Cover Image: Cold

Cold

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Member Reviews

Mariko Tamaki is best known for her wonderful graphic novel collaborations (This One Summer, Skim, and Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me), and this second (I think) YA novel is equally evocative and atmospheric.

The naked body of high school senior, Todd, is found in the snow in the park of a small community. His ghost watches as Detectives Greevy and Daniels investigate his death, filling in the details that they fail to elicit.

In alternating chapters, Georgia, who goes to the same school, watches the investigation from afar while uncomfortably noting the similarities between herself and Todd. They were both ostracized and isolated loners and, possibly connected, they are/were both queer. The connection Georgia feels with Todd deepens when she realizes that she has another connection with him, one that the police don’t seem to know about.

Todd is mostly a passive observer, one who doesn’t bring feelings to what he’s observing - after all, he’s dead. Georgia is the one who feels the need to find out what happened, to explain why Todd was targeted, because she could be him. As with Tamaki’s other novel, Saving Montgomery Sole, small town homophobia and hypocrisy are exposed, in this novel with the gay teacher Mr McVeeter as well as with Todd himself.

The chill of the snow is echoed in the cold that both Todd and Georgia feel at school. Though Mr McVeeter tries to reassure Todd that high school isn’t life, that things will get better, Todd, as many others before and after him, finds that hard to believe, though he does observe the happy home life of Detective Daniels with his chubby red-haired boyfriend.

This is a slight novel which leaves a lot for readers to fill in for themselves, but in a thoughtful rather than sloppy way. The mystery is resolved but Georgia and Todd, and the reader, find no satisfaction from that.

Thanks to Roaring Brook and Netgalley for the digital review copy.
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Thank you to netgalley for providing an e-galley for review. "Cold" by Mariko Tamaki was much different than I was expecting, in a very good way. This is a bright cover that hid a dark story. This is a ghost story, filled with intrigue, wrongful accusations, and cover ups. A cold murder mystery for a winter's day.
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Tamaki enthralls readers with her biting wit and fast paced plot. 
COLD is both mystery and drama that readers will treasure. 

Thank you Morgan Rath and Morgan Kane of Macmillan Kids for recommending COLD to me. Thank you Roaring Press and NetGalley for the digital galley.
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On the surface, cold is a story about the death of a boy and the girl who found the truth of his death.Really, though, this book was about what it's like to feel alone and adrift in a society that necessitates connections to survive. It's about how we all want to feel loved, how we make stupid choices for the people we care about, and how we balance that with our personal morals. I really loved it.

Language: High (multiple uses of f, s, and d)
Violence: Mild
Drugs: Moderate (smoking, teen drinking)
Sex: Moderate (dick pic, homosexuality, brief sexual encounter)
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For a book about death and tragedy, it's somehow not sad or very tragic? Overall, it's a good YA murder mystery that reads really quickly, which I think is a huge point in it's favor. The dual POV, with Todd's ghost POV told in third person which was really interesting and kept me hooked into the story. I also enjoyed seeing how Todd and Georgia's stories interconnected, but their character's lacked depth. 

Overall it was just ok.
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Cold was an interesting thriller, in that the POV writing was a bit unique. We transitioned from the first and third person, depending on the chapter. Our third-person writing was from the ghost perspective, and I've personally never seen this done before. With this story specifically, when this worked it really worked, and when it didn't...it was bad. Tamaki's prose is incredible, and it really shows from the ghost perspective. However, from Georgia's perspective, some of this prose feels detached from the character's personality. Not that we really even get to understand much of her personality, to begin with.

