I blame The Lost Boys, as I’m sure does every straight woman raised in the 80s. If it hadn’t been for that vampire gateway-drug, I probably never would’ve picked up a single Anne Rice book. I think without The Lost Boys, we wouldn’t have Twilight Moms… for most of those women? 1987 was a formative year. I was just entering my own adolescent angst period, and I blame my love of vampire novels (and angsty teenage stories) entirely on The Lost Boys. Have a thing for tormented bad boys? Check! Do you like the pretty boys who just want to fit in and make you happy? Check! All-night parties and angst-filled declarations of love your thing? CHECK! Really, the vampire novel is the ultimate expression of teenage emotion. Imagine, then, my excitement when I learned that Holly Black, mistress of all things dark and cool YA, had written a teen vampire novel: The Coldest Girl in Coldtown (Little Brown, 9780316213103 $21.00).
Be warned: these are not your cuddly sparkly vampires. While they most definitely live up to the vampire lore and tradition of lush, lavish, over-the-top glamorous lives, these are ruthless and (of course!) tormented creatures who don’t exhibit Edward’s restraint when it comes to the blood-lust. In a place not far from our own, vampirism is an infection that can be held off if the bitten victim does not consume human blood for 88 days. At least it can in theory—no one’s ever seen it happen. When Tana is one of two survivors of an attack on a teenage house party, she and her ex-boyfriend Aidan (who is Cold, or infected) head to the nearest Coldtown (a ghetto where all vampires are legally required to live, which attracts Colds and humans alike) with a ‘rescued’ vampire in tow. The vampire is Tana’s ticket out—she will turn in her charming and annoying ex, along with the vampire as bounty and thereby earn herself a marker to get back out. What follows is a gripping story with plenty of humour and self-awareness as we watch Tana try to balance doing so many right things that you know she’s going to fail. The culmination of events happens at the most gorgeous and self-indulgent of vampire parties and it is replete with the required jewels, gowns, blood and gore. There had better be a sequel, and fast, because I have questions and I need tormented vampire answers!!!