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The Coldest Touch

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Elise Beaumont is cursed. With every touch, she experiences exactly how her loved ones will die. And after her brother’s death—a death she predicted but was unable to prevent—Elise is desperate to get rid of her terrible gift, no matter the cost. Claire Montgomery also has a unique relationship with death, mostly because she’s already dead. Technically, anyway. Claire is a Elise Beaumont is cursed. With every touch, she experiences exactly how her loved ones will die. And after her brother’s death—a death she predicted but was unable to prevent—Elise is desperate to get rid of her terrible gift, no matter the cost. Claire Montgomery also has a unique relationship with death, mostly because she’s already dead. Technically, anyway. Claire is a vampire, and she’s been assigned by the Veil to help Elise master her rare Death Oracle powers. At first, Elise is reluctant to work with a vampire, but when she predicts a teacher’s imminent murder, she’s determined to stop the violent death, even if it means sacrificing her own future to secure Claire’s help. The trouble is, Claire and Elise aren’t the only paranormals in town—a killer is stalking the streets, and Claire can’t seem to shake the pull she feels toward Elise, a romance that could upend the Veil’s mission. But as Elise and Claire grow closer, Elise begins to wonder—can she really trust someone tasked with securing her loyalty? Someone who could so easily kill her? Someone who might hold the key to unraveling her brother’s mysterious death?


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Elise Beaumont is cursed. With every touch, she experiences exactly how her loved ones will die. And after her brother’s death—a death she predicted but was unable to prevent—Elise is desperate to get rid of her terrible gift, no matter the cost. Claire Montgomery also has a unique relationship with death, mostly because she’s already dead. Technically, anyway. Claire is a Elise Beaumont is cursed. With every touch, she experiences exactly how her loved ones will die. And after her brother’s death—a death she predicted but was unable to prevent—Elise is desperate to get rid of her terrible gift, no matter the cost. Claire Montgomery also has a unique relationship with death, mostly because she’s already dead. Technically, anyway. Claire is a vampire, and she’s been assigned by the Veil to help Elise master her rare Death Oracle powers. At first, Elise is reluctant to work with a vampire, but when she predicts a teacher’s imminent murder, she’s determined to stop the violent death, even if it means sacrificing her own future to secure Claire’s help. The trouble is, Claire and Elise aren’t the only paranormals in town—a killer is stalking the streets, and Claire can’t seem to shake the pull she feels toward Elise, a romance that could upend the Veil’s mission. But as Elise and Claire grow closer, Elise begins to wonder—can she really trust someone tasked with securing her loyalty? Someone who could so easily kill her? Someone who might hold the key to unraveling her brother’s mysterious death?

30 review for The Coldest Touch

  1. 4 out of 5

    theresa

    from the author's twitter: 'a lesbian vampire is hired to recruit a human girl with the power to see the death of anyone she touches. murder and romance ensues' also they team up to stop a killer. basically isabel sterling is giving us sapphic vampires. everyone say thank you isabel sterling. I also talk about books here: youtube | instagram | twitter from the author's twitter: 'a lesbian vampire is hired to recruit a human girl with the power to see the death of anyone she touches. murder and romance ensues' also they team up to stop a killer. basically isabel sterling is giving us sapphic vampires. everyone say thank you isabel sterling. I also talk about books here: youtube | instagram | twitter

  2. 4 out of 5

    Emma☀️

    rtc Thank you to Hodder & Stoughton and Netgalley for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Fanna

    May 22, 2020: The book has just been announced and I can't wait for this lesbian vampire story OMG! May 22, 2020: The book has just been announced and I can't wait for this lesbian vampire story OMG!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Tina's Bookish Life

    spoiler-free review: Thank you to Penguin Teen and NetGalley for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Unfortunately, I did have to DNF this at 17%. I went into this SO EXCITED because it was marketed as sapphic twilight (which I guess was there). What bothered me about this and made me stop reading it was the blatantly forced diversity. There are multiple examples of this: “Across the polished mahogany table, a Korean American girl pushes her pesto risotto around with a spoon” spoiler-free review: Thank you to Penguin Teen and NetGalley for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Unfortunately, I did have to DNF this at 17%. I went into this SO EXCITED because it was marketed as sapphic twilight (which I guess was there). What bothered me about this and made me stop reading it was the blatantly forced diversity. There are multiple examples of this: “Across the polished mahogany table, a Korean American girl pushes her pesto risotto around with a spoon” “Grace, a white girl with light brown hair that falls all the way to her lower back, nods.” “‘I wouldn’t bother,’ says a voice behind us. A Black boy, not the one from the homecoming photos, steps into view” "Coach Cochrane, a white man in his forties with dark hair streaked through with gray, appears from his office" AND THE ONE THAT FRUSTRATES ME MOST: “Maggie, a petite Korean American girl with dark hair that falls past her shoulders, stands near the stairs that lead to the school's grand entrance.” THIS IS HER BEST FRIEND SHE'S TALKING ABOUT. MAGGIE IS SUPPOSEDLY HER BEST FRIEND FROM 6TH GRADE?? WHO THINKS THAT ONCE THEY SEE THEIR BEST FRIEND THEY'VE KNOWN FOR YEARS??? The diversity rep is so forced it literally doesn’t even make sense. It’s only provided this book with bad representation and bad writing. Every single time a character speaks their name and race are mentioned. There is a right way to add diversity and representation into books and this was not it. Mentioning a character's race every time they speak does not make a book diverse. I literally could not take it anymore and had to DNF. WHICH UPSETS ME BECAUSE I WANTED A SAPPHIC TWILIGHT SO BAD. But this is what I got. These are just my thoughts but I'd love to hear your opinions as well!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Kal ★ Reader Voracious

