Posted by : Deborah Takahashi Thursday, December 30, 2010

Plot Summary:
One night, at a popular club, Clary Fray, and her best friend Simon, are having a great time until she sees hooded figures murder a guy. The murder is not like anyone she has every seen since he is covered head to toe in black tattoos and, mysteriously, the murder victim disappeared into thin air. In fact, the only people who can see them are their fellow Shadowhunters--an elite group of people who have the ability to vanquish demons.  Just when things could not get any worse, the murder, turn "stalker," finally reveals himself (his name is Jace) and learns all about the Shadowhunters and the the possibility that she may be one herself. Clary always knew she was different, but she didn't count on the becoming a demon hunter. Unfortunately, this news comes a little late when Clary's mother is kidnapped and the only way she can find her mother is with the help of the Shadowhunters and trusting a gorgeous guy she barely knows.

Critical Evaluation:
Cassandra Clare's Mortal Instruments series is a blast. When I read the this title, I could not put it down since Clare hits the reader with an exciting moment that he or she did not expect.  Clary is an average teenager who is completely unaware of her capabilities. She has a strong affinity for art and readers will be able to relate to her story because she feels unfulfilled; all her life something has been missing and we will learn why as the story develops. The male lead, Jace, is the stereotypical bad boy who breaks hearts and is a loner. However, Jace is also unfulfilled because he eventually learns that his whole life has been one giant lie. The other Shadowhunters are tougher, more sophisticated, and deeply troubled as well. Although these teens have amazing abilities, they are also very vulnerable and insecure. I highly recommend this series to anyone who wants to step away from the formulaic vampire and werewolf love stories (starring wishy washey or vapid characters), City of Bones is a great place to start.

Information about the Author:
The Mortal Instruments series is Cassandra Clare's first young adult series. According to her website, she has lived an extraordinary life where she spent most of her childhood moving around the world and actually spent a month of her infancy in her father's backpack as they trudged through the Himalayas. Clare was educated in Los Angeles where she begin writing her own short stories and an epic novel entitled "The Beautiful Cassandra."  After graduating college, Clare moved to New York and actually worked for tabloid magazines writing articles on various celebrities including Brad Pitt, Brittney Spears, and Paris Hilton. When Clare began writing the City of Bones, she quit her job and started writing fulltime.

According to Cassandra Clare:

[she] hates working at home alone because she always gets distracted by reality TV shows and the antics of her two cats, so she usually sets out to write in local coffee shops and restaurants. She likes to work in the company of her friends, who see that she sticks to her deadlines(para. 3).
The fourth installment of the Mortal Instruments is out on April 11, 2011.

Teen Fantasy

Reading/Interest Level:
Grades 9 & up

Books Similar to City of Bones:

  •  ALA 2010 Top Ten

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Deborah Takahashi
Pasadena, CA, United States
My name is Deb and I am a Librarian who absolutely loves to read and recommend books to teen and tween readers. In this blog, you will find reviews on a variety resources ranging from books, movies, video games, and much more. Please feel free to leave any feedback, especially book recommendations!
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