Saturday, May 31, 2014

City of Lost Souls Discussion [Summer Reading Challenge]

Hey, y'all! I'm here with another summer reading challenge post! I'm now in the process of reading The Mortal Instruments series. The first four books of the series are re-reads for me, while the 5th and 6th books will be first-time reads, so City of Lost Souls is the first book of the series that isn't a re-read for me. As usual, I'll give a non-spoilery summary and overall thoughts/rating before jumping into a spoilery discussion and my favorite quotes.

At the time when this post goes up, I'll either be still asleep or deeply engrossed in City of Heavenly Fire. As I said on previous posts, I 100% plan on having City of Heavenly Fire finished by the end of the month. That means that I'll be reading most of the day. I'm not sure if I'll have the discussion post up Sunday, but I kinda doubt it (because it'll probably take all day Saturday, and I'll be exhausted). The following days will be the series wrap-up and the monthly wrap-up, back to back.

Book Summary

[Reminder: don't read this section if you haven't read all 4 of the previous books. I have to talk about what's happened up to this point to discuss the plot of City of Lost Souls!]

It has been two weeks since the conclusion of City of Fallen Angels, and no one has seen or heard from Jace since he disappeared. When Clary finally sees Jace again, she realizes that Lilith's magic has effected him in a significant way, and joined him to Sebastian more closely than she could have ever realized. She sets out to try and save Jace from the hold that Sebastian has on him... but is there anything left of the real Jace to save?

Overall Thoughts

Non-spoiler section!

In my last discussion, I talked about how City of Fallen Angels wasn't anywhere near my favorite Cassandra Clare novel, I thought it was still a good book and felt that it was important to separate personal like/dislike and appreciation. I feel that somewhat with City of Lost Souls as well. There were certain aspects of the book that I just didn't like, solely due to my own personal taste. These aspects were essential to the plot and made it a great quality book, but it upset me to see certain characters behaving the way they were.

City of Lost Souls was definitely back along the lines of the original trilogy as far as the intricate plots and tense, exciting scenes. There was, of course, relationship drama... but it wouldn't be a Cassie Clare book without relationship drama! It just wasn't excessive and didn't push the plot by the wayside for more than half of the book as was done in City of Fallen Angels.

One complaint I did have was with the pacing. Well, maybe not so much the pacing as just with the length of the final scene. The last bit of the book is building up to this exciting scene, and when I finally got to that scene, I checked to see how much of the book I had left (I was reading it on my kindle). I was surprised to see that it was the last chapter! I usually expect the one final scene to be at least a couple chapters. It just seemed very abrupt and short.

So, rating. At this point, I'm giving it 4.5 stars out of 5. Despite the fact that I didn't like some aspects of the book, I think that quality-wise it was definitely on par with the bar that the original trilogy set. 

Spoilery Discussion!

So, as I was discussing in the non-spoilery section, I was really bothered by Jace throughout the book. Yes, I know that he was possessed and that he couldn't control what he was doing, but I just didn't enjoy reading those bits and seeing him being... not him. Obviously, it's a very important plot point, and is instrumental in making it a good and powerful book, it just made me really sad to see him acting like that.

Also... Magnus and Alec broke up.... NO. I mean, Cassie Clare tends to give her fans really satisfying endings, so I'm sure they'll get back together at some point... right? RIGHT? I mean, Magnus Bane has gone from person to person, never really forming a real bond, but for the first time, he actually, truly, loves someone. It would be terrible of Cassandra Clare to leave an extremely loved character unhappy.

I thought that Clary definitely seemed a lot stronger in this one. She's clearly becoming a fierce fighter and is becoming a stronger character... I mean, she drove a sword through the one person she loves more than anything else. And she did it because she knew he'd rather be dead than continue living the way he was. I mean... whoa. I couldn't do that. That's for sure.

OK, so I don't have a ton more to say about the book, but I do have some theories about City of Heavenly Fire. So let's get into that, shall we?

City of Heavenly Fire: Crackpot Theories 
Spoiler Warning: If you have not read all of Cassandra Clare's books preceding City of Heavenly Fire, you shouldn't read this. It involves stuff from both the Infernal Devices and the Mortal Instruments!

I've seen a couple of my favorite booktubers talking about their crackpot theories for City of Heavenly Fire, and I liked a lot of the ideas they had, and they seemed to agree with a lot of the things I was thinking.

