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October is the Coldest Month

3.15  ·  Rating details ·  336 ratings  ·  65 reviews
Vega Gillberg is 16 years old when the police come knocking on the door looking for her older brother, Jakob.

Vega hasn’t heard from him in days, but she has to find him before the police do. Jakob was involved in a terrible crime. What no one knows is that Vega was there, too.

In the rural Swedish community where the Gillbergs live, life is tough, the people are even toughe
Paperback, 192 pages
Published June 8th 2017 by Scribe UK
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Average rating 3.15  · 
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 ·  336 ratings  ·  65 reviews

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Jul 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
One of the sleeper hits of 2017, particularly for those readers who enjoy dark rural settings and tainted yet endearing characters.

October is the Coldest Month has a rural noir feel akin to Daniel Woodrell; it's not quite Winter's Bone or Tomato Red in terms of plotting but it is deep in character and atmosphere.

The focus is on 16 year old Vega, a school kid street smart in a country way who unwillingly becomes an accessory to murder. When the police come knocking on her mother's door in search
Kari Rhiannon (Moon Magister Reviews)
4 stars

I don't read a lot of thrillers. That's not to say I don't like the feeling that you get from reading thrillers, there's something about that dry-throat, adrenaline-surge as everything begins to tumble apart. Generally, I tend to get my fill of that feeling from horror books, but there was something about the blurb of this particular YA psychological thriller that drew me right in.

From the start there's a very sinister feel to the story, all dark forests, drowning bogs and remote trail
A really boring and bad book
Apr 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviews, arc-s
This book was excellent; it propelled me through the story within just a few hours. It is utterly addictive, fast-paced and I was desperate to follow Vega as she tries to protect her brother and herself, in an effort to figure out why someone in her neighbourhood was killed. A murder Vega already knows too much about.

Vega is a fantastic main character, she is a particularly curious and observant narrator which means we don't miss a thing as the reader - equally, her mind works so quickly that yo
Jayne  Downes
Dec 22, 2017 rated it liked it
This story fitted the dark, Scandinavian mystery genre; rural Sweden seems a depressing place to live, the characters were not living happy lives. I didn't love it probably because it wasn't uplifting.
Bruce Gargoyle
I received a copy of this title from the Scribe for review.

Ten Second Synopsis:
Vega's older brother is missing and when the police come knocking, Vega knows why. Struggling to find answers in an adult world, Vega strolls into the underworld of her remote town.

If you like your YA peppy, romantic and with a good dose of teen angst, you are going to be sorely disappointed (and possibly traumatised) by October is the Coldest Month. Certainly one of the grittiest novels categorised as YA that I've ev
Nov 18, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
This was supposed to be a thriller? A murder mystery?
Instead I got gray hopelessness of a small town. And even then this book only touched the surfaces of problems there. This book lacked everything.
Scribe Publications
I loved this book. Beautifully written, with an atmosphere I could taste, October is the Coldest Month had me questioning the line between rescue and culpability in an unflinching, white-knuckle read.
Dianne Touchell, Author of A Small Madness

Taut, tense, and thick with atmosphere.
Saturday Age

The writing is as lean and edgy as the characters … utterly believable and utterly compelling.
Ellie Marney, Author of The Every Series

A compulsive read … Gripping.
The Big Issue

A gritty, edgy thriller
Karen Barber
Jun 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
A curious read, perhaps due to it being in translation, but the story gripped me throughout.
Vega is 16 and we open the book with the police looking for her older brother. She guesses it's connected to the night they were together at a neighbour's house, just before he disappeared.
Vega knows more about these events than she lets on, but as she questions those around her and hunts for answers she uncovers a far darker reality than she was expecting.
The events did not quite go as expected, but Vega
Sol ~ TheBookishKing
Aug 22, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: netgalley
... I literally have no idea what the actual heck I just read ...

Also, definitely NOT a YA book. NOPE. This should be marketed as NA or Adult because this was just something else.
Melinda Szymanik
Nov 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is terrific writing. Spare, Hemingway-esque prose that really delivers in this YA Scandinavian Noir. Atmospheric, with plenty of tension, a strong voice and a rich sense of location. I wanted a few more ends tied up at the end but a great read none the less.
Jun 29, 2017 rated it it was ok
It's possible I didn't give this book enough of a chance but I just really didn't get into it, nothing special really in my opinion
Keri (BooksWithKeri)
Received as an ARC by publisher via Netgalley for an honest review.

A snapshot of a moment after a murder and the teenage girl that gets washed up in it. A really quick read. Attempts to deal with serious issues such as sexual assault and trauma, and has varying degrees of success. Sexualisation of the main character - a young teenage girl - is frequent and uncomfortable in places.

Overall, an interesting book that was quick to read and had a decent murder mystery within.
I didn't totally love this. The writing felt a bit stilted at times (maybe from being translated) and there were some odd, insignificant details that didn't seem either useful or relevant. I thought Vega didn't quite ring true as a 16 year old girl, her 'voice' didn't seem quite right to me somehow. But having said all that, the story was fast paced and there was a very strong sense of place. A decent enough thriller, but better for senior teens due to sex scenes.
Kay Smillie
Enjoyed this tale of a rural community in Sweden seen from the perspective of a sixteen year old female. She is trying to find out the ins and outs of a terrible crime where her brother appears to be the chief suspect. Granted it is aimed at young adults but it could have been fleshed out in my opinion.