    ✨ You can read an excerpt here on Penguin Teen! 03.09.2021: OH MY GOD THE COVER REVEAL HAS MURDERED ME AND NOW I AM A SHELL OF A HUMAN 5.27.2020: Isabel announced Twitter "A lesbian vampire is hired to recruit a human girl with the power to see the death of anyone she touches. Murder and romance ensues." I need this. Now. Blog | Twitter | Pinterest ✨ You can read an excerpt here on Penguin Teen! 03.09.2021: OH MY GOD THE COVER REVEAL HAS MURDERED ME AND NOW I AM A SHELL OF A HUMAN 5.27.2020: Isabel announced Twitter "A lesbian vampire is hired to recruit a human girl with the power to see the death of anyone she touches. Murder and romance ensues." I need this. Now. Blog | Twitter | Pinterest

  6. 4 out of 5

    rachel ☾

    .... a contemporary fantasy follows Elise, a mortal girl who feels the death of anyone she touches, and Claire, the vampire assigned to recruit her for the ORder, as they team up to stop a paranormal killer and realize they might be falling in love. how can i resist when you pitch it as "the f/f vampire murder mystery of your dreams!!" Blog • Trigger Warning Database • Twitter • Instagram .... a contemporary fantasy follows Elise, a mortal girl who feels the death of anyone she touches, and Claire, the vampire assigned to recruit her for the ORder, as they team up to stop a paranormal killer and realize they might be falling in love. how can i resist when you pitch it as "the f/f vampire murder mystery of your dreams!!" Blog • Trigger Warning Database • Twitter • Instagram

  7. 4 out of 5

    Andy

    Thank you to Penguin Teen and Netgalley for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. 4.5/5 I really hope there will be a sequel!! The Coldest Touch is a YA supernatural urban fantasy story that centers on two teenagers: Elise, a girl with strange powers to see how people die when she touches them, and Claire, a vampire who works for the Veil, a mysterious supernatural agency. Elise just wants to be a normal teenager, but after her brother dies and she develops my Thank you to Penguin Teen and Netgalley for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. 4.5/5 I really hope there will be a sequel!! The Coldest Touch is a YA supernatural urban fantasy story that centers on two teenagers: Elise, a girl with strange powers to see how people die when she touches them, and Claire, a vampire who works for the Veil, a mysterious supernatural agency. Elise just wants to be a normal teenager, but after her brother dies and she develops mystery death powers, she feels like her world is crumbling. Claire is out for vengeance against her maker, but before she can be granted that she has to teach Elise to use her Death Oracle powers so Elise can begin working for the Veil. I loved this book so much!! It was so much fun and I need more queer supernatural books like this. I loved seeing Elise and Claire's relationship develop. The death oracle powers were so cool and I loved all the training Elise went through. Besides that, there's also a murder mystery going on. There are definitely darker aspects to this book, but I loved every second of it. I really would like to know more about the Veil, and what exactly they all do to protect supernaturals. I also want to see more Death Oracle powers, bc it was the coolest part of this book! I also loved all the diversity in the book. Wynn is my favorite nonbinary vampire ever and I need more vamps like them! Rep: white questioning-bisexual female MC, white lesbian female MC, Black bi/pansexual male side character, Black female side character, white nonbinary side character, adopted Korean American female side character. CWs: Abandonment, alcohol consumption, blood, child death, death, grief, murder, violence.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Val

