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An All-Time Favorite Halloween-ish YA Novel: THE COLDEST GIRL IN COLDTOWN by Holly Black
Oct 31st, 2016 by Liza Wiemer

A DO-NOT-MISS YA Novel!

THE COLDEST GIRL INimg_9326 COLDTOWN

by Holly Black

Published by Little Brown

Find it here:

Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository | IndieBound | B&N | Audible

The Coldest Girl in ColdtownThe Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Mention blood, and I get woozy. Mention needles, and there is a chance I’ll need to get horizontal before I pass out. But for some glorious reason, I wasn’t bothered one bit from all the blood and gore and even needles mentioned in THE COLDEST GIRL IN COLDTOWN. As a matter of fact, I became completely wrapped up in listening to this audiobook that I decided to take a long afternoon drive to enjoy the fall colors in the country and listen to the novel. After I returned home, I dragged an old CD boom-box in from the garage just to finish listening to it while I cooked dinner, and then folded laundry.

Vampires.

I freakin’ loved a novel about VAMPIRES!

Listening to a novel is most definitely a different experience than reading it. Christine Lakin’s performance took Holly Black’s rich, detailed, vibrant story and brought these characters to life. The key to this book is buying into the fact that vampires are real. (Yes, I know they are not real.) They’re out there and if you’re bitten, then you’ll be infected. Once infected, the only way to not turn into a vampire is isolation for eighty-eight days. There is a near unquenchable thirst for human blood and if the infected give in to that thirst, they’ll turn into vampires.

The story opens with Tana waking up in a bathtub at a farmhouse where she attended a party. Soon, she discovers that almost all of her friends were massacred by bloodthirsty vampires. She finds her ex-boyfriend Aiden still alive, but infected, tied up in a bedroom. Across the room is Gavriel, a vampire in chains. Tana decides to rescue them both.

Tana’s journey with Aiden and Gavriel is absolutely fascinating, dangerous, and unapologetically violent, but not over-the-top scary. THE COLDEST GIRL IN COLDTOWN will make readers think about the power of TV and the Internet and how some sensationalize and embrace the underworld. Vampires were revered by some in a sick, fascinating, cultish way. YA blogged about them, emulated them, wanted to become them. With this desire, the reality and fantasy were too different worlds and Holly Black did an exceptional job of showing the two.

Tana is a heroine of heroines. She’s imperfect, struggles with her own demons, loves those who may not deserve it and goes to extraordinary lengths to protect the people she cares about. Sometimes she succeeds. Sometimes she doesn’t.

THE COLDEST GIRL IN COLDTOWN was my surprise read of the year. I never expected to love it. I did! I never expected that it would make my “top reads list for 2013.” But it did.

Thank you so much, Holly for writing such an unexpected and gripping vampire novel!! And thank you Christine Lakin for a captivating performance that brought Holly’s characters to life.

View all my reviews

THE NOVEL CUISINE LUNCHEON ’13 & Giveaway!
Dec 18th, 2013 by Liza Wiemer

The table is set with all the books that inspired the menu for the luncheon.

The table is set with all the books that inspired the menu for the luncheon.

THE 3rd ANNUAL NOVEL CUISINE LUNCHEON ’13

This year, authors, bloggers, librarians from Wisconsin and Illinois came together for The Third Annual Novel Cuisine Luncheon. Kelly of Belle of the Literati, Monica of Fuma Files , Erin and Jaime of Fiction Fare and the Fiction Fare and Swoony Boys Readalong, Author Gayle Rosengren – WHAT THE MOON SAID, Erica of The Book Cellar, Amanda, librarian in Stoughton, Anuradha teacher/writer, Rachel of Tiger Lily Rachel, Sarah from Novel Thoughts, Andrea of Mrs. Payan Reads, Heidi of YA Bibliophile, & Me!

All the recipes were inspired by a book. Just One Day, by Gayle Forman, Where the Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller (2 recipes), What the Moon Said by Gayle Rosengren, The Book of Broken Hearts by Sarah Ockler, Better Off Friends by Elizabeth Eulberg, The Distance Between Us by Kasie West, Reclaimed by Sarah Guillory, Wait for You, Trust in Me by Jennifer Armentrout, The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Heidi prepping for the party.

Heidi prepping for the party.

