Kat Kennedy's Reviews > City of Bones

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
Rate this book
Clear rating

by
3270188
***Warning: won't contain spoilers cause I didn't get far enough to give a fuck and discover anything worth spoiling.***

Okay, so let me get this out straight. I have never NOT finished a book before. Okay, I'm lying. The History of Sexuality Volume 1 by Michel Foucault remains unfinished as does Villette by Charlotte Bronte. Why? Because they were boring.

Because, as I read them, I wanted to take a cheese grater to my skull and rub vigorously just to have something to do!

But I have never NOT finished a Young Adult paranormal novel before. And I've read some BAAAAAD books. But I didn't finish this book because it goes beyond bad. It makes the History of Sexuality seem amazingly interesting and colourful.

To be fair to Ms. Clare, I was not actually "reading" her novel so much as listening to the Audiobook. The Narrator, Graynor, did a particularly craptastic job.

To be fair to Ms. Graynor, she didn't have much to work with. I tuned her out, I swear, I was focusing on the actual prose, taking in the story, trying to get interested. But the writing was terrible. It was painful. The characters were annoying.

Now, I've been fair to Ms. Clare and I've been fair to Mr. Graynor. So there's only you left to be fair to now.

And in order to do that, I have to admit that I wasn't EXPECTING to like this book. I was, however, expecting to be pleasantly surprised, and I'll explain why.

Many years ago, Cassandra Clare was Cassandra Clair - a VERY popular FF author in the Harry Potter and LoTR circles. I actually greatly enjoyed her Draco Trilogy. I've read it many times. I had heard that this book was very similar to DT and so I was expecting to find it to be a guilty pleasure. Something my moral compass told me to leave behind, but that I would actually enjoy too much to do so. But I was wrong.

Yeah, she plagiarized that work and I won't really go into it except to post a link because in the end, I'm not reviewing her, I'm reviewing her work.

But here's the problem. Jace is really just Draco from DT. Simon is really just Ron and Harry amalgamated into one. Clary is really just Ginny. The bad guys seems too much like good ol'Voldie. The plot is painfully similar to DT. It was like reading her old work all over again. And I think, because she was really just redressing her old characters, she didn't even both to give them any growth in this story.

To be honest, I didn't read far because the writing was boring (oh my lord, the similes! Someone save me from them) and poorly constructed; the characters were boring and poorly constructed and the plot was boring and poorly constructed.

I'd already read DT so I didn't need to read this.
571 likes · likeflag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read City of Bones.
sign in »

Comments (showing 1-50 of 410) (410 new)


Kat Kennedy Thanks. It really was quite a shocking book, wasn't it?


Kat Kennedy Someone has promised me that if I actually read this book - then I'll actually enjoy it. I'm doubtful but I'm giving it a go.


Tatiana I actually read this book in in its entirety. Still hated it with passion.


Tatiana Oh, Kat, are you planning to check out Clare's new trilogy?


message 6: by Penny (last edited Jun 10, 2010 08:15AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Penny I hadn't read the Draco Trilogy nor did I know about any of the controversy surrounding the author when I read the Mortal Instruments trilogy. So when I read the series, I actually liked it.

Before you strike me down, let me explain.

First off, at that time fantasy was a fairly new genre for me. The Twilight saga had just wrapped up, and though I found Breaking Dawn to be incredibly disappointing, I still liked the paranormal/fantasy aspect the whole series. And so I started devouring every fantasy/paranormal book I could get my hands on.

It wasn't long before I came across this series. At the time City of Glass had just been published and word on the internet was that it was a good series. I was too much of a noob to know better then to believe the vast majority of book bloggers. I didn't know they always tend to sugarcoat their reviews. Or just plain lie. So. Yeah...

Anyway, I purchased City of Bones and I liked it. (Just so you know, I've never watched an entire episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I'm a special effects snob--always have been--and the cheesy special effects on that show would always make me cringe.) So, when it came to the Buffy universe I was unable to make the connection--that she was borrowing, liberally, from the Buffy universe. It was all new to me.

Because this series was a breath of fresh air--my salvation, if you will--when I was drowning in a sea of horribly written YA vampire novels, I ignored the similarities to Harry Potter and Star Wars.

Even after I found out that she was an unoriginal hack and everyone seemed to hate her, I didn't think less of her. I was like, "so she borrowed from her own--not actually published--work. Who cares?" I even went so far as to read all the allegations against her, and I thought people needed to get over it, move on. So she made a (huge) stupid mistake years ago. I'm sure she's learned her lesson. People need to forgive and forget. It's not like she's Hitler. Besides there are far more important things to worry about in this world.

And that is where I stood on this matter for about a year.

Funny thing is, I tried rereading this series last month. You know what, I don't like it anymore. It totally sucks and seems totally unoriginal now that my eyes have been opened. It's funny how I didn't think this way about the Mortal Instruments series until I tried reading it again.

Anyway, I (finally) understand where all you Cassandra Clare haters are coming from. She sucks, her books suck, and her work doesn't deserve to be published.