For a ghost story, unfortunately, this wasn't particularly scary or even sad. I didn't feel attached to any of the characters, and the mystery was an easily solvable one. Everything was very surface level, and I think with more in-depth character development, I would have been able to feel a bit more about the whole thing. This wasn't the case, though, and thus the 3-star rating.
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Very belated, but thanks for this arc! I had a great time moderating the panel Mariko was on at SLJ Teen Live. It was a great read and she was a wonderful panelist.
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This is definitely the kind of YA mystery I enjoy: more introspective than suspenseful, with fleshed out characters. Unfortunately, this book did ultimately leave me a little underwhelmed, though. The way things were wrapped up felt unsatisfying after the build-up we got and I was definitely hoping for a little more.
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This was... different. I am not really sure if I liked it or not. If there is a word for that feeling, I am not sure what it is. It was easy to get into though.
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This book was awesome with some tough themes. It's one of those that each character is a different perspective and I felt it was appropriate to give the story a more in-depth look for the readers into the situation as it happened/happens.
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Another good, book by Tamaki.  Cold is told by two different characters: Todd, a high school senior who has recently died, and Georgia, the sister of a boy in Todd's class.  Todd walks the reader through his last days, while Georgia focuses on whether her brother knew Todd or not, and what exactly happened to that dead boy. Was he murdered?  And who would have done it? A good mystery that is a quick read.
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Cold follows two teenagers, Georgia and the recently deceased Todd. The chapters trade off between their points of view; Georgia navigating her life in high school and Todd as a ghost watching the people in his life react to his death. I liked the framing but I think the two povs could have been tied together more cohesively, Georgia didn't even know Todd. The main conflict is the mystery of Todd's death, which has become a point of fascination for Georgia but Georgia's relationships and problems drive the plot. Consequently, Georgia is a more fully-fleshed character than Todd. The midwinter setting lends the book a chilly, dreamy atmosphere that I loved. Cold has the potential to become a cult favorite among YA readers but be warned it is likely to be too mature for most middle schoolers due to language and sexual situations.
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We are lucky whenever we get to read a new offering by Mariko Tamaki. She has an uncanny ability to create unlikable teen girl characters who somehow sneak under your skin and make you feel the motivation behind their choices. In this taut and suspenseful murder mystery, there are no heroes. There is a creeping sense of unease, of cold, that will sink into reader's bones and shake them to their core. This is an unforgettable book that stands with this years best suspense titles, a highly recommended readalike for fans of FIREKEEPER'S DAUGHTER and DARK AND SHALLOW LIES.
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Thank you NetGalley and Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group for allowing me to read this ARC in exchange for an honest review. 

I will just state that this book was not for me. I like narratives that are more linear and don’t jump around. I completely understand that the theme and focus of this book call for a narrative that is more loose and has a different flow from what I respond too. 

Overall, Mariko Tamaki is an excellent writer. The book itself was beautifully written and very artful. Just wasn’t able to connect with this book the way I would have liked.
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*Note: I received a free ARC of this title. It will not affect my thoughts or feelings towards the title*

 I thought this book was a great quick murder mystery read. I thought Mariko Tamaki did a great job having the pieces  of the puzzle slowly come together and make it so the read was able to solve the murder along with our main character. Some of things I really enjoyed about the book was having two POV's. I think it really helped the book keep a really nice pace. I thought the representation in the book was only mediocre but it was still nice seeing it. My only complaint about the story would have to be that I wish it had more time to breath and develop some of the characters more so we can become more attached to them. Overall a really solid quick murder mystery. Final ratting 3.5/5 rounded down.
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3 out of 5 stars. Thank you, netgalley and publisher for the early copy. I flew through this ya mystery. I enjoyed it but felt that it could have been longer.
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3.5 stars. need to think about this one, full rtc! 

thank you NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with an ARC of this book!
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great story of boy who has died and someone thinking of him. Trying to remember him. Great story of love and school and trying to find one's way. reminded me of lovely bones too.
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This book was just okay. I was hoping for a bit more mystery or tension or buildup, but ultimately that just wasn't there.. I also felt like the book was very short - It would have been nice to have some more pages added to fully flesh out the story.
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i’ve always enjoyed tamaki’s work, and this book was no different, though a different flavor. while i found myself enraptured through todd and georgia’s interconnected story, i felt no major pushes or takeaways while reading it (or even after it). cold feels like a long walk on a winter night, chilling you in the moment but leaving you the minute warm air hits you. while i also liked the lgbt representation in its many forms, it also just felt sudden when certain events occurred in the end, though i guess the build up was there? i dunno. i can say i liked this book, its prose snd its words, but it wouldn’t be on a reclist, and i probably wouldn’t read it again.
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