Review: City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments Series, Book One) by Cassandra Clare

in a sentence or so: Clary sees demons. Clary battles demons. Clary's reality is turned upside down and dumped out like a backpack with all of the secrets, lies, and half-truths spilling out for her to sort through AND save her mom at the same time.

Clary and her adorable bestie Simon are at a NY dance club when she sees something suspicious. inexplicably, she decides to follow a cluster of not-so-ordinary looking teens into a back room. she surprises them almost as much as they surprise her with her ability to even see them because they are typically unseen by us ordinary folk. they are shadowhunters, and for reasons they cannot explain, Clary can see them.

slowly, Clary begins to realize how closely her fate is tied in with the shadowhunters, and just how deeply ingrained her mother is with the hidden world. not that everything her mother told her was a lie, but pretty darn close. needless to say, Clary is a bit peeved at the whole "your life is a big fat lie" thing...but it's hard to hold on to resentment when the shadowhunters are her best bet at getting back her mother who vanished in a whirlwind of mystery, lies, and demon ichor.

despite the somewhat trite premise, i was totally drawn in to the world that Clare creates.  the whole youre-not-actually-ordinary-but-actually-special thing is a bit played out in my opinion. surely there are better ways to introduce a 'normal' person into the paranormal world than the same ol', same ol'. but alas, as i said i was drawn into the world of half-angels and shadowhunters and different alliances and warlocks and the whole deal.  there was enough familiarity with the lore to sustain me with the fresh twists and unknown bits of paranormal action.

let's not overlook the love-triangle. while cute and frustrating, it did seem pretty obvious - and again trite - that she was in that predicament. she has two choices: lifelong friend or shiny paranormal boy. i was honestly more intrigued by the rest of the supporting cast. Clare creates some brooding, some sassyness, some bitchiness, and some betrayal that i could really absorb and fall in love with.

i'm curious enough to see where this series heads, so i'll keep on reading. plus, the blogosphere seems to be pretty into the series as a whole so there must be some pretty exciting stuff down the line. i loved the plot, but still feeling salty about some of the cliches. i'm hopeful that Clary starts to work outside of the box, that she does things i wouldn't do or make bad decisions or do something to show some flaw to make her feel real.

fave quote: "'Every teenager in the world feels that, feels broken or out of place, different somehow, royalty mistakenly born into a family of peasants. The difference in your case is that it's true. You are different. Maybe not better-but different. And it's no picnic being different...'" (Magnus to Clary, pg 173|351 nook version) i do value that the author took the time to highlight the cliche...

fix er up: Clary's personality on the whole was watery. sure she has hints of sassyness and determination and sketches and feelings for boys...but i felt like i never really knew her like i knew the other characters.  Clare develops the other characters through their emotional reactions and interactions, but Clary feels 2D. i wonder if it's so the reader can insert herself into the position, but it's frustrating to me that she falls into the "she doesn't know she's gorgeous and special' lead role.

title: City of Bones (Mortal Instruments Series: Book One)
author: Cassandra Clare
genre: Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance

Lisa is a gamer, crafter, fangirl, mother, wife and unabashed nerd who is pretty ridiculous and it's best you know that up front. When she's not binge watching Netflix or crafting into the wee hours of the night, you can find her spending a lot of her time on Pinterest and Twitter.

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