    Actual rating: 3.5 Thanks to Edelweiss and Razorbill for providing me with an early copy. The book comes out on December 7th. “I didn’t know it was possible to miss someone who’s in the same room as you.” For anyone who was waiting for something like Carry On but with sapphics, here is a book for you. The story follows a girl named Elise who has an unusual gift. By touching people she can see the way they will die. Elise is haunted by her brother’s death and the fact that she saw how he will di Actual rating: 3.5 Thanks to Edelweiss and Razorbill for providing me with an early copy. The book comes out on December 7th. “I didn’t know it was possible to miss someone who’s in the same room as you.” For anyone who was waiting for something like Carry On but with sapphics, here is a book for you. The story follows a girl named Elise who has an unusual gift. By touching people she can see the way they will die. Elise is haunted by her brother’s death and the fact that she saw how he will die but she couldn’t do anything to save him. That’s why now she avoids touching other people. That is until she meets Claire. Claire is a vampire who was assigned by the vampire council to help train Elise’s power in order for them to achieve their goals. Because Claire is a vampire Elise is now able to touch someone without fear of seeing their death. Together they are trying to discover what or who stands behind mysterious murders that have been happening near them. First, what drew me to this book. Look at that cover!! Brilliant, incredible, amazing, show stopping, spectacular, never the same!!! Beside the main two characters who are sapphics, there is also a non binary side character and a pansexual side character. I like that the story approaches all these identities by not making a big deal out of them. There isn’t any homophobia or usage of wrong pronouns. The writing style was solid, it’s simple and it was easy to understand what’s going on. I liked the characters and would love to learn even more about them. The friendship dynamic was really cute and I loved how supportive Elise’s friends were. I didn’t really like the romantic aspects of the book as much I guess. For a story that heavily relies on a premise of a romance between vampire and human girl, I wasn’t sold completely. To me there wasn’t that much chemistry between Elise and Claire. I got a little annoyed with Claire because almost every time they had bigger things on their hands Claire was making it all about her and Elise and how Elise wouldn’t reciprocate her feelings and so on. There is also the very obvious “age gap” between them despite Claire still being stuck in a teenage body. I could get behind that but I feel there was an attempt to constantly justify that by reminding us Claire was turned into a vampire as a minor so there’s this thing which makes it that her brain wasn’t fully developed yet so she isn’t an adult. I also just expected something more from the story. The basic premise should be Elise training to learn how to use her gift but that somewhat happened in the deus ex machina way especially at the end. It was a fun read but I’m sad I didn’t enjoy it a lot more. Review also posted on my my blog.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jamie

    So December feels like a weird month to read a YA Vampire novel, but back in October I marathoned Isabel Sterling's witch series (These Witches Don't Burn, This Coven Won't Break) and absolutely was into the world she created in those book. So I was very excited when she had a new book about Vampires out and I was interested in the paranormal world she created here. The Coldest Touch is about Elise Beaumont and Claire Montgomery. Elise has recently been cursed with the ability to see how people So December feels like a weird month to read a YA Vampire novel, but back in October I marathoned Isabel Sterling's witch series (These Witches Don't Burn, This Coven Won't Break) and absolutely was into the world she created in those book. So I was very excited when she had a new book about Vampires out and I was interested in the paranormal world she created here. The Coldest Touch is about Elise Beaumont and Claire Montgomery. Elise has recently been cursed with the ability to see how people are going to die by touching them. She hates this especially as it arrives right after the death of her brother. Claire is a Vampire and is sent to help Elise control and master her powers so that the Veil (a Vampire leadership group) can ally with Elise. Elise is skeptical of Claire's place in her life but they are forced to team up when another paranormal force is going around murdering people Elise knows. There's a lot to like about this book. This is an independent book from Sterling's witches series, but I do really like her agility to build supernatural worlds that exist in our modern one simultaneously. It's very immersive and just makes it really fun to read and imagine. Elise and Claire are both really cool and nuanced characters. Both are imperfect people and have had a hell of a past, and watching them come together was very touching. I really liked the character work seen in both of our mains. The side characters were compelling too even though we don't get as many details about them. I particularly loved Wynn, a nonbinary vampire and who often acts as Claire's older sibling, and Jordan- Elise's ex boyfriend. I do have some issues with this book though, and I'm going to need to throw them under a spoiler tag because I don't know how to discuss them otherwise, but essentially I have some questions about how things happened to the characters that I didn't feel were explained, as well as the ending felt very unsatisfactory to me. (view spoiler)[ So as for explanations of what happened to some characters- I was wondering this entire book about Elise became the Death Oracle. Like it happened after she saw her brother die but how? Is it just arbitrary who gets this supernatural "gift"? Since its joked about a few times that the vampires might kill her and get a different Oracle when she doesn't necessarily want to help seemed off. Just the whole process of how one becomes the Death Oracle never gets explained- and for it to be a major part of the book I just wish I knew more. Additionally on a similar note I don't think it ever was explained how Elise's brother survived his accident and became a vampire. Like he just shows up and we're expected to just roll with it. But like, how did it happen? I like Sterling's overall worldbuilding but I feel like there are areas she needed to expand on more. Also the ending. The book just kinda ends. The main villain gets away, Claire and Elise kiss without discussing their hangups or what they are going to do next relationship wise. It all just felt very unsatisfactory. This could all be easily excused if there is a sequel, but I saw Sterling answer a question here on GR that this is supposed to be a standalone novel. So it just all leaves a meh taste in my mouth (hide spoiler)] All in all I did enjoy this book. I like Sterling's knack for supernatural writing- it's really fun. Unfortunately this book just didn't work for me as much as her previous ones have. 2.5/5 rounding up.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Victoria ♡

