Tag Archives: Cassandra Clare

Book Review: The Infernal Devices Series

Books: Clockwork Angel, Clockwork Prince, Clockwork Princess

Author: Cassandra Clare

Recommend: This series was better than the original three books and I didn’t think that was possible.

Okay, it is no secret that I love everything that I’ve read from this author. Her original series, The Mortal Instruments is one of my favorite YA series I’ve read. This series actually might be better than the original material.

This series centers around Tessa Gray, a girl who has no idea who or what she is when she is taken by the Dark Sisters and forced to use a skill she didn’t even know that she had. it puts her in the path of the shadowhunters as they work together to stop an evil force that the Nephillim alone cannot defeat.

Okay, this has to be with, without a doubt, the best love triangle I have ever seen. In most books we see two guys fighting over one girl. In this one, it is three people who love each other completely but don’t want to hurt anyone in the process and yet Tessa must choose. (I know – spoiler but it’s YA so this plot point is fairly predictable and therefore I don’t feel too bad about it). At the end of the first book, I was certain which way I wanted it to go. By the end of the second, I had completely flipped and by halfway through the third I was so confused that I somehow wanted both to end up with the girl even though it wasn’t possible.

With one of the best book ends I have read in a very long time, this series had me on an emotional roller coaster ride that I never wanted to get off. In fact, I have a serious book hangover from this series. I’m trying to read another book right now and I just can’t seem to get into it and it is all Cassandra Clare’s fault. There is no question that these books will be joining my extensive library the second I have the cash to purchase them.

I will say that while Clare is able to suck me into her world every time I read one of her books, this is not the case for everyone. In fact a couple of my close friends have tried to read her stuff and hated it completely. They simply don’t like her writing style and find that sometimes it can feel like she is trying too hard. So much so that they couldn’t even finish City of Bones. However, I have many other reader friends who love this series as much as I do. In fact, the moment I finished, I had to text one of my friends just to let her know how much I loved it by the time I was done. Definitely a whirlwind that is worth riding.

Also, I just found out that a movie is coming for this series!! I can’t wait 🙂

Final Rating:

Need more than one copy!!

Need more than one copy!!

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Top Ten Tuesday: Books I recommend Most

Top Ten TuesdaysThis topic is actually going to be rather difficult. To come up with only ten that I recommend most is tricky. Part of the reason that I did this blog was so that I could give better recommendations of what to read to people who asked me quite often what to read. Not everyone enjoys the same kinds of things and since I think the most important thing about reading is that you actually do it, I recommend whatever people are most likely to enjoy. That being said, there are some books I recommend more often than most. Here is the ones I suggest the most often in no particular order.

1. Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card – Great science fiction with wonderful characters and the start of two fabulous series of books that are still being written. Yep. Worth reading.

2. Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery – I grew up on these books. I love them so much that I wore out multiple copies completely and had to get new ones. Definitely the one I recommend to my female students who are looking for something new to read.

3. Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer – I usually recommend this to people who have refused to read it before I tell them to. Normally these are people who have only seen bits of the movie and have no idea what the story is really about. While it isn’t the best thing ever written by far, the plot line is wonderful and the characters are so much fun to read. It was the first light reading that I fell in love with and was the books that got me started on YA fiction.

4. City of Bones by Cassandra Clare – I loved this series. The feels. Oh the feels that go with the story of Jace and Clary, especially in the first three books. Wow. This book is the definition of angst.

5. Les Miserables by Victor Hugo – This is probably my favorite book of all time. The story is wonderful and complex and tragic and amazing all at the same time. There is something for every mood you might be feeling at any given time. It is epic wonderfulness. Am I gushing? Yep. Is the book completely worth gushing over? Oh yes.

6. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas – This is a wonderful story of what happens when everyone betrays you and you seek revenge only to realize that living a life and being happy is more important than revenge. I ALWAYS recommend the unabridged version. There is so much that you miss out on in the abridged version of this classic. So much of the priest and his time in prison which makes the whole book make more sense.

7. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy – Completely tragic love story that ends so very badly. A cautionary tale of how love can ruin you completely. So wonderfully written with parallel stories running through it that capture the imagination. The ending is tragic of course but the whole thing is a wonderful read.

8. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern – This is a wonderful book that will caught my imagination completely and wouldn’t let go the whole time I was reading. Competing magicians who have no idea what is going to happen or how the competition will end.

9. Sword of Truth series by Terry Goodkind – If someone is looking for really good fantasy, this is where I send them every time but I’m sure those of you who read my blog know this by know.

10. Quiet by Susan Cain – I recommend this to every single introverted person I know and anyone who knows someone introverted and doesn’t seem to understand them. As someone who is an introvert, this book helped me understand myself so much better.

Okay, I’m sure there a bunch I would recommend that I didn’t include on this list but these are the ones I can come up with right now. What are the books that you recommend most often?

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Top Ten Tuesdays: Favorite Fantasy Characters

Top Ten TuesdaysHere we go… this list should be easy 🙂

1. Hermione Granger – I wonder if J.K. Rowling somehow met me and cloned me for this character even though she lives halfway around the world. Even down to the frizzy brown curls and the know it all attitude which I try to keep under control.  Yep, I was Hermione in high school. I knew she was going to pick Ron from the first book… ugh. (Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling)

2. Kahlan Amnell – She’s amazing. That’s it. Nothing else really to say. Again I tell everyone. READ THESE BOOKS. (Sword of Truth series by Terry Goodkind)

3. Elisa de Vega – This girl grows in hardship and becomes something amazing. She is forced into a certain position due to who she is and yet she doesn’t allow it to control her life. I want the third book already! (The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson)

4. Celia Bowen – What a character. The whole story centers around this girl and her ability to alter perception of the world around her. The competition between herself and her unknown opponent is intriguing and while she is the center of the story along with Marcus, the rest of the book is still wonderful. I think she’s a favorite simply because the book is so good. (The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern)

5. Edward Cullen – Confession. I was really trying to not mention Twilight this time. I didn’t make it. Sorry. I find all of the Cullens intriguing because the reader is only given snippets of who they are. We get more of Edward than most but there is so much more that I want to know about this character. Really wish Midnight Sun was finished. Just saying…

6. Tris – Those who have read Divergent know why she’s amazing. Those who haven’t though, should go find out. Tris comes from a totally different world than the one she chooses for herself. She is forced to go so far outside of her comfort zone that it disappears. I love that she does things on her own terms and tries to live outside of the expectations of others. (Divergent series by Veronica Roth)

7. Jane Fairfax/Austen – Can you imagine Jane Austen in the modern world? Yep. That’s the idea behind this character and she is hilarious to read. I laugh every time I open these books. Simple as that (Jane Fairfax series by Michael Thomas Ford)

8. Ender Wiggin – Honestly I could fill the rest of the list with characters from the Ender universe but I think that might annoy everyone. Why Ender? Simple. He was the one who sold me on the series. I think I might like Petra and Bean better but Ender started it all. (Ender saga by Orson Scott Card)

9. Matilda – A girl who likes to read and has telekinesis? Sign me up 🙂 (Matilda by Roald Dahl)

10 Clary Fray – She is a wonderful character who dives into a world that tries to take everything from her time and time again. Cassandra Clare based her on another character on this list though so her inclusion should come as no surprise. (The Mortal Instrument series by Cassandra Clare).

There are so many more names I could include on this list but these were the first ones to come to mind so they made the list. Who makes your list?

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Book Review: City of Lost Souls

Book: City of Lost Souls

Author: Cassandra Clare

Recommend: Worth reading if you’re a fan of the series. I swear this author just loved to torture her two main characters.

