Worst Read Wednesday: City of Bones

Welcome to Worst Read Wednesday in which I talk about a books that I despised or did not fall for its insane hype.  Worst Read Wednesday is a part of my Daily Post; to learn more about it, click here.

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Don’t miss The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, soon to be a major motion picture in theaters August 2013.

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. . . .

Exotic and gritty, exhilarating and utterly gripping, Cassandra Clare’s ferociously entertaining fantasy takes readers on a wild ride that they will never want to end.-Goodreads summary

Before I get viciously murdered by some of you, I want to state that I do not hate City of Bones.  I really liked the book, but for all the hype it got, I really expected more.  I plan on continuing the series and look forward to reading City of Ashes, where hopefully I will fall in love with this series like the rest of you!

There are certain things in this book that totally left me confused. Cassandra Clare writes some pretty hefty explanations (full of many similes) for many scenarios throughout the novel which really added to the story. Yet, there are some details that I totally felt were neglected. For example, the magical “stele” which is possessed by all Shadowhunters. I originally believed this was a weapon, and I think I was wrong about that seeing as the Shadowhunters would draw on themselves/objects with it. So, does that make it a Sharpie? But, it also had these “magical abilities,” and Sharpies are merely for permanent inking, so I guess that option is out. Thus, what is this? Another example where I felt details were lacking was in regards to glamour/possessing the sight. Let’s take the Institute, for instance. The Institute is New York’s safe haven for Shadowhunters. Seeing as mundanes don’t know about the Shadowhunter world, the Institute appears as an abandoned church. Who’s to say that some teenagers eager to have an intense make out session wouldn’t choose this church because of its private settings? So, if these teenagers or other mundanes were to enter this abandoned church, wouldn’t they accidently be stepping inside the Institute and be exposed to all of the Shadowhunters’ glory because, if you recall, Clary’s best friend, Simon, enters the Institute (which he originally saw as the church) but is then greeted with the Institute’s amenities. To me, that just didn’t make sense. Now, I know these are a bit picky, but they seriously left me scratching my head the entire time. Maybe in the next books there will be a more detailed explanation(s).

Speaking of Clary, am I the only one who found her to be the most irritable protagonist ever in this story? A huge issue I had with her, was the writing/developing of her character. Her mother gets kidnapped by DEMONS at the beginning of this novel. Had you accidentally skipped over this part in the book, you would have NO IDEA because she makes no reference or really seems to care throughout the entire book. In fact, she mentions caring and being concerned for Jace, a boy she has known less than 2 weeks, more frequently than she ever mentioned being worried for her mother. As I kept reading, I decided to come to the conclusion that Cassandra Clare just wrote Clary as a pretty typical self-centered teen. Ok, I guess I would just have to deal with that. Teenagers do tend to be selfish. However, the 3rd to last page, Clare writes, “And I know there’s no point in telling you how great my mom is, what an amazing, terrific, wonderful person that she is and that you’d be lucky to know her” (483). That was the FIRST and ONLY mention Clary made of how much great her mom is since her disappearance, and [Clary made this statement once she had been found]. To me, these two different Clarys made no sense. In my opinion, Clary was an amateur character. For all the hype this book gets, I expected a bit more professionalism in regards to characters and their development.

Despite these issues I had with the book, I still consider it a splendid read, but it is not one of my favorite books.  Hopefully my issues get resolved further in the series!

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6 thoughts on “Worst Read Wednesday: City of Bones

  1. I felt the same way about Clary when I first read CoB… I ended up liking Simon more than her because he seemed like a more realistic character. But don’t worry- it gets better!

    • Simon was my favorite character, too! I felt he was the most genuine character, and the others were slightly aggravating.
      I’m glad to hear it gets better! That’s my hope. It has so much potential, in my opinion. I definitely like the concept of the world, but I need more explanation. I look forward to reading City of Ashes! 🙂

  2. I feel the same way. I’ve only read this first book in the series but I have the next one already and I’m definitely reading the whole series. I absolutely adore Simon more than anyone else in the series…well, for now. There were a lot of things that got me confused and didn’t make much sense, and that just makes it a tad bit annoying to read sometimes. It took me longer than usual to finish the book but I did and there are parts I liked about it. 🙂

    • Simon was my favorite character, too! The others slightly annoyed and/or frustrated me. I look forward to reading more about him in the series. I’m definitely glad I’m not the only one who is not totally head over heals for this book! 🙂

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