So right off the bat, Cassandra Clare said that 6 named characters will die. So let's list off who I think that will be.

1) Sebastian. This one's obvious, right? C Squared (This should be Cassandra Clare's new nickname) has already said that every character gets closure. If Sebastian doesn't die, NONE of our main characters get closure.
2) Maureen. C Squared (liking this name more and more) has set her up to be somewhat of a villain at the end of City of Lost Souls. And villains need to die. Every character has closure. I don't know what other closure could be given to Maureen.
3) Rafael. He's going to come after Simon once he knows Simon doesn't have the mark of Cain anymore. He's already said that. The only way for this to end well for Simon is for Rafael to die.
4) Robert Lightwood. When I saw the crackpot theories videos, they mentioned a hint about a "Shadowhunter funeral," one of the few hints I didn't know about. I think this will be Robert Lightwood's. It could be Maryse, but I think we need her around to explain one of my other theories. Plus, C Squared is more likely to kill him off because he's just not as good of a person as Maryse.
5) Jordan. This is probably the most painful one for me. I know one of the couples is going to be separated. Supposedly a boyfriend dies. C Squared isn't going to kill off Jace, Simon, Magnus, or Alec. Come on, now. But it's plausible for her to kill off Jordan. I love Jordan, but most people wouldn't be too hurt for him to die. Honestly, I'd prefer if Maia died. But she made the inside cover. She isn't going anywhere.
6) Amatis. She's become one of Sebastian's followers, whether she wanted to or not. We've been told that there's no way to change them back. Therefore, I think that she is going to have to die.

I do have 3 other people I think could be plausible substitutes for the 6 above:
1) Camille. But wait, isn't she already dead? Well... according to Maureen, she is. But do we really believe that Camille, Camille, the most powerful vampire we see throughout both series, could be killed by a fledgling vampire? I think NOT. Honestly, I think she's going to be the one to kill Rafael. But I wouldn't be surprised if she was killed as well.
2) The Seelie Queen. OK, so we don't technically know her real name, besides "The Seelie Queen" but hear me out. She's already proven that she's thrown her lot in with Sebastian. She's going to be an actual villain in this book rather than just an annoyance. The only thing I think saves her butt is that she does whatever is most beneficial to her. When she sees Sebastian losing, she'll change alliances.
3) Magnus Bane. Again, hear me out. I like the theory that Katytastic threw out, saying that Magnus will die of old age in the epilogue. I'm pretty convinced that Magnus and Alec will get back together and that Magnus will give up his immortality to grow old with Alec. However, I'm not sure that the epilogue will stretch out far enough into the future for us to see that. The only reason we saw so far into the future of Tessa and Will and Jem was because Tessa and Jem lived for that long. I think the epilogue is going to be more similar to City of Glass. Everything wraps up, we find out what their immediate plans are, and everything is happy. Because I'm sure we'll hear more about all of our favorite characters in the Dark Artifices.

Speaking of the epilogue, I think it's going to be Jocelyn and Luke's wedding. I definitely think that their wedding will take place sometime during City of Heavenly Fire. We've waited this long for their wedding- Cassie isn't going to deny that to us. However, I don't think they would drop everything to get married in the midst of all this turmoil... Unless they went all Elizabeth Swann/ Will Turner on us. That would be epic. Doubtful, but epic. Because of that, I think they'll probably get married in the epilogue.

OK, relationships. we've been told that a couple will be separated forever. I think this will be Jordan and Maia. It's painful, but it's not going to completely destroy us. That's how Cassie likes it. We've also been told that a character will die saving another character. I think this is also referring to Jordan. I wouldn't be surprised if he died saving Maia. Past that, I think that all of our major couples will stay together.

Kat (of Katytastic) and Christine (of PolandBananasBooks) have come up with a theory about Isabelle... and I think I agree with them. At some point in City of Lost Souls, there was a blatant mention of Isabelle's dark eyes and how she wished that she had her parents' blue eyes. Now, I'm no science expert, and it's been years since I've taken Bio, BUT I do remember a bit about genetics. Kat and Christine both believed it was impossible for two blue-eyed people to have a dark-eyed child. I don't think it's impossible, but it IS unlikely. Brown eyes are a dominant gene, while blue eyes are recessive. If one or both parents carried the dominant gene, there's some possibility of two blue-eyed parents having a dark eyed child, because dark eyes are dominant.

