Day 18: The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black
I don’t like vampire stories. You should know that.
I really like “The Coldest Girl in Coldtown.”
Tidla is just awesome – she’s trying to save herself from becoming a vampire for a guy who doesn’t deserve it, but Julian’s still her touchstone. And then she gives up everything to go to Coldtown to save him and the girl he followed there, the girl he actually loves.
The story starts ugly, with an underage girl getting drunk with older guys who buy her the booze because they hope she’ll sleep with them:
Both of the guys laughed. She tried to laugh with them even though she knew she wasn’t included in the joke. She was the joke. The trashy little slut. The girl who can be bought for a big fat wine cooler and three cranberry-and-vodkas.
She wants the numbness from alcohol to kill her desire to drink blood, to stop her from going all the way over.
Coldtown is the ultimate rave, where the eternally young and pretty party all the time, and there a teens stupid enough to want to join them. Like Lydia, the girl Julian really loves. At the end of the story Matilda decides to deglamorize the idea of becoming a vampire by showing the world Lydia waiting out the 88 days for the infection to leave her bloodstream:
For eighty-eight days you are going to watch someone sweat out the infection. You are going to watch her beg and scream and cry. You’re going to watch her throw up food and piss her pants and pass out. You’re going to watch me feed her can after can of creamed corn. It’s not going to be pretty.
You’re going to watch me, too. I’m the kind of vampire that you’d be, one who’s new at this and basically out of control. I’ve already killed someone and I can’t guarantee I’m not going to do it again. I’m the one who infected this girl.