    THIS!! My god this is exactly what I needed rn, sapphic paranormal romance?? It was just perfect! The right amount of drama, a really good slow burn, just the whole thing was so satisfying! I love them so much the stupid idiots I had such a good time!!! The rep in this book was really good too I really loved reading it and I’m now dying to read more from this author ahhhh!!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Janna

    “The Coldest Touch” by Isabel Sterling is a sapphic paranormal YA book and I enjoyed it a lot. I’ve loved Sterling’s previous queer YA urban fantasy series “These Witches Don’t Burn” just as much by the way. I love how Sterling incorporates magical elements into our world. Her books never make me feel confused about worldbuilding, it’s easy to get lost in the new reality she shapes for her characters. Elise and Claire are our two main characters here. Elise just lost her brother a couple of months “The Coldest Touch” by Isabel Sterling is a sapphic paranormal YA book and I enjoyed it a lot. I’ve loved Sterling’s previous queer YA urban fantasy series “These Witches Don’t Burn” just as much by the way. I love how Sterling incorporates magical elements into our world. Her books never make me feel confused about worldbuilding, it’s easy to get lost in the new reality she shapes for her characters. Elise and Claire are our two main characters here. Elise just lost her brother a couple of months ago and at the same time received the gift of being the Death Oracle, meaning she sees every person’s death by touching them. Except Claire’s. Because Claire is already dead. She’s a vampire who’s supposed to help Elise figure out her powers. I was intrigued by this premise and I wasn’t disappointed. I love that Elise has two amazing friends, who love her just as deeply as she loves them. It was interesting to get to know more about Claire, who can be a bit morally grey at times. She wants revenge for the person who turned her into a vampire. In terms of representation there’s Korean American and Black representation, as well as, bisexual/pansexual and other queer representation. There’s also an important non-binary side character and the whole text reads very trans inclusive! The twists were maybe a tiny bit predictable, but overall, I think this book is so worth the read!

  12. 4 out of 5

    alana ♡

    Sapphic vampires? Sign me the F up.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jamie (TheRebelliousReader)

    3 stars. This was just fine. Really cool plot about a Death Oracle and a vampire but the execution wasn’t the best. The characters of Elise and Claire were okay. I found that I didn’t care about them one way or another. I didn’t hate them but I wasn’t that into either of them. There are a lot of plot holes and things left unresolved in the end. And the diversity in this was the most forced and awkward thing I’ve read in a minute. None of it was natural and every character in this was described b 3 stars. This was just fine. Really cool plot about a Death Oracle and a vampire but the execution wasn’t the best. The characters of Elise and Claire were okay. I found that I didn’t care about them one way or another. I didn’t hate them but I wasn’t that into either of them. There are a lot of plot holes and things left unresolved in the end. And the diversity in this was the most forced and awkward thing I’ve read in a minute. None of it was natural and every character in this was described by their race which pulled me out of the story every single time. It felt like it was done just to win some cool points from book twitter or something. It was just so phony to me. The writing isn’t bad though and it’s paced really well which makes it a quick read. I can’t say that I was ever bored while reading this. Three stars because it was entertaining but I have yet to really like a book by this author. I don’t think Sterling’s books are my things because I've yet to read one that really hit the mark for me.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Bethany

    DNF at 20% I'm sad I wasn't more into this because the concept is great! A sapphic paranormal story with a vampire and a girl who can see how people will die? Sounds cool! I was hoping for something mysterious and page turning, but it reads more like your typical YA contemporary and lacks any sense of mystery. Honestly I was just really bored. Everything about who these characters are is told to you, you don't get to feel how freaked out the human character might be encountering a potential vampi DNF at 20% I'm sad I wasn't more into this because the concept is great! A sapphic paranormal story with a vampire and a girl who can see how people will die? Sounds cool! I was hoping for something mysterious and page turning, but it reads more like your typical YA contemporary and lacks any sense of mystery. Honestly I was just really bored. Everything about who these characters are is told to you, you don't get to feel how freaked out the human character might be encountering a potential vampire, you kind of know most of what the stakes seem to be, so it's more just about a girl dealing with trauma after the loss of her brother and new ability to see how people will die. Not bad necessarily and I think there are readers who will still like this, but nothing here is intriguing me enough to want to keep reading.

