I can't believe I actually liked a Cassandra Clare novel. I never thought I would see the day. This is my fifth Cassandra Clare book and the first one...moreI can't believe I actually liked a Cassandra Clare novel. I never thought I would see the day. This is my fifth Cassandra Clare book and the first one I can say I honestly enjoyed. Even though the main plot didn't really go anywhere (much like Clare's other middle books City of Ashes and City of Lost Souls) I wasn't bored, unlike the other middle books.
Honestly, the character development in the Infernal Devices is so much stronger than in The Moral Instruments it feels like two different authors. I don't understand how engaging the characters of The Infernal Devices can be and how flat and dull the characters are in The Mortal Instruments. There are a lot of writing faults in The Infernal Devices. The word "startlingly" is used way too much! It's like Cassandra Clare thinks that everyone in Victorian England walked around jumping at literally everything they see "ooh your eyes are blue!", "ooh you are handsome!", "ooh your skin is pale!". Just stop, seriously, it's so bad. I also feel that Will is incredibly anachronistic. I know he's supposed to be a rapscallion, but the way he talks is just too modern.
I thought the romance was really well done. I mean, this is of course the over used love triangle trope, but The Infernal Devices is actually successful because we don't know who Tessa will choose. Both Will and Jem are viable options and we as readers actually have to read the rest of the series to see what will unfold. So even though Will was a huge idiot (seriously, didn't he ever think to I dunno, talk to someone about his issues? Why would he just take everything he was told as the truth and believe it blindly? I don't understand) and I don't thing Jem (my boo) has a snowballs chance in hell, I'm excited for clockwork princess.
Overall The Infernal Devices series is turning out to be leaps and bounds better than the Mortal Instruments. If I may be completely truthful I would recommend just skipping the Moral Instruments all together and starting with Clockwork Angel. You get the same characters and plot, but more interesting versions. (less)
The Friday Society is simply a fun read. What I loved the most about The Friday Society was the girl power vibe. Cora, Michiko, and Nellie were all sm...moreThe Friday Society is simply a fun read. What I loved the most about The Friday Society was the girl power vibe. Cora, Michiko, and Nellie were all smart, independent, and resourceful but still had different shortcomings they had to overcome with a little help from their friends.
The three main characters were the best part of this novel. It is incredibly refreshing to read a YA that has girls working together to solve a problem, not fighting or swooning over some boy. I think The Friday Society has just the right balance of boy angst in that it's there, but it's not the main focus of the novel. This kind of relationship between girls, friends helping other friends, is really important in YA and sadly very lacking. I also loved how the three girls start off as assistants, but throughout the course of the book they find their own agency and really take control of their lives.
The actual story is cute. It's not anything wildly substantial, but it's entertaining and exciting and would make a super fun teen movie. I wouldn't have minded some of the science to be more fleshed out, but I'm really picky about science and understanding how things work in a novel. I did find some of the technology in The Friday Society to be a bit convenient so I really had to stop questioning it and just let it happen. There's a lot of just silliness in the book (they dress up in super hero costumes at the end to go fight the bad guys) but I just kind of had to be like Michiko and go along with it, even as I rolled my eyes.
The biggest negative was that the book was written with a very modern voice despite the historical setting. However as I continued to read the novel I enjoyed it more and more. Sure the book is set in Edwardian England, but I could completely related to these girls and was really cheering them on.
The Friday Society is a cute and silly novel that I think would work well as an introduction to steampunk and alternative history. I think it's a perfect book for a middle school aged reader and has a great message of team work, friendship, and a healthy dose of girl power. (less)