 

The awesome Heidi from YA Bibliophile came over on Saturday. After we spent several hours in the living room reading, we headed out to see THE HOBBIT II, and then we spent the rest of the night and into the early morning laughing and cooking and talking. We discovered that we’re cooking soul mates and dubbed “Modified Marthas.” Many of the things we made, were a first for us. Empanadas, Bubble Tea, Pastitsio, Galaktoboureko. All the recipes except for two were found on the Internet. The exceptions were Elizabeth Eulberg’s mom’s Cheese Ball from BETTER OFF FRIENDS – YUMMMMMMMM!!!!! and chocolate walnut cookies from WAIT FOR YOU and TRUST IN ME by Jennifer Armentrout. That’s a recipe I ended up creating based on several different recipes that I found on the net. Since Cam said that these cookies were better than sex, Heidi and I brainstormed names and came up with Cam’s Better Than Sex Chocolate Walnut Cookies.

menu

17228280HUGE THANKS TO:

Wisconsin born and raised author Elizabeth Eulberg: Twitter, Blog, Goodreads for supporting this event. Her publisher, Scholastic, provided ARCs of latest YA novel BETTER OFF FRIENDS. Her Wisconsin event for BETTER OFF FRIENDS will be held at Boswell Books on February 25th!

What the moon said

 

Wisconsin author Gayle Rosengren: Twitter, Blog, Goodreads for attending the event. Her publisher G. P. Putnam’s Sons provided ARCs of her MG novel, WHAT THE MOON SAID!

One lucky winner will receive an ARC of each of these novels.

(See Rafflecopter below.)

 

 

RECIPES:

Elizabeth Eulberg’s mom’s Cheese Ball recipe as found in BETTER OFF FRIENDS

Cheese Ball

Cheese Ball

cheeseball

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cookies

Cam’s Better Than Sex Chocolate Walnut Cookies, inspired from WAIT FOR YOU by Jennifer Armentrout

 Cam’s Better Than Sex Chocolate Walnut Cookies inspired from Wait for You by Jennifer Armentrout:

I adapted one recipe to create this one:

5 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate – I used Scharffen Berger Brand

1/2 stick butter

1 1/2 cups flour

1/4 cup 100% cocoa powder

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs

2/3 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

3/4 cup chocolate chips

30 whole walnuts, lightly toasted in the oven at 300 degrees – approximately 5 minutes.

1/4 cup powdered sugar

Melt the chocolate and butter in a microwave safe container at 1/2 power. Stir until smooth. Mix flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Beat together eggs and sugar, then add melted chocolate/butter mix and vanilla. Stir in the dry ingredients. Add chocolate chips, stir in with a spoon. Put the dough in the refrigerator for an hour. It will firm up! Take a tablespoon of dough and flatten in a circle in the palm of your hand. Add toasted whole walnut and fold over chocolate dough. Roll into a ball, completely covering the whole walnut. Cover the entire ball in powdered sugar. Place dough on greased cookie pan. Bake cookies at 350 for 8 minutes.  After 8 minutes gently use a fork to flatten the dough to a 1/2 inch thick. Bake for another 2 minutes, then cool cookies on a cooling rack.

Bubble Tea

Bubble Tea

Bubble Tea inspired by THE COLDEST GIRL IN COLDTOWN by12813630 Holly Black: Here’s the recipe we used: Drinks Mixer

Potato Pancakes with Raspberry Jam (use any quality brand) inspired by WHAT THE MOON SAID by Gayle Rosengren

4 cups shredded potatoes

Fondue, cornbread, crepes, and potato pancakes

Fondue, cornbread, crepes, and potato pancakes

2 eggs

1/8 cup flour

1 diced small onion (I didn’t use it for this meal, but I do recommend including it for flavor)

Mix all ingredients together. Spray a cookie pan with vegetable oil. Spoon out a 1/4 cup of potato mixture. Flatten to about 1/4 inch thick. Bake at 425 degrees until the top is brown – about 10 minutes. Flip over with a spatula and brown the other side.

Crepes au Citron inspired by JUST ONE DAY by Gayle Forman

Recipe used: Martha Stewart

 

 

EmpanadasVegetarian Empanadas inspired by THE BOOK OF BROKEN HEARTS by Sarah Ockler

Recipe adapted from Vegetarian Empanadas

Vegetarian Pastitsio inspired by WHERE THE STARS STILL 15826648SHINE by Trish Doller

Pastitsio

Pastitsio

Recipe used: Food.com 

Creamy Custard Pie (Galaktompoureko) inspired by WHERE THE STARS STILL SHINE by Trish Doller

Recipe used: Greek Recipes.TV

Hot chocolate inspired by THE DISTANCE BETWEEN US by Kasie West – I used Omanhene Brand

 

 

 

16045763

Cornbread inspired by RECLAIMED by Sarah Guillory

Recipe used from All Recipes

 

Cheese Fondue as found in Ann Mah’s MASTERING THE ART OF FRENCH EATING: Check out Ann Mah’s Blog. Here’s the recipe straight from Ann’s book:

Fondue

17675004

Giving Back:

One of the suggestions that Heidi had was for us to collect books and donate them to a school in need. I found about Hmong American Peace Academy, a school in Milwaukee desperate for books and in the middle of a library campaign. The school services over 1200 students in K-4 through 12th grade. Over seventy-five books are already in the hands of students.

