City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments #1) by Cassandra Clare

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“Where there is love, there is often also hate. They can exist side by side.”

Hi, my name is Melanie, and I’m the last person on this planet to read anything by Cassie Clare! But I had too many best friends who promised me that reading this series would be worth it for me to finally get to Lady Midnight! Well, the other night I did an Instagram poll, because I wanted something fae and I was just going to pick up Lady Midnight, without reading any of Cassie’s other work, and some of my friends lost their shit, to put it lightly. And this is the story of how I got roped into finally reading City of Bones in 2018.

Again, I’m the last person to read this, but City of Bones starts off with a young girl named Clary, and her and her friend, Simon, are in line for a teen club. Yeah, the two-thousand vibes were real. Once inside the club, a couple individuals catch her eye and she can’t resist following them out of the club, to only realize that she isn’t supposed to be able to see them in the first place.

We are then thrown into the paranormal world that is hidden from the mundanes (non-magical humans). We see vampires, werewolves, fae *swoons forever*, angels, demons, and everything else you think of when you think paranormal. And we also are introduced to the world of shadowhunters, the warriors who are sworn to defeat the demons.

And Clarey’s world gets turned upside down when she realizes that her mother has been doing everything in her power to keep her hidden from this paranormal world. And Clary can’t even ask her for the truth, because her mother has gone missing. And the only people who can help her are the shadowhunters. *dun dun dun*

“Keep in mind that when your mother fled from the Shadow World, it wasn’t the monsters she was hiding from. Not the warlocks, the wolf-men, the Fair Folk, not even the demons themselves. It was them. It was the Shadowhunters.”

Back when this series came out, everyone was saying it was “Harry Potter fanfic” and my pretentious, Harry Potter obsessed self wasn’t going to read anything that was a rip off of my fandom. And were a few of the similarities there? Yeah, I mean, this is a story that centers around three brothers with three magical items that a certain villain wants, who has been presumed dead for a while now. The parallels (and names, I guess) between Valentine and Voldemort are very apparent, especially their desire for wanting magic blood to be pure. But besides this big aspect, I really couldn’t easily see any other Harry Potter elements.

But you know what else? City of Bones holds up decently well in 2018. I was a little thrown off that it is told in third person, but I actually think it has aged pretty well. I am always so desperately scared to go back and read my high school favorites, because I doubt they will hold up and have the same magic they did back in the mid two-thousands. This this was a good read, and it was funny, and touched on a lot of things that are super relevant and “cool” today.

And I was honestly impressed that Cassandra Clare wasn’t scared to write in LGBTQIAP+ characters in 2007. I was surprised that we got confirmation for two characters, without it ever feeling manipulative or even drawn out. And she even touches on homophobia and how differently a character would be treated if their colleagues knew he was gay. I mean, this is pretty impressive for 2007, and it wasn’t lost on me. I will say the end there was a villain that maybe did the things he did because of his love for another man that I wish wasn’t in the book, but it didn’t erase the good Cassie did with the other two characters.

“The meek may inherit the earth, but at the moment it belongs to the conceited. Like me.”

This book also surprisingly made me laugh. Jace is like the most sarcastic character ever, and he actually had me laughing in so many scenes. And I loved seeing the mystery unfold right alongside Clary. Magnus was everything, I wanted so much more of him instantly. But I ended up thinking that Luke and his backstory stole the spotlight. I wasn’t prepared for those feelings. And this book had a huge cast of characters, so I’m very curious about how I’ll feel about all of them as the series progresses.

Quick sentence about how the characters made me feel:
Clary – super likeable.
Jace – half love and half hate (and still side eyeing you all, maybe).
Simon – so annoying, please, no one give this boy a certain cup.
Isabelle – marry me this instant.
Alec – I feel neutral but hope to end up liking more.
Magnus – going to be the best character in literature.
Luke – the star of this book for me.
Hodge – super good surprise.
Valentine – needs to get bent.

“You want to know what it’s like when your parents are good churchgoing folk and you happen to be born with the devil’s mark?”

Overall, I went into this with the lowest of expectations. Like, picture the lowest expectations that a human can have. Okay, now, mine were lower than even that. So maybe that’s why I got so much enjoyment out of this story. But I honestly did have a lot of fun with this, and it made me very curious to pick up the next book (hopefully soon)! Also, I have been very blessed to not be spoiled for anything in this series, the only thing I always hear was, “CLARY AND JACE!” Which is why I’m side-eyeing each one of you if the ending of this book is true. Like, you all nasty.

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73 thoughts on “City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments #1) by Cassandra Clare

  1. Lol do you want me to reassure you we’re not all nasty? I actually had the same exact reaction to the ending. I found it out in the movie they made, and I FLIPPED. I was like, they fucking ruined it!!!