Ray Smillie
Kerri Jones
Sep 05, 2017 rated it it was ok
I thought this was a simply written crime novel for older young adults due to the content. The plot wasn't complex enough to really be a good crime novel and the first person narration by Vega was very one dimensional.
Carolina Edvinsson
My review in swedish ---> Romeoandjuliet
Kaia Landelius
Since I started my GoodReads account in 2009 I’ve given a total of six one star reviews. I’m generous, usually, because I’ll always appreciate the work that goes into a book, being a writer myself, and usually round up. One thing I can’t stand is men writing questionable portrayals of women, especially teenage girls.

This one, unfortunately, slots right into that category. The setting is the following: Vega, 16, lives in rural Sweden where things are bleak in every way. Police starts searching fo
Alix Long
Jun 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book! I have never read a Swedish crime novel before, yet this book totally worked for me and I was completely sucked in. The characters were so gritty, edgy and believable, and the writing echoed this. It was cold and dark, yet at the same time lyrically beautiful. Carlsson writes in such an evocative way, and I was entranced.

The idea of the small, close knit community was something so well explored in this book, and so interesting to read about. All the characters had such interes
Nov 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019-reviews
A teenage girl unwittingly caught up in a terrible crime is the focus of Christoffer Carlsson’s young adult novel October is the Coldest Month.

Set in Sweden, it tells the story of 16-year-old Vega Gillberg, who lives with her widowed mother, a nightshift worker, and an older brother, Jakob, in a working-class community in Småland, an area known for its huge forests and bogs.

When the police knock on the door looking for Jakob, Vega knows exactly why they want to question him, but she hasn’t seen
Nov 03, 2017 added it
Thank you to net galley for providing me with a e-copy in exchange of a honest review.

This book follows a 16 year old girl who finds out her brother is involved in a murder.

Okay this started at bit slow but it quickly picked up the pace. I was expecting a thriller it didn't quite meet my expectations I wanted it to be a bit more darker and colder I guess it was a little young for me. It was absorbing and full of suspense though. I did like the main character she was pretty strong unlike most yo
Bibliophile Mom
May 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
The story is short but it was able to send me the message that it wants to convey. I was cringing the whole time! It was a mixture of crime, sex, and everything in between. I love how simply it was written without omitting the meaning of the book. The setting it an old suburb where it is possible that murdered people can be shoved and forgotten in an instant. The character is young but not innocent! I feel sad for Vega because at a very young age she felt and experienced all those terrible thing ...more
Jun 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
I received this book free from "Good Reads".
This is a book for young adults, but can eaily be read by adults of all ages.
I cannot imagine what it must be like to live in an area such as the one that Vega & her brother live in. It is extremely well described & am certain I would not like to live in such an environment.
I also found it unbelievable that such a young woman wandered alone in such a place.
There are twists & turns from beginning to end & you never know what is going to happen next.
Nov 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Several incidents in this novel ensure that the innocence of Vega's childhood has gone forever. She has had a tough childhood anyway but the going from now one threatens to be even tougher. She lives with her mother who works in a bar at night, her uncle Dan sells moonshine, assisted by her brother Jakob who has left home.

Her brother becomes an accessory to a crime that puts the police on his trail, and Vega needs to know what actually happened and why.

I found this a complex and rather bleak nov
Lula Belle
Aug 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
'October is the Coldest Month' reminded me of Daniel Woodrell's 'Winter's Bone', which I adored. It has a similarly grim, rural, struggling setting and a great sense of atmosphere where something sinister lurks behind every shadow. Carlsson's writing is taut with occasional lyrical passages, which are more memorable because he doesn't overdo them.
This is a fast read with tight pacing and I'm amazed at how much Carlson packed into 181 pages. Vega is a fascinating protagonist: brave, loving, reckl
Jul 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
An unexpected read that left me wanting more of this dark, underbelly region of a country I know almost nothing about. Loved the characters and the plot was tricky enough to keep me reading to the end. I loved the quote "Everyone always said I looked furious, when I was really just concentrating hard. It bothered me that people thought I was always angry. I wasn't, I just went around thinking a lot". Pg 161-162
Aug 15, 2017 rated it it was ok
For the first 90% of this book I was confused & couldn't care less about any of the characters, but in the last few pages the pieces started to make sense and I see the point in the story.

TW for murder, rape & vivid sexual scenes

// Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this in exchange for an honest review //
Oct 01, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Quite different to my usual fare, but I still found it interesting. Fairly short, so a nice 'handbag' book to take out and about to read on the go. It left you wondering who had done it, all through the story.
Nov 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Anne Cassidy says on the cover "Each twist and turn ripples with menace ... Gripping" - couldn't agree more. Set in Sweden, it conveys the bleakness of place and winter beautifully, and as the mystery unfolds I could not see what the end point would be - great read for fans of Nordic noir.
Susan Moore
Aug 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved this noir- toned coming of age book. A good read.
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