HOWEVER, let's stop talking genes, and let's start talking Cassie Clare. Kat and Christine went through their books, and couldn't find an instance where Max's eye color was mentioned. His eyes are mentioned, but never their color. We know everyone else's eye color, even some of the unimportant ones. And yet, we are never told Max's, despite the fact that his eyes are mentioned several times. I find that to be a highly unlikely coincidence. And Cassie Clare does love a good plot twist. So, Kat and Christine had an idea... What if Isabelle isn't the daughter of both Maryse and Robert? The first thought was that she was the offspring from one of his affairs. BUT she looks A LOT like Maryse and that's been mentioned several times. Then, the conclusion that I came to (approximately 30 seconds before watching the part of Kat's video where she mentioned that this was also their conclusion) is that... maybe Isabelle is the child of Maryse and VALENTINE. Valentine has dark eyes. Maryse thought she was extremely close with him. Every Shadowhunter in the circle hung on his every word. Also, Valentine was experimenting on children/pregnant women at that time. I wouldn't put it past him to get someone pregnant to experiment on their child. Which also means... could Isabelle also have some sort of different blood in her? Jace and Clary have angel blood, Sebastian has demon blood... warlock? vampire? faerie? werewolf? There are so many possibilities!

Anyway, this is all theory. There's a good chance that this is getting blown out of proportion and that Isabelle is actually full Lightwood. BUT it also seems like an unlikely coincidence.

Finally, my last theory about City of Heavenly Fire has to do with one of the things about the book that I'm most looking forward to... the overlap between TMI and ID. The most popular theory, and the one I believe, is that Jace's heavenly fire is what burns the demon blood from Jem and allows him to leave the brotherhood and become a shadowhunter again. We know that the epilogue of Clockwork Princess happens sometime during City of Heavenly Fire, but WHEN? Honestly, I hope that it's early on. After touching Jace and learning what's going on with him, I think that Brother Zachariah probably realizes that this could help him. If he acts on this quickly enough, we can have our Jem back early on and we can get Tessa into the story quickly. That part is more of a hope than a theory, but I'm sure we'll get them in the story eventually. I'm still of the mindset that the brunette Magnus Bane was speaking to at the end of City of Glass was Tessa. Maybe that'll be mentioned when Clary first sees her.

That's all the theory I really have for the book... I'm ready to just dive right into it!

Favorite Quotes

Page 71: Alec looked merely irritated by this comment. "The only way you could raise enough money to hire Magnus by selling lemonade is if you put meth in it."

Page 79: "A silent brother was present, someone sworn to secrecy, and a female warlock who took the place of the Iron sister."
Jem and Tessa. It has to be Jem and Tessa. RIGHT?

Page 94: "I was hoping they'd put up flyers like they do for lost cats," he said. "Missing, one stunningly attractive teenage boy. Answers to 'Jace,' of 'Hot Stuff.'"

Page 108: "Saint Magnus's Home for Wayward Shadowhunters," he said in a deep voice. "Welcome." He threw an arm wide. "Spare bedrooms are that way. Wipe your boots on the mat."

Page 140: Simon patten the seat beside him as if someone were sitting there. "Let me introduce you to my good friend No."........."'No' is a magical word," he told her. "Here's how it goes. You say, 'Simon, I have an insane, suicidal plan. Would you like to help me carry it out?' And I say, 'Why, no.'"

Page 198: "I hate ducks. Don't know why. I just always have."

Page 467: "I was going to start off 'Friends, Romans, evildoers...' but I didn't think they'd see the humor."

Page 478: "Speaking of hope, did you see that shot Alec got off with his bow? That's my boyfriend." He beamed and wiggled his fingers; blue sparks shot from hem. He shone all over. Only Magnus, Simon thought resignedly, could have access to sequined battle armor.

Page 505: "No, Jace's is sort of the antiaircraft artillery tank of male egos," Simon admitted.

Page 531: "Unless you want that whole baby-I'm-on-fire-when-we kiss thing to become freakishly literal."

So, there you go, that's all for this summer reading post! Like I said earlier, the next few posts will be up ASAP!