    But um… if you just wanna be assured… it ain’t nasty. It just SEEMS nasty. Make any sense? Hope so. I don’t want to ruin it for you, so thats why I am not elaborating. Actually, what I did is I literally googled the characters after the movie to find out what was going on.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Wow. That is like the sweetest thing. 🙂 i appreciate it. lol I am so sorry your friends are not telling you, because FUCK. I was freaking out. If someone had known and not told me I would have jumped on them and been like, “tell me now!” lololol xD

        YESSSS…. it is very worth it to continue, but yeah… that whole mess fucks it up for most people and they get this bad taste in their mouth, because who wouldn’t? But I was too curious to just wait. I had to find out what they meant. So you are welcome. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I read this series based on a recommendation from my son’s friend, then read the Infernal Devices series and also loved it. Haven’t gotten around to Lady Midnight. And yes, I also enjoyed Jace’s sarcasm!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Awh, thank you so much, Tasya! I was expecting so many more Harry Potter parallels, and was so happy that I couldn’t think of many! I’m so excited to start on to book two! 💗xx


  3. OMG now that you’ve read this, it makes me the last person in this planet who haven’t read this. And tbh I’m not interested at all to read this series.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Glad you liked it! I went in with medium expectations and was a bit let down. I found it all very high school. Drama drama drama, not enough demon slaying. Nothing stands up to Buffy, am I right? Also, I did NOT like Clary. What kind of name is Clary, anyway? But you’re probably right about Magnus, people are OBSESSED with him!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Great review! I hated this book when I read it in High School and haven’t touched another Cassandra Clare book since, but my friends are trying to wear me down to read clockwork angel… Maybe one day

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahaha! I feel you about the friends wearing you down! I’m not sure if it was because I went into this with such low expectations on what… but I’m legit excited to start the next one…. hopefully it doesn’t disappoint! hahah! 💗xx


  6. Great review! I still need to read this series. I love the TV show and Magnus is one of my all time favorite characters. I love Alec, too. I’m not sure how different they are in the book vs tv show though. I own every book, so I’m hoping I can actually pick this one up soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You should pick them up and read them with me, babe! Ahhhh! And thank you so much for your kind words! I can’t wait until I’m able to watch the show! I want to put faces to these people… or see how different they are to the faces I’m putting on them! lol! 💗xx

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I wish I had time to read them right now! But I’m pretty full for awhile. I’ll be happy if I can squeeze the first one in late summer. I had planned to start them in January and read them all, but then all the arcs happened. And challenges and group reads. I’m a mess. But I’m definitely looking forward to picking them up at some point. I know I’ll love them since I love the show.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Very cool review….I’m glad you enjoyed it.. I remember reading the first 4 books and ditching it… I do love the Infernal Devices and Dark Artifices… And I agree with your friends, all this is worth to reach Lady Midnight (or Lord of Shadows coz it’s mind blowing)
    I hope you have a good experience with the rest of the series…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awh, thank you, Sahi! And I want to read Lady Midnight so badly! Ahhhhh! I also can’t wait to see what I’ll think of the rest of these though! Hehe! Thank you so much again for your kind words! I hope you’re having the happiest of reading, love! 💗xx

      Liked by 1 person

    1. LMAO! And all my friends are being evil and just tell me “keep reading” when I’m like…. ARE THEY SIBLINGS THOUGH? Hahaha! I can’t wait to be able to watch the show, Shai! We will have to gush about it when I’m able to finally watch! 💗xx

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Your opinion on Simon is pretty interesting. I noticed how many people seem to like or favored his character. When I first read COB, I still didn’t know what to feel about Simon’s character or what CC’s plans were for his character. But I was always interested in Alec because of his unwavering loyalty and his character developed by the end of COB. I think he’s probably my favorite character in TMI. But to be honest, Simon also became a favorite by the end of TMI. 😂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. OH WOW! This makes me super excited, Claire! I was asking my friend if it was him or Alec on the cover of the Tales… from the shadowverse book (?) and she didn’t answer me…. and I’m like… okay, this boy going to be drinking from a cup soon! Hahahaha! 💖xx


  9. Great review, I’m glad your enjoying the books so far and they do get better as you progress through them.
    Magnus Bane is my favourite fictional character ever so I’m really excited to see your thoughts on him as you read the books 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I read the first three books in this series and was kind of underwhelmed by them. I think it was because I had read the first one a few years before and loved it, until that plot twist at the end, and I got so mad that I just didn’t read the rest, lol. Reading it the second time wasn’t as good as the first for me, and I also think the hype had my expectations way too high.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. HAHAH! You sound like me! I am STILL side-eyeing my friends! They better HOPE it isn’t true! Hahaha! I am scared, excited, but mostly curious to continue on! I just really want to read Lady Midnight! Hahaha! 💖xx

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s really happy so far! I started reading In the Name of the Wind this morning and, oh yeah, gave birth to a healthy baby boy. I hope you are having a good May, too!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. OH MY GOSH! CONGRATS, BABE! AHHHHHH! What did you end up naming him!?!?!?! And my heart is so happy for you and your family!

        And enjoy Name of the Wind! It’s one of my all time favorites! 💕xx

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Thank you! I don’t feel comfortable sharing his whole name on the internet, but his middle name is Wayne… slightly influenced by my husband’s love of Batman.

        So far NotW is really good!

        Liked by 1 person

      4. OMG! I love it! And no, I completely understand, Maria! I always just loving asking the book community members when they have kids because I’m always in the look out for bookish names! Hahaha. But a Batman name? Even better. ❤️😘

        Liked by 1 person

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