Tuesday, June 2, 2009

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

Clary Fray is no ordinary teenage girl. After she witnesses a murder in a New York City nightclub, everything goes awry in her life: her mother disappears after leaving her a cryptic message, she can suddenly see dead people – oh, no wait, they might be alive, but with weird markings on their arms, oh yeah, and one of them is really hot – and demons want to suck out her brains, vampires want to drink her blood, and werewolves want to just end her life. Clary’s had a bad week.

If you want to read some really good reviews of this book, check it out on goodreads. The first few on the list mirror my thoughts so exactly, that I don’t want to just repeat what they said here. Instead I’ve made a little overview list of my own, and if I ever decide to write a book, I’ll have something to refer to as a quick guide to unbridled success in the current teenage fiction market.

- Name the main character after yourself. --Check

- Use italics for emphasis on almost every page. --Check Check

- Compare everything from the taste in your mouth, to the smell in the room to old paper. (I’m not exactly sure how old paper tastes. Is anybody sure? Is there a Bertie Botts Every Flavor Bean with that flavor? If anybody would know it’d be this author, because she obviously likes Harry Potter, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Star Wars.. a lot) --Check

- Be sure to have one extremely long 'how I became a werewolf and why' scene description similar to another book that I too found way too long.. --Check

- Make everybody smell like blood and sweat at some point in the story, and yes they are a stinky lot because of it. --Check

- Make the bad guy (or at least I assumed he was bad, because by the end I wasn’t so sure) Voldermort, Darth Vader, and your dad on any given bad day rolled into one and you’ve got your villain! --Check

- Reveal a plotline in the end that made me say aloud, “Eeeww!” --Check

- Have everything have a convenient fix, whether it’s a quick, as yet unknown magical fix or good-guy-gone-bad fix, for no reason whatsoever other that to drive the plot to some end. --Check

- Make the anti-hero/love interest so much like Spike in Buffy that I wanted to watch him in his original form again. Sigh…. (Did you catch that word, original? It’s a new concept here.) --Check

- Am I being a little harsh? --Check, Check, Check. Oh well, you don’t have to read this ramble if it was your favorite book. Oh, but wait, it's too late! You've already read it if you've gotten this far! Hee-hee (insert maniacal sounding Dr. Evil laugh here). 2 stars

~~As a side note, I hear the author improves a little, and that the other two in the series are better. So, if I have nothing better to do, like say cleaning my house, I’ll probably give the series at least one more try just to give her the benefit of the doubt. Because in a battle between cleaning my house and reading, which do you think wins? Hmm...


Stephanie said...

It's kind of sad when a review makes you want to skip the book it's about, and instead go read/watch Buffy, Harry Potter, Star Wars and even Austin Powers!And when you write your mega-bestseller, can you name a character after me? Just a minor one.

Stephanie said...

I know there was a paragraph break in there somewhere. My comments always make me look barely literate. sigh.

Bryce and Mandy said...

Think I will skip this one...

Lula O said...

Well, I partially blame you Stephanie. If you wouldn't have just introduced me to the world o' Buffy, I wouldn't have been comparing it to that series the whole time I was reading it. (If it helps I'm also blaming JK Rowling for creating the HP series and making it so good I'm currently re-reading it now, thereby making it fresh on my brain.) For your punishment I'm going to make you read this book. It's only fair..come on, you know you want to.

And Mandy, I think you should too..but beware, my friend Tanja only gave it three stars. I think that's the lowest rating I've ever seen her give a book on goodreads. What do you think Tanja?

TheBlackSheep said...

Oh dear. I think I'll give this one a miss. There are enough mediocre series out there to occupy my time without having to resort to books conforming to your check list.

I do applaud you trying the author again. That's always a nice, and fair, gesture. People change, so it stands to follow that the books would as well.

Tanja said...

I wasn't going to comment, but since you have called me out...here it is.
First, if you look at the rating for a 3 star it means that I like the book. I have given out two stars before and I think possible a one. This is why I hate rating books. How can I tell you if it is good or bad. I can only tell you what I like or did not like about it. I can only say what fit in my life and what did not.
I have read the first two in the series and for me I got exactly what I expected. It is a fun teenage drama with magical creatures and a dark underlord that wants to destroy everything. I am a big fantasy reader so I am more prone to liking this genre of book.
I also like the male hero in the book. He is onery, self-assured, tough, yet he is nice to the girl he likes. Sickening, but I secretly like those characteristics. Not to mention, he is hot.
I say if you don't like the first, don't read anymore. Your not doing a favor to the author by reading it and hating it. There are too many books out there to read for you to waste your time on something that is only sub-par. For me I am axiously waiting the arrival of the third. This is the beauty of reading. Everyone expects, like, and desires a different type of book. Your mood may lend itself to one genre and the next day you may have to pick up a different genre. This is why I read. It is to expand my thinking and mostly to have enjoyment, escape life, and experience something that in my real life I never will. Sorry for the long post.
P.S I am a huge buffy fan. I have seen every episode up until Angel leaves. And I have to say I like Angel so much better than spike. I did like the sassiness of Spike. He had some funny lines
P.S.S Do you really think that the part that made you go Eeeww is real? Or do you think she really likes star wars?

Lula O said...

You're right, my opinion about this book is just that - my opinion. Everybody's is different. I respect that. I like to watch fantasy (really liking Buffy of late, star trek, starwars, etc), and read some - I love the HP and LOTR series, etc. The first Twilight was okay too, and I will give Meyer some credit here for making it believable. If a fantasy type tv show or book makes sense in my brain then it works for me, and maybe this particular one would've been better if I didn't feel she was borrowing so much from other stories. I couldn't get over that hump and it made the other things stand up straighter and bug me.

And regarding that part at the end I mentioned. Seriously - yuck - even if it isn't true that's a pretty mean trick to play on us. And when they both find out it barely seems to affect them! That drove me crazy. I think I'd be a bit more traumatized if it'd have happened to me.

I know you like most of the books you read Tanja, but that 3 stars?? Come on, that was my first red flag when I started reading this. I kept wondering why you only gave it 3.

How's it going by the way? Get your house sold?