Book Review: City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

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When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder― much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It’s hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing―not even a smear of blood―to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?
This is Clary’s first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It’s also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace’s world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know…


***Spoilers will follow, even though it’s probably better to know them, that way you don’t have to read this book.***

This book is awful, I honestly can’t even tell you what it was really about. That’s how forgettable it is. Let’s just start listing off all of the things I hated about “City of Bones”:

1.) The writing is boring, dull, unmemorable, unimpressive, and unimaginative. Should we see how many other negative adjectives I can fit in there?

2.) The characters are idiots and I disliked all of them. The only one that was remotely likable was Magnus Bane. Because who didn’t at least like him a little bit? I digress, the characters in this book are all so unoriginal, they all fit into the typical YA stereotypes.

3.) The romance is disgusting, I mean really. Was the whole “oh no they’re siblings!” thing necessary? REALLY?

4.) The plot/story is all over the place, it’s chaotic. Anarchy, I tell you!

I think one of the major problems surrounding this book and this series is all the hype, I had so many friends reading these books and so I bought it thinking it sounded interesting and if it’s this popular it has to be good. I was wrong. So wrong. I should have just judged the book by it’s cover because look at it, a big shirtless guy with a little skyline? Really? No, just no.

Alright so the writing, like I said it’s dull and just unimpressive. I felt like I was reading something for people younger than me, I’m only 20 so that’s saying something in my opinion. This is definitely aimed at the younger teen group, and it shows in the writing. Example:

“Investigation?” Isabelle laughed. “Now we’re detectives? Maybe we should all have code names.”
“Good idea,” said Jace. “I shall be Baron Hotschaft Von Hugenstein.”


“Clary felt suddenly annoyed. “When the self-congratulatory part of the evening is over, maybe we could get back to saving my best friend from being exsanguinated to death?”
“Exsanguinated,” said Jace, impressed. “That’s a big word.”
“And you’re a big-“
“Tsk tsk,” he interupted. “No swearing in church.”

See what I mean? I hope you can from that little bit of dialogue, which by the way all of the dialogue is nauseating like this. It’s supposed to be humorous but all it did was make me want to gag.

The characters, oh the characters! They are all bloody awful (I’m channeling my inner Brit). For me Jace was the most annoying character, I didn’t think he was charming at all. He thinks he’s charming but he’s NOT AT ALL, if I guy said any of the things Jace says to Clary I’d be running for the hills. Let’s view another example:

“Is this the part where you start tearing off strips of your shirt to bind my wounds?”
“If you wanted me to rip my clothes off, you should have just asked.”


“Are you the one with the blue eyes?”
“Actually, my eyes are usually described as golden…and luminous.”

I just want him to shut up! This is why I’m telling you this book is for young teenage girls, because I can’t imagine anyone older swooning over this! And Valentine is such a cheesy, stereotypical villain his whole goal is to get the Mortal Cup and use it to destroy the Downworlders. How original, I’ve never heard of a villain trying to find a unique item to use to destroy the world before. The rest of the Shadowhunter team are just blah, meh, whatever. I didn’t care for any of them. I think Simon basically exists just to follow Clary around and get himself into bad situations. Clary isn’t the worst heroine but she definitely isn’t one of the best. Basically her whole role in the book is to run around trying to prove how brave and badass she is and she really isn’t, she just winds up getting saved by Jace 100% of the time.

The plot/story, is a mess. It’s basically reading a series of events all happening one right after the other, I didn’t feel like I was really reading any kind of story. There were also parts I felt were totally irrelevant, example, Simon being turned into a rat and kidnapped by vampires. What was the point of that?! To make Clary and Jace be heroes, that’s the only thing that did. We’re supposed to be all “Oh they saved Simon, they’re so heroic and brave.” When in reality Simon, Clary, AND Jace are all still idiots. They shouldn’t have let Simon be turned into a rat and kidnapped by vampires IN THE FIRST PLACE!

Finally, the romance. The romance!! The hands down, worst part of the book for me!  Clary and Jace get all romantically involved and then, BAM, they’re siblings. Gross. I mean you let them make out and everything, that’s just too far. I don’t need that, you’re supposed to be making everybody go all gaga over your couple not make them puke.

(This gif basically sums up my entire review)

Overall, I wouldn’t recommend this book to anybody. If you want to read it, go ahead, you might actually like it like TONS of other people have! It’s just not for me.

Links: Goodreads / Amazon


The Sassy


10 thoughts on “Book Review: City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

  1. Since your not going to read the book here you go. Simon being turned into a rat was because he but a vampire, then turned into a vampire and then became the only vampire to walk in the sun because he drank Jace’s blood to live and then at the end of the series he sacrificed being a vampire and all of his memories for his friends to live so that Magnus wouldn’t have to forget Alec.

    Also the story line of Jace and Clary thinking they are brother and sister and very important to the story line of learning who her actual brother is and the mistake made with kissing him and all sorts of other crazy shit he does.

    Also, these books aren’t made for teen, young adult may be their genre, but he normal age line for this series is 20-26. I’m 24 and still reading my heart out on everything Shadowhunter.

    A lot of the points you made were very probable even though I adore the book series and anything Cassandra Clare writes, but I will love these series forever. Have you ever thought of reading the prequel series, The Infernal Devices?


  2. Thanks Jordan, I actually did read this whole book though. My review is just how I personally felt about the series, even though all of your points are valid too. I’m glad you enjoyed the series, it just isn’t my cup of tea. And I would consider giving the ainfernal Devices a shot! 🙂


    • Thanks! I don’t really know a whole lot of people who actually disliked this book so, YAY! Haha. I agree I felt like Clary was just such a wet mop of a character, maybe she develops more throughout the series but I won’t be continuing to find out.


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