Book Related

Why I Won’t Be Finishing City of Bones by Cassandra Claire

I really wanted to love this book. I remembering seeing it around when I was in high school and thinking it looked awesome. And then when I found out that there was a world of books and readers on the internet, it popped up again, and I knew I had to finally read it. There is so much hype surrounding this one that I was sure I would love it as well.

But I didn’t.

I tried to read this book three times. I made it through a single chapter the first time. I thought nothing of it, though, because I had just gotten some other books, and figured that they were more up my alley for the moment. No problem, that happens. The second time I made it three chapters in. Then I forgot about it for a couple of days and didn’t go back to it.

Finally, I picked it up, and was determined that this time I was going to finish it. I made it to page 140 before I went online, and looked up spoilers because I just couldn’t bring myself to waste more time trying to get through this.

I’m not writing a proper review for this one, because I don’t think you can give a proper one if you haven’t read the whole thing. But I did want to comment on this one, so I’m doing a post instead about why I stopped reading at page 140.

Please don’t think that I’m judging anyone who likes this book, or insulting them, or saying this shouldn’t be as hyped as it is. Everyone’s got their own tastes. These are just the reasons that, for me, I didn’t enjoy what I read. Nothing more.

1. It was So. Darn. Predictable.
As someone who grew up watching mysteries with my mum and who works in a field that requires a great knowledge of social psychology, I’m used to things being predictable. I actually like it. It’s comforting. But I like some mystery to the books I read, especially when you’re introducing a world that the main character couldn’t have imagined previously. And there was none in this book. As soon as a character was introduced, it was easy to figure out who they were in relation to the story and what their role would be. When a situation was introduced, you knew how it was going to end. I even looked up spoilers in hopes that I was wrong in my assumptions. I wasn’t. It was disappointing.

2. It read like a fanfiction.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not knocking fanfiction. Hell, there was a period in time that I wrote fanfiction. It’s a great thing. But if I’m expected to pay for a book, I want something considerably better than what I can get for free on the internet.

3. The characters were weirdly open and accepting with Clary.
Maybe this is a little detail that doesn’t matter much in the grand scheme of things, but it bothered the hell out of me. Clary gets dropped into this world, and suddenly they’re just telling her everything without an ounce of suspicion? Seems a little weird to me. Maybe this is part of the reason it felt so fanfic-y.

4. There was very little to any of the characters. Or the world.
You could argue with this one that I didn’t read enough to get a lot of information on the world or the characters. It did cross my mind too. But I felt like I should know more about Clary after a hundred pages than some basic family details and that she likes art and clubbing. All I knew about Jace was that he’s a jerk. All I knew about the world was that there was bad guys and good guys. I wanted so much more than that, and it just wasn’t coming fast enough.

I really wanted to love this book. I really did. But I just can’t go back to it. I picked this book up at a used bookstore, and it will be finding its way back there, where I can put the credit towards something else.

I may still check out the show on Netflix though. Just because I wasn’t big on the book, doesn’t mean I won’t like the show.

I would love to hear whether you agree or disagree with any of the points I’ve made. Let me know in the comments!

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12 thoughts on “Why I Won’t Be Finishing City of Bones by Cassandra Claire

  1. This book was a difficult one for me too – there was just so much missing. And you’re right, it just read like fan fiction. But, in saying all that, I did recently read Lady Midnight and loved it. The writing improves quite a bit.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m in 100% agreement, and would add that (1) the book had some weird issues with misogyny, and (2) Clary was pretty much a useless accessory tagging along with the others throughout the story. I like my protagonists to actually, oh I don’t know, be deeply involved in the action, not just gaping from the sidelines.

    I also seem to remember that the characters struck me as (for the most part) selfish jerks, which is a big nope for me.

    Here’s hoping the show is an improvement! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Now that you mention the misogyny thing, I did notice that as well, though just the very early stages of it. Clary was totally an accessory, though. Every time she actually did something herself, it seemed like everyone else just lost it like she was incapable of handling such things. So annoying!

      Liked by 1 person

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