The latest book in the Mortal Instruments, a YA series,I’ve been wanting to get my hands on this one since it came out. A friend loaned it to me and as soon as I got through a couple of books that were pressing on my pile, I dived in. I had been waiting over a year to find out what happened to the male lead and how they were going to save him and so I couldn’t wait to get started.

Jace is being controlled by Clary’s brother. She does everything she can to try to find him. When they can’t, will she do the unthinkable and join her brother just to be with him again or will she fight, knowing it could be the end of the person she loves?

This was a great read. I still think that the last two books just don’t have the power of the first three. They are still a great read, but something is missing. I love how prolific this author is though. With two series going simultaneously, it seems we get a new book in each every year. I really can’t imagine waiting two years for this one!

Also, for more conservative readers, this author does include characters that are homosexual and are seen in a positive light. The author also chooses to allow her teen characters to be sexually active. While these scenes are not like reading an adult romance novel, they are rather suggestive. While this might not pose a problem for adult readers, some parents may not find this material appropriate for their teens.

This week the first images from the upcoming movie based on the first book of the series were made available. While I don’t know if this series will reach the level of Twilight, The Hunger Games or Harry Potter, I think it will draw a very large fan base. I personally can’t wait to see it!

This is the 5th book in the Mortal Instrument series, which starts with City of Bones. You can read my reviews of the previous books in the Mortal Instruments series here.

Final Rating:

Get it new!

Buy it new 🙂

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Books that shouldn’t hit the big screen

Okay, I like a great movie based on a book just as much as the next girl. I can’t tell you how much I love the current trend of turning much-loved YA books into film series. I currently can’t wait for Cassandra Clare‘s series to make it to film, starting with The City of Bones. I’m also eagerly awaiting November and the final Twilight movie. Not to mention Catching Fire!

Even when a book doesn’t follow the book exactly, many movies based on books are enjoyable. Some eclipse the popularity of the book (Gone with the Wind or The Silence of the Lambs are good examples).

However, just because a book is wonderful, doesn’t mean that it always belongs on-screen. For one reason or another, these books should never make it to film:

  1. The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway – If you’ve followed my blog for a while, you know that there is no love lost between me and anything related to fish. This book however is mostly a guy sitting in a boat by himself thinking and trying to catch a fish. Might be interesting reading to many (not me but many others) but it makes for some of the most boring stuff ever put onto a reel of film.
  2. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams – I’ve seen the movie. It was entertaining. Then I read the book and realized how bad the movie is in comparison. While Hitchhiker isn’t among my favorites, the book has far too much to ever make sense in film!
  3. The Help by Kathryn Stockett – While my review of this book isn’t up yet (it’s coming soon), I was writing the review and realized that I really didn’t want to see the movie. This book is a whole lot of people sitting around talking and the action sequences wouldn’t make much sense. I have a feeling that a lot of the depth would be missing as well. I just don’t see that one going well.
  4. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas – I love this book. It is an amazing read. I accidentally read the abridged version first and was appalled when I found out how much I was missing! There is simply no way to condense this story for film without losing too much of the story!
  5. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy – Again, far too long to condense down without losing too much of the story. Plus so much of the emotion in this piece would be too hard to translate into film.
  6. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy – 300 characters. Do I need to say any more?
  7. Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card – Okay. I love this book. I am going to go see the movie. My problem is that there is NO WAY they are going to find kids that are smart enough and young enough to play these parts convincingly. Plus the chance that it is going to be very cheesy is extremely high.
  8. The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce – I know you haven’t heard about this one on my blog yet. I have two reviews scheduled for this one because it is just that good! This one is all about a guy taking a very LONG walk. Definitely not something that I think will translate to film well. Internal dialogue books rarely do.

What books do you think should NEVER be turned into films?