Thanks for reading this! If you like my posts, don't forget to subscribe/follow, since it lets me know that you're enjoying what I'm doing. See y'all tomorrow!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

City of Fallen Angels Discussion [Summer Reading Challenge]

Hey, y'all! I'm here with another summer reading challenge post! I'm now in the process of reading The Mortal Instruments series. The first four books of the series are re-reads for me, while the 5th and 6th books will be first-time reads, so City of Fallen Angels is the last of the series that is a re-read for me. As usual, I'll give a non-spoilery summary and overall thoughts/rating before jumping into a spoilery discussion and my favorite quotes.

Also, I mentioned this in my last post, but as you might be able to tell, I'm a bit behind on my reading, since this is going up the day City of Heavenly Fire comes out. AKA I have another book to get through before I can even think of getting to City of Heavenly Fire. I fully intend to have the books finished by the end of the month, but at this point, I'm fairly certain that the last couple posts will not be out by the end of the month. But I'll keep you updated. At this point, I'm putting a halt on my other series so that I can finish up this. Once I get all of these reading posts out for May, I'll get those started up again.

I do hope to have my City of Lost Souls post up on either Friday or Saturday, but my City of Heavenly Fire post will definitely be up in June. After that, I'll have my series discussion and my May wrap-up. Then my other series and my June reading posts will start up.

Book Summary
[Reminder: don't read this section if you haven't read all 3 of the previous books. I have to talk about what's happened up to this point to discuss the plot of City of Fallen Angels!]

Clary, Jace, and the rest of our main characters have gone back home to New York. Clary has begun Shadowhunter training, while Simon struggles to hide his secret identity from his family as well as juggling two girlfriends. Jocelyn and Luke are engrossed in wedding plans. However, things soon begin to go wrong. Jace begins acting distant with no explanation, Shadowhunters are turning up dead, and someone is out to kill Simon. The Shadowhunters need figure out who is puppeteering all of the chaos- and why- before it's too late

Overall Thoughts

Non-spoiler section!

I'm very much of the opinion that you can think a book is good, but not particularly like it. That's kinda how I feel about City of Fallen Angels. I don't dislike it. I would probably even say that I like it. But in comparison to the other Mortal Instruments books... I just don't like it as much. I understand why much of the plot was necessary, but I simply didn't like some of the things that were in there. I think that some of this dislike is due solely to my personal taste, while some of it was due to the quality of the book.

For example, the relationship drama. The relationship drama was so over the top in this book. It was just too much. Every relationship had drama! I could see how some of it was merited and at least had an actual impact on the plot, but so much of it seemed like filler and it just wasn't important to the plot at all. Honestly, now that I think back... almost all of this book is relationship drama! We have little bits of important plot tossed in here and there as little teasers, but until sometime in Chapter 15, the majority of the book had been devoted to relationship drama.

I feel like City of Fallen Angels was a sort of "re-pilot" where Cassie Clare wanted to continue on, but give the series a fresh start. For example, several things we already knew were subtly re-explained, as if we didn't know what they were talking about. In City of Bones, when something action-packed and exciting wasn't going on, she spent time introducing us to characters and developing said characters, giving us more information about the Shadowhunter world... and adding a dash of romance. In City of Fallen Angels, however, we already know the characters and the world, so all she really had to fall back upon was the romance. And I know I've said this way too many times, but that's the downfall of this book.

Relationship drama aside, I liked the plot. It got good in the middle of chapter 15... AKA when the relationship drama finally took the backseat. The choices the characters faced were all extremely difficult and well-crafted and the manipulation of some of the characters was brilliant. The whole scheme was actually pretty intricate and secretive, and I think that part of the book was really well-done and interesting. I just wish there had been more of it.

So, rating. At this point, I'm giving it 4 stars out of 5. I thought that the parts relating to the actual plot were really great. If not for all of the relationship drama, this might have been able to stand up to some of the other books. 

Spoilery Discussion!

I hate to keep on going with the relationship drama, but let's be honest, that was the worst part of this book. So, we had Jace being emo and avoiding Clary rather than talking to her, Simon dating both Isabelle and Maia, and Alec being jealous of literally every person Magnus talked to. I can kinda see how the Jace/Clary drama was important. Obviously, the dreams he was having were very important. But even before anything bad happened, he was avoiding Clary for no reason, and just didn't talk to her. And of course, Clary constantly believed that Jace didn't love her, which she should have known wasn't the case. This drama might have been somewhat excusable if not for the fact that every other relationship was suffering from unnecessary drama.

