wraithlike Daimons intent on sucking the soul right out of Hematoi, Pures, and Half-Bloods alike. When 17 year old half-blood Alexandria’s is ripped away from her life at the Covenant where she’s trained since birth to be a Sentinel, she knows her mother is only acting in her best interests. There has to be a purpose behind what her mother does. But once her mother dies and the Sentinels come looking for Alex to bring her back to the Covenant, she doesn’t understand what the Pures want from her. She’s just another Half-Blood with a penchant for disobeying the rules but against all odds, she is given a chance to prove herself. When she is paired up with the perfect Sentinel, Aiden, in the hopes of bringing her up to snuff in order to graduate, Alex comes dangerously close to breaking the one rule the Covenant strictly adheres to: love between Pures and Half-Bloods is forbidden and if a couple is caught, the Half Blood is sentenced to a lifetime of servitude. Struggling to master skills she lost after three years away, Alex must fight to stay alive as Daimons begin cropping up around the school with alarming frequency, a snarky blond Half-Blood with fantastic powers joins the Covenant, and her feelings for a Pure nose dive straight past friends into the forbidden zone.

Review: If you’ve ever read any Jennifer L Armentrout book, you know what her forte is: uber strong female characters who like to kick butt, don’t sit quietly, and tend to fall in serious like with all the wrong boys (Umm, Daemon and Katy anyone?!). Drawing on what she does best, Half-Blood does not disappoint. Alex is the kick butt heroine to end all kick butt heroines. She’s snarky, impulsive, and moody and loves to let her aggression fly in the face of injustice. She never sees a battle she won’t jump in the thick of and tries her hardest to earn more rights for herself and fellow Half-Bloods. After three years away from the Covenant, living her life as she wants to and not dictated by Pures, Alex has had it with being told she’s a second class citizen. Luckily, hottie hot and pretty perfect Sentinel Aiden is ready to help her learn her proper place in society but he in no way makes her feel inferior. In fact, Aiden treats everyone with a sense of propriety and fairness which is hard to swallow from someone so young. I have to admit, something about Aiden made him seem a little too good to be true: he’s just too perfect at everything. Too good at being a Sentinel; too good at differentiating between right and wrong even though he’s been brainwashed since birth to think otherwise; too good at seeing through Alex’s tough exterior to the scared girl she is on the inside; too good to want to ruin her life by admitting he cares for her. I could go on but I won’t because there’s nothing inherently wrong with this sort of character. I just like a bit more bad boy in my heroes and Aiden came off as way too nice. But their characters mesh really well together regardless–she’s tough while he’s sensitive, she’s wily while he’s straight forward, she’s way into making out while he knows that he better keep a cool head or she’ll be shunted off to the servants’ quarters…

All in all, this first novel in the series is a good to start to learning about Gods, Hematoi/Pures, Half-Bloods, and Humans. The writing is superb: fast paced and exciting, opening up a new world that co-exists with our own and is so seamlessly integrated you’d never know it was there. Aiden and Alex are perfect foils for each other though I hoped for more of a bad boy vibe as we got to know him better. I guess Alex has enough angst and violent tendencies for the both of them and he just cancels them out. The one thing I did love was the will they?/won’t they? aspect of Alex and Aiden’s relationship. You can see where all the fighting, mentoring, and talking are going…you hope it won’t cause you don’t want to see either get hurt because of their forbidden love but god all you want is for them to get together! That aspect of the book was fraught with tension and really made me fly through the last half to discover if they can keep their hands off each other even though it spells certain doom! Then insert the super sexy bad boy Half-Blood, Seth, into their relationship and the triangle that results is incendiary! (More about Seth when we review Pure)

In the end I’m giving this 9 out of 10 mainly just because I wanted more bad with my boy.

Based on the following criteria:

How much did I like the heroine: 9. Alex is a lot of fun. Outgoing, never whiny, beautiful but unaware of that, street smart, always ready to kick some butt. If I were asked to picked the one character trait that I disliked the most though it would be the fact that she fights first, thinks later. I get that she’s only 17 and with emotions on high alert, it’s easy to want to use fists instead of wits but sometimes I wanted to bang my a head against a wall and shout: COME ON! You know what you’re about to do is stupid and way more violent than is necessary here. Be smart for once and don’t do it! But would she listen? Nope…she earns points for never giving up though.

How much did I like the love interest: 7. Aiden. Aiden, Aiden, Aiden. I have issues with you, buddy, the most glaring of which is: you are far too good and perfect than is healthy or normal for a young man. God! Don’t you ever make mistakes? Aren’t you ever less than perfect? It got old so quickly. Actually it was like looking at those Olympic athletes that were everywhere the last few weeks: they’re perfect, they know it, they’re only 18, and man, they made me feel bad about myself for being not 18, not perfect, and not hard bodied any longer. Sigh. I read books to meet characters who do even more stupid stuff than I do but Aiden would never do that. Oh no, we’re only allowed a few glimpses of bad boydom when Seth, the Half-Blood with tons of powers, comes to stay at the Covenant. But we don’t see him enough to cancel out Aiden’s hold over Alex.

Actually let me give Seth a score here too: 10! That’s right sexy, snarky, blond, bad boy hottie who loves to rile up Alex and annoy her while also flirting with everything female in a two mile radius. He is fabulous! Totally hot, totally touchable in a way that makes him dirty sexy, and way more personality than Aiden will ever have. If only Seth could have been in more of this book. Then I would have been much happier.

How believable is the plot: 10. Push aside the fact that we’re talking about Gods and their offspring living among us, and get ready to get blown away by high school laced with weapons’ training and forbidden romance. It’s soap opera at its best! Totally cheesy but totally believable if you suspend your idea of normal and reality.

How much did I like the writing style/editing/etc: 10. Jennifer L Armentrout is a goddess among writers: she writes amazing dialogue, has off beat and moving plots that grab a reader by

the ears and shove him into the story, a fantastic editor or the ability to write with absolutely NO mistakes (is that even possible?), and tight pacing that keeps your stomach in knots though you want more.

How much did I want to keep reading: 10. Do Alex and Aiden get together? Do the Half-Bloods ever gain the same rights as Pures? Do we ever get to see the real Gods? Thank god there’s at least 3 more books in this series otherwise I would be bereft.

Final Score: 9/10. Totally engaging read with a really interesting premise and the possibility to hook us in even more. If Aiden could just loosen up a little, then it would be a 10/10! Guess I gotta wait for book 2…

For those of you who are Purists (huh, pun totally intended), I did NOT mention Seth a whole lot in this review. But have no fear, a whole lot of Seth is gonna make an appearance in our review of Pure.

If you’ve already read this book and/or other books in the Covenant series, and you want to weigh in on the debate between which Covenant hottie is, well, hotter, check out our Seth vs Aiden Poll and tell us what you think!

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