With the influx of Young Adult novels in the market, what makes City of Bones from Cassandra Clare a worthy pick?
Well, it really depends on when you’re coming from. I say when, because my choice to pick up this book has to do with history that I have (albeit one-sided) with the authoress.
Suffice to say, I read the book out of curiosity. On its own, I’ll have to say, City of Bones us actually a REALLY GOOD YA BOOK. It’s creative, imaginative, and scandalous. It has all the elements of an enthralling ride – angels, demons, vampires, werewolves, forbidden love, mysterious bad boys, at least two love triangles, and even incest! Believe me, Clare just upped the ante for countless other YA writers with the incest plot. I mean, who else has the outgoing guts to do that in YA, other than VC Andrews? Genius! The book, judged on its own, is definitely a page-turner.
Except… it didn’t quite live up to what I had expected from Clare. Maybe it was Clary, and the fact that I didn’t find her exactly likeable. At times, she seemed more concerned about her relationship with Jace than the fact that her mother was missing and most probably dead. I found that unreal. It’s actually a bit of a peeve of mine, when a YA female leads get too caught up in the romance aspect that she fails to see how the world is falling apart. What can I say? I’m a strong believer in appropriate emotional reactions and investments.
Pace-wise, I found it a bit dragging at times too. The action scenes weren’t particularly exciting, except the scenes with the werewolves, which were really good. And lastly, I thought City of Bones was somewhat less witty. There were no laugh-out-loud moments for me. And you see, that I was expected from Cassie Clare. That was what I remembered most about her writing. She had a way of drawing a chuckle out of you when you weren’t too busy rooting for one love team or the other.
That being said, I still think of City of Bones as being a pretty solid read. The plot is definitely interesting and promising. And despite Clary’s shortcomings, you do see her mature as the story progresses. The rest of the characters are also likeable enough. Jace is a flawed character, but the vulnerability that bellies his cocksure attitude makes him a lovable male lead. Isabelle has her comic moments. Ah and Simon. Poor Simon, is probably the most relatable character out of the lot. You can’t help but root for him despite the all-too-obvious rejection headed his way.