  15. 5 out of 5

    megs_bookrack

    want want want want 😋🖤

  16. 4 out of 5

    Alice 🌙

    4.5 ⭐️ This was so good! Paranormal and LGBT? Always a yes in my book.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Star

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Content warnings: death, murder, blood, manipulation (vampire power of 'compelling'). Rep: Elise (MC) is bisexual (semi-said on page), Claire is lesbian (not said on page, just the word 'gay'), Wyn (side character) is non-binary, Jordan is bisexual and Black, Maggie (side character) is Korean-American. Several other side characters are POC and/or queer. Claire, a lesbian vampire tasked with finding Elise, a teenage girl who can see people's deaths with a touch. Claire and Elise meet when Elise is Content warnings: death, murder, blood, manipulation (vampire power of 'compelling'). Rep: Elise (MC) is bisexual (semi-said on page), Claire is lesbian (not said on page, just the word 'gay'), Wyn (side character) is non-binary, Jordan is bisexual and Black, Maggie (side character) is Korean-American. Several other side characters are POC and/or queer. Claire, a lesbian vampire tasked with finding Elise, a teenage girl who can see people's deaths with a touch. Claire and Elise meet when Elise is trying to get rid of what she thinks is a 'curse' placed upon herself. Just before the death of her brother, Elise realises she can see the deaths of people she touches. It's agonising to her as she experiences it with them - the horror of it all taking its toll on her. Claire, however, is keen on training Elise in her powers because of the people she works for - the Vale. Who want to use Elise for their own reasons. Her powers mean more than just seeing people's deaths, and they want to use that for their own advantage. * This book is one I have been looking forward to since I heard that Isabel was writing another one. I feel like this could be book 1 of another duology? I felt like there was a lot alluded to the fact that there could potentially be another book to companion this one. I thoroughly enjoyed the slow development of Claire and Elise's feelings towards each other, and the way they interacted was so very wonderful. The mystery shrouding who killed the previous Death Oracle, as well as what this mysterious Delilah wants from Elise was so fun and captivating. This one was fast paced and kept me interested from start to finish. The only downside is that I wanted a bit more than one kiss from Elise and Claire's relationship. I'd love to have seen that more developed. And I am hoping there will be a second book so we can see that happen. 4.5/5 stars

  18. 5 out of 5

    April (bookedtillmidnight)

    sapphic vampires! sapphic vampires! sapphic vampires! First off, big thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This did not affect my opinions in any way. Let us start with the fact that The Coldest Touch might convert me into a vampire enthusiast yet. Normally I’m firmly anti-vampire, but the intriguing premise and promise of sapphic romance was enough to lure me to the dark side. This might be one of the only times “lure” sapphic vampires! sapphic vampires! sapphic vampires! First off, big thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This did not affect my opinions in any way. Let us start with the fact that The Coldest Touch might convert me into a vampire enthusiast yet. Normally I’m firmly anti-vampire, but the intriguing premise and promise of sapphic romance was enough to lure me to the dark side. This might be one of the only times “lure” is used in a positive context, because holy cow, I’m so glad I was in fact lured. Sterling creates a darkly intriguing world filled with all sorts of supernatural entities and spooky delights. The whole premise of the Death Oracle (a person who can predict death) combined with all the other elements of the world make for a truly magical read. Combine it with light writing and snappy dialogue, and you have an all around captivating read. --- The Coldest Touch has a lot of great things going for it, but I wish there would have been more stakes throughout the book. We felt some of it towards the end, but I wish it would have had more urgency throughout. I felt like I was being dragged through the events, rather than experiencing the story unfold. The pacing honestly feels all over the place because the vast majority of this book was spent training. That didn’t help with the whole “being dragged along” effect. Maybe if The Coldest Touch had leaned more into the complicated political climate within the Veil and less on training, training, and more training some parts wouldn’t have felt as dragged out. --- Additionally, some of the side characters felt a bit underdeveloped. Like vehicles to move the plot forward. This applies more to Elise’s friends than to the other characters (like Wyn) but it is still something that irked me a bit. Especially because parts of the beginning were reliant on Elise having to rebuild friendships following her brother’s death, I needed a bit more development to care. That being said, the found family sort of relationship between Wyn and Claire is one of my favorites from the book. The way they bickered like siblings, but still supported each other was just brilliant. --- The way the conflict gets resolved wasn’t my favorite. I don’t want to say it was too easy, but also… it felt too easy. Like we spent the whole book building up to this dramatic confrontation just for it to feel anticlimactic. And then a huge uno-reverse is pulled on one of the main motivators for the entire plot. Which sort of felt like it was unraveling the entire point of everything ever. --- All and all, The Coldest Touch is a fun spooky read. I’d recommend it to anyone looking for low-fantasy, dual pov, and some good ole vampires! But in the meantime, add it to your tbr if it sounds intriguing!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Chloe Louise

