Saturday, January 14, 2012

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare Review

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Publication date: 2/19/2008
Pages: 512

When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder—much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It’s hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing—not even a smear of blood—to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?
This is Clary’s first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It’s also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace’s world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know. . . .
-Overview from Barnes and Noble
What I loved:
  • Very witty dialogue - I actually laughed out loud several times throughout this book. Humor was incorporated into this story very well. 
  • JACE! Okay, so, he's this dreamy sort of jerk who would do anything for his leading lady. Just my sort of leading man! (Except for that little bit at the end when he got all nostalgic and weird)
  • Vocabulary! There were a few times I had to use the "look up" feature on my NOOK while reading this book. I can really appreciate a YA read that can still offer a challenge here and there
  • The action - it came quick and often. Clare did a really nice job helping the reader to envision and engage in the action throughout the story

What I didn't love:
  • CLARY! Ugh! I felt like she was so wimpy and whiny during so much of this book. She was in this constant state of despair for most of the book, and then every once in a while she really took some action. When she did it was so unexpected and out of character that I just didn't buy it. 
  • The word MUNDANE. Could she have possibly used it once more than she did? 
  • Slow start - I think Clare took so much time trying to give the reader insight into the world of Mundanes, then Shadowhunters, then Downworlders . . . that the story just didn't hold my attention until the latter half once all of that had been developed
  • Sort of surprise twist - I didn't like it one bit. I'm sure it'll turn around, but I felt like it was such a disappointing end to this one for me being the love junkie reader that I am. 
I heard SUCH great things about this series that I HAD to download it right away. I started this on a day off from work expecting it to grab me and pull me in right away. I spent all morning doing housework, poured myself a tall glass of water, brought a snack with me and plopped down in the corner of my couch with plans to do nothing for the rest of the day but read. I found myself doing everything but reading.

After the first 30 or so pages I found myself browsing the internet, blogging, watching television, listening to my husband (who I usually can ignore pretty successfully when I read, SORRY HUBS!), etc between pages. I just couldn't get into it. DETERMINED to like this book, I kept trudging along. It worked. By the end of the book I did like it. I just didn't love it. 

AM I THE ONLY ONE? Does the series get better or is it a lot more of the same? I still have hope for the other books! Let me know what you think! 


  1. I didn't "love" it, but I did enjoy it. I do however find Clary one of the worst heroines out there...she really grates on my nerves.

  2. I would definitely suggest you continue the series because it is seriously worth it!!! I love the MI series but the ID's are even better!! you should definitely pick those up :) I agree with you about the slow start but trust get's better! great review :)


  3. I agree with Jaskirat, definitely continue with the series. It gets much better! I personally had the same problem when I first read City of Bones. I read the first few chapters and just wasn't loving it so I put it aside. However I went back to it about a year later and loved it. I immediately read City of Ashes after and loved that one even more. This series is now one of my favorite YA series out there and I am kind of obsessed with it. I also highly recommend the Infernal Devices series as well because that is even better than the Mortal Instruments. I also love Clare's use of witty dialogue and if you thought City of Bones was funny then just wait till you read the rest of the series.

  4. Well, I mean, TBH, I didn't LOVE the "City of..." Trilogy (now series) as much as everyone else. It definitely does make a comeback in book 2... wow, what a book! But you should read her Infernal Devices books. THOSE books are soooo worth it and amazing!

  5. It's been awhile since I've read this book, but I remember loving it... but the last one I read in the series, I wasn't a fan of. Don't know if I'll continue on.

    Thanks for stopping by!

    Livin' Life Through Books

  6. Better, better, better! Personally, TMI is my fave series and but while I understand the issues people seem to have I think it gets better and better. I deff recommend sticking with the series, hopefully you like the later books more.

    Great review though--very thought out and honest <3

    Rachel @ The Rest Is Still Unwritten

  7. Ugh, I get what you mean about Clary. The girl can't do a thing! She does get better though, like, more useful in a way but she still retains the whole mary-sue thing. And JACE! Oh my goodness it's been like two years since I read this but I still love him. I just love witty guys haha :) Great review! Hope you enjoy the others in the series better than this one!

    Kim @ The Paper Planes

  8. I read the whole series (except book 4 which I am still not convinced I will be reading) one right after another. So I cannot remember how I felt about Clary right after the first book. But she did grow on me as the story progressed.


  9. You should definitely continue with the series, Ashley!! It was so long ago when I read the first book that I don't exactly remember how I felt, but I know that this series is one of my favourites EVER and it gets better with each book for sure! :)

    Awesome honest review, Ashley! Even if you didn't absolutely fall in in love with Clary for this book, I promise that she'll grow on you! By the end of the series, she'll be a heroine to admire! ;) <3