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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