    Thank you to Hodder and Stoughton and NetGalley for an advanced readers copy in exchange for my honest review. The Coldest Touch was one of my most anticipated reads this end of 2021 and it certainly did not disappoint. It is the first book that I have read by Isabel Sterling and I can without a doubt say that I absolutely love her writing style. The Coldest Touch is a YA f/f paranormal book following Elise, a girl cursed with being able to predict people’s death through touching them, and Clai Thank you to Hodder and Stoughton and NetGalley for an advanced readers copy in exchange for my honest review. The Coldest Touch was one of my most anticipated reads this end of 2021 and it certainly did not disappoint. It is the first book that I have read by Isabel Sterling and I can without a doubt say that I absolutely love her writing style. The Coldest Touch is a YA f/f paranormal book following Elise, a girl cursed with being able to predict people’s death through touching them, and Claire, a Vampire tasked to help Elise embrace and use her power correctly. I absolutely adored pretty much everything about this book. I loved the LGBTQIA+ representation, the found family aspect, and the addition of a murder mystery. It was such a quick and easy read, I didn’t feel like I was missing much and I didn’t become confused at any point. Due to it being fast-paced, I felt like a couple of things were rushed which left me wanting more so I really hope there’s a sequel! I loved the characters and their relationship, especially the development of the relationship between Elise and Claire. It was just so cute and adorable. As for Elise’s father, whilst I understood he was processing what happened to their family in his own way, I still wanted to punch him so bad. I did want to see a bit more of other Vampires as well as other paranormal/fantasy beings mentioned in the book such as witches and fae. The setting was pretty much consistent, there were no complicated places being mentioned I could picture the different settings quite well (i.e. the school and character’s houses) which is something I love in books. Overall, this book is perfect if you’re looking for a fast-paced book with paranormal sapphics and a murder mystery.

  20. 5 out of 5

    lapetitepritt

    I am once again so sad to not have liked a book. I really enjoyed the author's first duology (even if the first book was definitely the strongest one), so I hoped I would love this standalone as well. Sadly, there's not a single thing I can save: the plot was basic and predictable, the characters flat and the writing style very simple and a bit cliché. I really didn't like the two main character's POVs, they felt very similar, probably because neither of them had any depth. I liked the diversity, I am once again so sad to not have liked a book. I really enjoyed the author's first duology (even if the first book was definitely the strongest one), so I hoped I would love this standalone as well. Sadly, there's not a single thing I can save: the plot was basic and predictable, the characters flat and the writing style very simple and a bit cliché. I really didn't like the two main character's POVs, they felt very similar, probably because neither of them had any depth. I liked the diversity, but that's not enough to save a book which is not enough fantasy, not enough contemporary and not enough mystery. I think the author needs to work on the characters a bit more and maybe in the edited version they will be more interesting, but as this ARC, I didn't feel for them. I always say that good characters, for me, can save a plotless or predictable book. If I fall in love with the character, I can close an eye as far as the story is concerned, but really they felt super fake and they had zero personality. I didn't even like the secondary characters, which is rare for me (they are usually my favourite). Another thing I strongly disliked is the romance, which felt forced and not at all engaging. Maybe vampires are not for me, but I think it's more the book's fault. Hopefully, someone else will enjoy this book more than I did. Maybe if you are new to the YA paranormal fantasy subgenre, you'll really like this. Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing an e-ARC.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Delara

    Yeah, this was a whole lot of fun. I'll be back soon with a review of this YA fantasy horror but all I have to say is this: SAPPHIC. VAMPIRES. You're welcome. Oh! Totally forgot to mention: NONBINARY. VAMPIRES. //nudges book at you// Yeah, this was a whole lot of fun. I'll be back soon with a review of this YA fantasy horror but all I have to say is this: SAPPHIC. VAMPIRES. You're welcome. Oh! Totally forgot to mention: NONBINARY. VAMPIRES. //nudges book at you//

  22. 4 out of 5

    Cassidy Newman

    lesbian vampire you say?!? yes please

  23. 4 out of 5

    Fang

    first gay witches and now a gay vampire? isabel sterling is giving the gays everything they want