More photos:

Book Talk:

We utilized best-books-2013Jamie from Perpetual Page Turner’s end-of-the-year survey:

Click here: Jamie’s 2013 End of Year Book Survey 

Q: Best book you read in 2013:

Daughter of Smoke & Bone, In Darkness, The One and Only Ivan, The Testing, The Burning Sky, Sea of Tranquility, Reclaimed, Second Chance Summer, Crown of Midnight, This Song Will Save Your Life, Defy, Things I Can’t Forget, If I Find Me, Tell The Wolves I’m Home, The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, Where the Stars Still Shine, The Winner’s Curse, Covet, Hopeless, Goodbye Rebel Blue, This Journal Belongs to Ratchet, Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

Q: Most surprising (in a good way) book of 2013:

Etiquette & Espionnage, Easy, Dear Cassie, Strands of Bronze and Gold, Six Months Later, Reclaimed, The Absolute True Diary of a Part-time Indian, Tangled, Alice in Zombieland, Uninvited, Unearthly, Stir Me Up, Ruby Red, The Coldest Girl in Coldtown

Q: Book that made you cry or nearly cry in 2013:

Code Name Verity, The Book Thief, Allegiant, Champion, If He Had Been With Me, Second Chance Summer, This Song Will Save Your Life, Things I Can’t Forget, Sea of Tranquility, The Fault in Our Stars, Me Before You, If I Stay

Q: Books you are most anticipating in 2014, non-debut:

The Worlds We Make,  No Surrender Soldier, Dreams of Gods and Monsters, Landline, Ruin & Rising, Panic, Isla and the Happily Ever After, On the Fence, Ignite Me, Split Second, Into the Still Blue, Dissonance

GIVEAWAY: (US & Canada ONLY)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Coldest Girl In Coldtown by Holly Black – Five Star Review
Oct 21st, 2013 by Liza Wiemer

The Coldest Girl In Coldtown by Holly Black – Five Star Review

Published by 12813630Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

 

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.

My review: (I listened to the audiobook first, and then reread the book the next day, that’s how much I loved it.)

Mention blood, and I get woozy. Mention needles, and there is a chance I’ll need to get horizontal before I pass out. But for some glorious reason, I wasn’t bothered one bit from all the blood and gore and even needles mentioned in THE COLDEST GIRL IN COLDTOWN. As a matter of fact, I became completely wrapped up in listening to this audiobook that I decided to take a long afternoon drive to enjoy the fall colors in the country and listen to the novel. After I returned home, I dragged an old CD boom-box in from the garage just to finish listening to it while I cooked dinner, and then folded laundry.

Vampires.

I freakin’ loved a novel about VAMPIRES!

Listening to a novel is most definitely a different experience than reading it. Christine Lakin’s performance took Holly Black’s rich, detailed, vibrant story and brought these characters to life. The key to this book is buying into the fact that vampires are real. (Yes, I know they are not real.) They’re out there and if you’re bitten, then you’ll be infected. Once infected, the only way to not turn into a vampire is isolation for eighty-eight days. There is a near unquenchable thirst for human blood and if the infected give in to that thirst, they’ll turn into vampires.

The story opens with Tana waking up in a bathtub at a farmhouse where she attended a party. Soon, she discovers that almost all of her friends were massacred by bloodthirsty vampires. She finds her ex-boyfriend Aiden still alive, but infected, tied up in a bedroom. Across the room is Gavriel, a vampire in chains. Tana decides to rescue them both.

Tana’s journey with Aiden and Gavriel is absolutely fascinating, dangerous, and unapologetically violent, but not over-the-top scary. THE COLDEST GIRL IN COLDTOWN will make readers think about the power of TV and the Internet and how some sensationalize and embrace the underworld. Vampires were revered by some in a sick, fascinating, cultish way. YA blogged about them, emulated them, wanted to become them. With this desire, the reality and fantasy were too different worlds and Holly Black did an exceptional job of showing the two.

Tana is a heroine of heroines. She’s imperfect, struggles with her own demons, loves those who may not deserve it and goes to extraordinary lengths to protect the people she cares about. Sometimes she succeeds. Sometimes she doesn’t.

THE COLDEST GIRL IN COLDTOWN was my surprise read of the year. I never expected to love it. I did! I never expected that it would make my “top reads list for 2013.” But it did.

Thank you so much, Holly, for writing such an unexpected and gripping vampire novel!! And thank you Christine Lakin for a captivating performance that brought Holly’s characters to life.

NOTE: There’s something remarkably classic about this novel. Think of classic movies/TV shows/books like FUNNY GIRL or DRACULA or SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE or BETWITCHED. Though this novel is  different from those I just mentioned, except perhaps DRACULA, it’s a book that I believe will last the test of time. It’s something you could pick up 20 years from now and still love. Like those old movies, TV shows, & books. 🙂

Buy it:

Barnes and Noble

Amazon

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