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The world of Cassandra Clare

Books: City of Bones, City of Ashes, City of Glass, Clockwork Angel, and City of Fallen Angels

Author: Cassandra Clare

Recommend: Yes with a slight reservation…

Okay, I picked these books up quite a while ago and read the first three. Over the summer I picked up Clockwork Angel and just never got around to reading it. I have so many different fantasy novels that I’ve devoured lately that I wanted to be clear on the details since this is a very complex mythos. So when the new book came out, I knew I had to pick them up and read through the first three again before getting to the other two. It took me 4 days to get through all five books and I’m still reeling a bit from the ending of the last one.

City of Bones- Clary is just an ordinary girl who can see some very strange things- or so she thought. Her delicate world comes crashing down when she meets a pompous boy named Jace. Her life will never be the same again.

I loved this book. The author introduces you to a complex mythology that combines many different mythos in a new and different way. In a way it almost reminded me of something from the mind of Joss Whedon. I loved the romance and the twists she took with it. I have never read a book like this that took quite that turn. It was unique and heart-wrenching.I honestly can’t think of a single thing I didn’t like about this one except that I’m a sucker for a happily ever after but since there were three books, I hoped that if I kept reading I would get it.

City of Ashes- In this book we watch painfully as Clary and Jace struggle with the truth of who they are to each other and the reality that the are both a part of something that has been dragging on since their parents were their age.

This book and the last book somewhat merge for me honestly. The two story lines flow int each other. I love though that they know the truth and can’t seem to fight it. One of my favorite themes is that yo can’t fight love, no matter what happens. No matter how hard you try to fight it. They both try so hard to fight against what they feel but are unable to, even though it is wrong. In this book you start to see some of the history behind what is going on in their world and you start to get answers that you didn’t have before. I think the only fault I would have with this was the fact that even the first time through I had a feeling of what was going to happen at the end, although it probably wouldn’t be obvious to most people.

City of Glass- This book brings the conflict to a head. It honestly is one large climax. This is the point that the other two books have built towards. I really enjoyed the fact that everything wasn’t tied off in a simple and easy to handle conclusion at the end of each of the first two books. I was glad that I discovered the series once all of the first three books were out though. I don’t want to ruin too much of it by giving away too much plot or how it will end but I promise the ending is worth reading to the end for!

Clockwork Angel- This story is set in London during the late 1800s and is a departure from the first three books and is appropriately it’s own series. However the two are set in the same world of shadowhunters. I loved that this book seemed very orginal from the first even though it did bring in a familiar face or two. I loved Tess and honestly was begging the whole time to know what was up with Will and I think every reader will be wondering that one as well. The end of the first book left me somewhat unsatisfied though because I was wanting a simple and neat conclusion on it, which I didn’t get-yet.

City of Fallen Angels- I just finished this one this evening and I’m honestly very frustrated with this book. I was hoping that she was going to leave Clary and Jace be for a book at least but that doesn’t seem possible. Instantly you can sense that something is wrong with the happy couple but no one has any idea what or why something is going wrong. I love the player version of Simon and that for a while things seemed to be centered around his drama. However we were very quickly back to an impossible mess for Jace and Clary. A character thought gone from the first three books will make a reappearance towards the end and honestly, it is the one thing in this whole series that I genuinely haven’t liked. I know that there is more to come but I want some resolution at the end of a book, especially when I am going to have to wait months if not more than a year for the next installment. I didn’t mind this in the first three books because I didn’t have to wait. This time though, I think I’m going to get annoyed with it. I may have to write something to get my frustration out honestly.

I would definitely recommend reading this and getting started before the series gets much bigger. Each of these is somewhere between 300 and 500 pages. They are quick reads considering how long they are but definitely is going to take the average reader a while to get through. I enjoyed reading them thoroughly and have been hearing rumors of a movie, which I would LOVE to see.

Cassandra Clare isn’t getting quite the exposure she deserves honestly. She should be getting talked about as much as Stephenie Meyer and Suzanne Collins honestly. I would put this series on par with Twilight or The Hunger Games. Definitely worth your time.

Final Rating:

Need more than one copy!!

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