(*whispers* That being said, I think I'm still going to read the two books she has coming out within the next year or so. You're allowed to judge me. I don't mind. I'm already disgusted with myself but clearly not enough to stop myself from reading those books. And anyway I'm a curious person--sometimes I just can't walk away.)

P.S. Since this is (unintentionally) so long I think I'm going to post it as an addendum to my original review of City of Bones. I've been meaning to explain myself, but have been too lazy to write something up. Now I don't have to.


message 7: by Tatiana (last edited Jun 10, 2010 08:22AM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Tatiana LOL, Penny. I also didn't know about the controversy when I read COB, however I disliked it anyway. But I understand your explanation about being new to the genre. I liked Twilight books and pretty much they were the first paranormal YA books I've ever read. I tried re-reading Twilight several months ago, couldn't push myself through even first 50 pages. Good books, on the other hand, stand the test of time. I re-read HP books several times and they are as good as the first time.


Penny I'll give Twilight credit where credit is due. It did get me interested in reading again. Also, it got me interested in fantasy, something the Harry Potter series didn't do for me (which is really odd, considering how much I love that series).

I'm going to have to reread the Harry Potter series. It has been a long time since I've read it. I can't wait until I can read the Harry Potter series with my oldest kid. I know she'll love it.


Kat Kennedy I totally, totally understand, Penny.

Like I said, I was around when her whole big controversy happened and at the time I was like, "But I like her! She can't have plagiarized her fanfiction THAT bad!" (Actually yes, whole paragraphs of other author's work were worked into her FF!)

But I still expected to like COB because I knew that her writing was funny and compelling. So when I actually found that it was just a big, cheap, poorly written knock-off, I was REALLY disappointed. That being said - I can totally get how someone who wasn't familiar with her work would get sucked into it.

I think I'll borrow her new series when it comes to the library. I won't buy it. But I'm feeling like I want to rip a book to pieces and that should be fun to do. Even if I have to suffer through her similes to do it.


message 10: by AH (new) - rated it 5 stars

AH I, like Penny read this after Twilight. And I agree with her. I did like the series (*ducks*). I didn't know it was so contraversial. I had heard that she was a FF writer, but it did not occur to me that she took her story right out of FF. And now that I think of it Voldemort - Valentine....

During Christmas vacation,I tried to read it again, but I just couldn't. But I am not changing reviews. Too many other good books out there. And I will most likely read her new stuff when it comes out.


Sparrow I kind of wish I had read this before I borrowed the audio from the library for a car trip. It's so bad - and even worse because it didn't seem so bad to me at first. Like, she didn't have a stutter or make me fall asleep or anything. But ugh! It's so hard to tell whether the audio was the problem or the book was the problem. Reading it on paper was definitely better because you can skip boring parts and not plug your nose when you read certain characters voices.


Nishtha The end ticked me off!!! So I wanted to rip the book apart!! It warrant much of a read anyway but!! "Put two character who are falling in love and telling them they are brother and sister" is beyond cruel!! Worst book read ever!!


Leslie G I think that the reason you didnt like this book as much is because you didn't read it, you hasd the audio-book... maybe you should try reading it yourself and see if maybe your opinion of the book kinda changes for you a little..??


Kat Kennedy I think giving Cassandra Clare anymore chances to impress me would be painful for both me and the people who read my reviews.


Flannery ^^lol

I gave her one chance and one was quite enough.


message 16: by Arec (new)

Arec I am getting the feeling that pretty much every audiobook completely and utterly ruins any novel that would be slightly enjoyable.


Flannery No way! There are tons of audiobooks that are amazing! Off the top of my head--> The Help, Dune, Elantris, Unwind, Stolen: A letter to my captor, I Am Legend.

Don't give up trying:-/


message 18: by Arec (new)

Arec It just seems that every review I read about popular books in audio form are horrible,


Flannery Nah, maybe the bad reviews just stick out. I see you like Tamora Pierce. I've listened to 4 or 5 of her books and they are great in audio format. And the Harry Potter books are amazing.

Maybe the people that write those reviews just don't like audiobooks...they aren't for everyone.


Kat Kennedy There are some great audiobooks book this book was terrible and the audio only made it worse.


Flannery You're totally right, Kat. I listened to this book too and didn't really give a crap about anything that was going on.


message 22: by Cas (new) - rated it 1 star

Cas I cannot like this review enough, I quite literally had to force myself to finish this book. Cassandra clare , in my mind, is the worst YA author out there . . . : /


message 23: by Lisa (new) - rated it 3 stars

Lisa Bee WAIT. Is this Cassandra Clare of The Lord of the Rings Very Secret Diaries Cassandra Claire...? Kat...you may have officially blown my MIND.