  24. 4 out of 5

    Isobel Radakovic

    I was very intrigued by the concept of The Coldest Touch, as it featured an interesting take on the classic vampire trope in YA literature. The book started off very strong, and I enjoyed the introduction to Claire and Elise, the two protagonists, and their respective personalities and lives. I also liked how there was a little more to the story than the typical human girl being introduced to the concept of vampires being real, with the 'Death Oracle' element. I enjoyed how diverse the book was I was very intrigued by the concept of The Coldest Touch, as it featured an interesting take on the classic vampire trope in YA literature. The book started off very strong, and I enjoyed the introduction to Claire and Elise, the two protagonists, and their respective personalities and lives. I also liked how there was a little more to the story than the typical human girl being introduced to the concept of vampires being real, with the 'Death Oracle' element. I enjoyed how diverse the book was in terms of the characters identities, but I do think the big selling point of the book to many people was its LGBT romance between the main characters, which I didn't feel was fleshed out enough. The potential wasn't met in that aspect of the book, and it felt very unresolved even by the end. I also feel that the book dipped in the second half, with the pacing increasing hugely and plot points being introduced that were just confusing.

  25. 5 out of 5

    graycie

    i wish i loved this so much more than i did. the premise of a sapphic vampire/mortal forbidden romance sounded so good but the rest of the book … i think there could have been so much more world building for a 400 page book, some characters just felt empty & the ending was just not for me

  26. 4 out of 5

    gabi maria ❀

    give me a sequel right now edit: I lowered my rating after thinking a lot since yesterday, so much didn't make sense in this ending, like the author didn't have more space to write... things that bothered me a lot (which probably wouldn't if it was initially thought to be a series) (view spoiler)[1. what happened to Rose? 2. what happened to maggie? 3. why nick wasn't taken to the police after he showed up, wouldn't it be weird all of a sudden for him to come back to town? (hide spoiler)] give me a sequel right now edit: I lowered my rating after thinking a lot since yesterday, so much didn't make sense in this ending, like the author didn't have more space to write... things that bothered me a lot (which probably wouldn't if it was initially thought to be a series) (view spoiler)[1. what happened to Rose? 2. what happened to maggie? 3. why nick wasn't taken to the police after he showed up, wouldn't it be weird all of a sudden for him to come back to town? (hide spoiler)]

  27. 5 out of 5

    USOM

    (Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.) One of the biggest strengths of The Coldest Touch is the dual POV narration style. Sterling allows us to get to know both Elise and Claire so well. To see their misunderstandings and their hurt. All to see Elise's difficult decisions for love, family, and friendship. To understand Claire's dilemma with immortality. While there's so much action that propels you through The Coldest (Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.) One of the biggest strengths of The Coldest Touch is the dual POV narration style. Sterling allows us to get to know both Elise and Claire so well. To see their misunderstandings and their hurt. All to see Elise's difficult decisions for love, family, and friendship. To understand Claire's dilemma with immortality. While there's so much action that propels you through The Coldest Touch, what kept me reading were the characters. I was able to witness the intricacies, doubts, and mistakes. We see the circumstances they're both thrown into and must adapt. Throughout The Coldest Touch, Sterling examines themes of power, responsibility, and trust. On a personal level, it was so fantastic to see Claire and Elise open up to each other, to get to know each other. Then there are broader implications to their personal choices. We can become immersed in our own problems, but Sterling never lets us forget how our decisions have ripple effects. full review: https://utopia-state-of-mind.com/revi...

