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Halloween & Horror!

Edgar Allan Poe - Great Tales and Poems
A collection of the Gothic master's classic works in prose and verse.
This Enriched Classic Edition Includes: A concise introduction that gives the reader important background information. A chronology of the author's life and work.  A timeline of significant events that provides the book's historical context. An outline of key themes and plot points to guide the reader's own interpretations. Detailed explanatory notes. Critical analysis, including contemporary and modern perspectives on the work. Discussion questions to promote lively classroom and book group interaction.  A list of recommended related books and films to broaden the reader's experience.
Enriched Classics offer readers affordable editions of great works of literature enhanced by helpful notes and insightful commentary. The scholarship provided in Enriched Classics enables readers to appreciate, understand, and enjoy the world's finest books to their full potential. 

Holly Black - Coldest Girl In Coldtown

Fran & Amber Recommend:

When both Amber and international bestselling author Yasmine Galenorn tell me I have to read a book, I take them seriously.

Holly Black's The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, while being marketed as a YA novel, is certainly complex enough for all readers of urban fantasy. The premise is that vampirism, once hidden, has through an unhappy accident spread throughout the world. Humans don't go out at night, and anyone who's infected is legally required to go to a Coldtown, a prison-city where vampires, vampire wanna-be's, and people who are Cold -- bitten by a vampire but not yet turned -- must go.

If you're Cold, it is possible to shake it off and be human again. You just have to go 88 days without drinking human blood. There's a very, very slight chance of being able to do it, but it is possible. It is illegal to do this on your own, however. You have to go to a Coldtown, and very rarely are people allowed to leave.

Tana is 17, and has gone to a popular themed teenage party, a Sundowner party, where teens lock themselves in from dusk to dawn with garlic and holy water at the windows, and party. However, this time, when Tana wakes up, everyone is dead. Everyone, that is, except her jerk of an ex-boyfriend, Aidan, and a vampire. In a twist, both are chained up, Aidan is infected with the Cold, and the vampire is unable to reach him. It takes no time for Tana to realize that both Aidan and the vampire are being set up by someone, and she resolves to save both.

That decision will change Tana forever. Caught in a series of increasingly bad options, she does what she can to save as many people as she can, including Gavriel, the vampire.

Amber called The Coldest Girl in Coldtown "noir-ish" and she's right. This is not a sparkling, easy read. Bad, bad things happen and they're sometimes difficult. Holly Black deftly shows us that it's easy to see only the glamour of the vampire, but the truth is that they're a completely different species and they're not pretty or romantic; that's their illusion, but not their truth.

I really liked Black's heroine, Tana. She knows she's caught in a series of bad decisions, she does what she can to make things right, and she never gives up, either on herself or others. She may very well be one of the best female protagonists to come along in a while, and I've got to say that if you like urban fantasy and strong female leads, this is an amazing and hard-hitting book. I wouldn't recommend it for anyone under 15, because some of the situations are really fairly disturbing, but after that caveat, I strongly recommend The Coldest Girl in Coldtown to everyone who likes a solid story with multi-layered people dealing with horrible situations the best way they know how.

Thank you, Amber and Yasmine! You're absolutely right!


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