Either way, reading it right now, and it's modestly fun. As an outsider-yet-HP fan, now that you mention it, there's some HPishness about it.


message 24: by Jess (new) - rated it 1 star

Jess Lisa, the HP feeling intensifies as you read the rest of the book. The one guy is Lupin and Pettigrew in one. Literally. I was rather boggled at the weird mashup. (Of course, the oddball mash up matches the rest of the book.)


Kat Kennedy I like to blow people's minds. It's my favourite past time!


message 26: by Katya (new) - rated it 1 star

Katya Umm, wasn't Villette written by Charlotte Bronte?


Kat Kennedy Yeah it was. I don't know why didn't get it. I guess I feel it was just a poor man's Jane Eyre only not nearly as good.


message 28: by [deleted user] (new)

(I think Katya is trying to point out you attributed it to Emily. Awkward!)


message 29: by [deleted user] (last edited Oct 14, 2011 05:51PM) (new)

And, man, these review for Clare make me want to run in the opposite direction. I've only read one short story by her, and that was enough.


Kat Kennedy Oh damn, how embarrassing! Well, you know, I'm already so amazing that if I didn't make mistakes like these occasionally, people would start doubting my mortality.

Honestly, Ceridwen, I think you'd probably dislike these books, but would otherwise be nonplussed by them.


message 31: by [deleted user] (new)

Interesting. Do you say that because it's far enough from my usual fare that I just wouldn't care about the stuff she gets wrong? Or, maybe not care is the wrong phrase. Maybe not take it personally, because this genre isn't my thing, exactly?


Kat Kennedy It is far enough from your usual fare - what's one more poorly written YA paranormal series when you don't participate in that genre? When you don't have to see the impact it has on what gets published. And unless you are also a fan of: Harry Potter, Buffy, Red Dwarf, Black Adder, Battlr Star Galactica and Star Wars are you really going to notice the borrowed material?


message 33: by [deleted user] (new)

I am a fan of all of those things. Less Red Dwarf, but mostly cuz I've only seen a season. I do like some YA, and it's sad she's lowering the bar. :(


Kat Kennedy Well, in that case feel free to be rightfully offended!


message 35: by [deleted user] (last edited Oct 14, 2011 06:43PM) (new)

Or blithely ignorant!


Kat Kennedy Well, yeah, probably best you not read these books.


message 37: by [deleted user] (new)

Actually, Mr C almost bought this because of his steampunk obsessions, though maybe I'm thinking of a version with less of a torso on the cover? Or possibly another Clare book altogether? Anyway, I was able to say pretty convincingly that this wasn't to his tastes. So, phew! He's a bigger sf nerd than I, bless his heart.


Kat Kennedy Yeah, I think he was trying to buy City of Fallen Angels. Even worse than this one. Good job on saving him. I'm a Steampunk tragic and there's not much Steampunk about that book.


message 39: by Tashawndia (new) - added it

Tashawndia I thought I was the only one who didn't like it. So many people told me it was amazing and I have been stuck on page 267 for 6 months. I kept reading it thinking it was going to get better but I think I am far enough in to see that it isn't. I hate to give up on a book I think I will trudge through it...eventually


Kat Kennedy Don't worry, there is a rather sizeable population on GR that doesn't like these books.


message 41: by [deleted user] (new)

That's the one.


message 42: by Choco (new) - rated it 1 star

Choco I kind of want to go looking for her fan fiction so I can compare it to her writing now. Is it better or is it worse?

Love this review, by the way!


Kat Kennedy I'm pretty sure I still have it saved on my computer somewhere. I never delete anything.


message 44: by Choco (new) - rated it 1 star

Choco Ah, I think I found it! Is this the one? http://www.freewebs.com/dracotrilogy/...


Kat Kennedy Yep, that's it!


message 46: by Cory (new) - rated it 1 star

Cory Palice wrote: "Ah, I think I found it! Is this the one? http://www.freewebs.com/dracotrilogy/..."

I'll admit, it's more entertaining than this book.


message 47: by Choco (new) - rated it 1 star

Choco Cory wrote: "Palice wrote: "Ah, I think I found it! Is this the one? http://www.freewebs.com/dracotrilogy/..."

I'll admit, it's more entertaining than this book."


Really? Lol, I've never been into any kind of fan fiction so I'm curious. I'll probably end up giving myself a headache.


Sandra (I don't read, I devour.) I read the Draco Trilogy also... and greatly enjoyed the first two books. However, I couldn't finish the last story. It just got kind of draggy and I hated how the previous story had ended. Last time I looked, the story was still on Fiction Alley, along with Lori's stories. Now HER stuff I would LOVE to read if she ever wrote an original work of her own!


message 49: by Patricia (last edited Oct 15, 2011 12:42AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Patricia BookExhibitionism Penny wrote: "I hadn't read the Draco Trilogy nor did I know about any of the controversy surrounding the author when I read the Mortal Instruments trilogy. So when I read the series, I actually liked it.

Befo..."


This is exactly what happened to me two months ago. May I quote you? ;)


Dingle  Mckenna I'm sorry I know it's you're review but for god sake was it the bad........

REALLY?


« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
back to top