  28. 4 out of 5

    Kaley

    Quick Stats Age Rating: 13/14+ Over All: 4 stars Plot: 4/5 Characters: 4.5/5 Setting: 4/5 Writing: 3.5/5 Special thanks to Penguin Teen and NetGalley for an eARC of this book! All thoughts and opinions reflected in this review are my own. I’m loving the up-tick in vampire YA books. And they’re all so good. I thoroughly enjoyed The Coldest Touch, but I honestly thought it was a standalone—it’s not. I’m kind of disappointed by that (I’m a sucker for fantasy standalones) but I’m also excited because I wasn Quick Stats Age Rating: 13/14+ Over All: 4 stars Plot: 4/5 Characters: 4.5/5 Setting: 4/5 Writing: 3.5/5 Special thanks to Penguin Teen and NetGalley for an eARC of this book! All thoughts and opinions reflected in this review are my own. I’m loving the up-tick in vampire YA books. And they’re all so good. I thoroughly enjoyed The Coldest Touch, but I honestly thought it was a standalone—it’s not. I’m kind of disappointed by that (I’m a sucker for fantasy standalones) but I’m also excited because I wasn’t ready to say goodbye to Elise and Claire. If only I didn’t have to wait a year! The Coldest Touch follows two girls in a delightfully paranormal world. Elise’s life hasn’t been the same since her brother died in a tragic accident nine months ago and she saw his death before it happened. Now, she can’t touch anyone without seeing their death. Anyone, that is, until she meets Claire. Claire is 17. How old are you? 17. How long have you been 17? A while. Annnnyyyyywayyy (I promise this book is so much better than Twilight). Claire is a vampire who has been frozen at 17 since she was turned against her will in the 1930s. Claire has been sent by a magical organization of supernatural beings to watch over Elise and help her learn how to use her powers, but Elise has no interest in learning. She isn’t even sure she believes in magic. But Elise’s mind changes when she sees a future murder, and she needs Claire’s help to stop it from happening. I loved both Claire and Elise. I was expecting more of a traditional mystery aspect, but the book definitely focuses heavily on the magic of it all, and the mystery becomes a subplot, which I actually think ends up being the right choice for the book. It just wasn’t what I was expecting. Claire and Elise have great chemistry from the start—it’s especially well shown from Claire’s POV. The exploration of discovering your sexuality when you thought that wasn’t even an option was well written and nice to see, but I’m also glad that we had Claire who was already comfortable with herself. Seeing POVs from both sides, and having each be accepting of the other’s pace, was great. Often these sorts of scenarios end up with the “out” character pushing the other character who’s still trying to figure things out into defining themselves and coming out before they’re ready, and it’s great to see a storyline where that doesn’t happen. The vampire and paranormal lore was pretty typical, but it was unique in enough aspects that it didn’t feel overly cliche or trope-y. Isabel Sterling really got to the heart of her characters, giving them fully developed personalities, wants, hopes, and dreams. Many of the vampire novels from the early 2000s (*cough* Twilight and it’s many copy cats *cough*) rely so heavily on the tropes and paranormal aspects, that the characters are just card board cut outs going through the motions. Claire, Elise, and even the minor characters were fully fleshed out and I really like that. I can’t wait for book 2—seriouslyyyy why is it a whole year awayyyyy—and I think I need to check out These Witches Won’t Burn ASAP.

  29. 4 out of 5

    ꧁ ꕥ James ꕥ ꧂

    The Coldest Touch is a YA paranormal fantasy book where we follow 2 POV'S- -Elise, a teen who can see how someone dies whenever she touches them -Claire, a vampire who longs to be human and helps Elise master her powers This story is a very basic trope filled tale where we follow Elise, who discovers her new powers whilst still processing her brothers recent death. Enter Claire, who is assigned to help train Elise's new powers by the vampire council and together they try to solve some murders that The Coldest Touch is a YA paranormal fantasy book where we follow 2 POV'S- -Elise, a teen who can see how someone dies whenever she touches them -Claire, a vampire who longs to be human and helps Elise master her powers This story is a very basic trope filled tale where we follow Elise, who discovers her new powers whilst still processing her brothers recent death. Enter Claire, who is assigned to help train Elise's new powers by the vampire council and together they try to solve some murders that have been happening on a nearby campus. This was by no means bad, but nothing excellent either. I found the writing to be the worst aspect of the story. It left little to the imagination with its lack of nuance and honestly at times felt very childish due to the author almost telling us how to react at times. The authors attempts to create twists were pretty obvious to me as well so that was a let down. Claire and Elise were pretty basic protagonists for a YA story both in terms of personality and their relationship. However I do enjoy a sapphic story! I know this review reads like I didn't enjoy the story, but honestly this was entertaining from start to finish, a very quick and easy read which didn't require a lot of concentration. I'm just not a big fan of paranormal fantasy!

  30. 5 out of 5

    emily

    with queer vampires, twists and turns, and a chaotic cat, the coldest touch is a very fun read! i loved every character in this book!! not only were claire and elise great, relatable protagonists, but every side character was also so lovable. even though this story gets pretty dark, the characters are really funny so there was a nice balance! i was already intrigued from the beginning, but the story just kept getting better as it went on! the plot was fun to follow and i enjoyed the way it was wri with queer vampires, twists and turns, and a chaotic cat, the coldest touch is a very fun read! i loved every character in this book!! not only were claire and elise great, relatable protagonists, but every side character was also so lovable. even though this story gets pretty dark, the characters are really funny so there was a nice balance! i was already intrigued from the beginning, but the story just kept getting better as it went on! the plot was fun to follow and i enjoyed the way it was written. also, there were multiple twists i didn’t see coming at all!! i loved a lot about this book, but the main relationship sort of bothered me. the main character is 16 and the love interest became a vampire at 17, so she’s basically stuck at that age forever. but even though she’s “trapped at age 17” she’s still been alive for like, 100 years? i’m just not sure how that works so i would’ve felt weird shipping them. while i was uncertain the relationship, the story itself is an interesting, spooky read with amazing characters! thank you penguin teen for sending me this arc!

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