The Magnus and Alec drama seemed almost completely unnecessary, except to talk about Will Herondale (which I'm never opposed to, I just didn't think it was necessary. That was much better handled with the Silent Brothers). I can understand Alec getting jealous or being upset to a certain extent, but it went a bit too far. Magnus clearly cares about Alec a lot, but Alec seems oblivious.

The Isabelle/Maia/Simon triangle was probably the least necessary of all of the relationship drama. Once the triangle ended, it was mostly left alone and disregarded. It didn't advance the plot, or even resolve the "who will Simon end up with?" question. Jordan resolved that question... or he seemingly did. Maybe Isabelle and Simon won't end up together. Who knows? (Duh, Kristen: People who have finished the series!)

OK, moving on from the relationship drama (finally). Up until Jace kidnaps Clary, the book was pretty meh. Sure, there were interesting little moments within the book, but nothing too interesting. After that though, it was really exciting, and I really enjoyed it. The idea of balance having to be restored after bringing Jace back from the dead is really interesting, and I think it's a really clever way to bring Sebastian/Jonathan back. I'm not sure I especially enjoyed the fact that he and Jace are now kinda bound to each other, but I think it works, regardless of how much I personally enjoy it.

I'm also kinda curious as to when Cassie Clare decided to make it a 6 book series rather than a trilogy. I was under the impression that she finished the trilogy and then went back and decided to add on, but it almost seems like she made the decision to continue on before the original trilogy ended. Even though this book was a bit of a "re-pilot," some of the plot points from City of Glass proved to be vital to City of Fallen Angels. For example, Simon's mark of Cain was vital to his survival, and therefore to the plot. However, the one element which did seem like an afterthought was Sebastian. He was killed off in City of Glass and then when the series continued, Cassie needed a villain and thought the best thing to do was to somehow bring Sebastian back from the dead. I don't know, it just kinda seems like an afterthought to say "oops, let's bring him back from the dead." Although he did disappear at the end of City of Glass, so it could not be an afterthought after all. I don't know.

Favorite Quotes

Page 8: She [Isabelle] made an impatient noise. "By the Angel, you don't know anything about your kind, do you? Do you even really know how vampires are made?"
"Well, when a mommy vampire and a daddy vampire love each other very much..."

Page 77: "You're just worried they'll hire a male instructor and he'll be hotter than you."
Jace's eyebrows went up. "Hotter than me?"
"It could happen," Clary said. "You know, theoretically."
"Theoretically the planet could suddenly crack in half, leaving me on one side and you on the other side, forever and tragically parted, but I'm not worried about that either. Some things," Jace said, with his customary crooked smile, "are just too unlikely to dwell upon."

Page 133: Jace rolled his eyes. "It's fascinating," he said. "You know all these words, and they're all English, but when you string them together into sentences, they just don't make any sense."

Page 141: "No," said Jace. "I think I'm better than everyone else. An opinion that has been backed up with ample evidence." Kyle looked at Simon.
"Does he always talk like this?"
"Does anything shut him up? Other than getting the crap beaten out of him, of course." 
Jace moved away from the window. "I would love to see you try."

Page 145: "I thought it was keep your friends close so you have someone to drive the car when you sneak over to your enemy's house at night and throw up in his mailbox."

Page 259: He saw a boy with black hair and blue eyes like Alec's, heard violin music like silver water. Saw a girl with long brown curls and a serious face. In a world where everything went away from him eventually, she was one of the few remaining constants.

Page 307: Since Alec was ignoring him, Magnus decided to amuse himself by changing the colors of the champagne in the glasses on the table. He made one blue, the next pink, and was working on green when Alec reached across the table and hit him on the wrist.

Page 366: "Alex-Alec. If I gave you the impression I had accepted the idea of your death I can only apologize. I tried to, I thought I had- and yet still I pictured having you for fifty, sixty more years. I thought I might be ready then to let you go. But it's you, and I realize now that I won't be any more ready to lose you then than I am right now." He put his hands gently to either side of Alec's face. "Which is not at all."

So, there you go, that's all for this summer reading post! I hope to get a couple more posts out soon, since it's getting close to the end of May, but we'll see!

Thanks for reading this! If you like my posts, don't forget to subscribe/follow, since it lets me know that you're enjoying what I'm doing. See y'all tomorrow!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

City of Glass Discussion [Summer Reading Challenge]

Hey, y'all! I'm here with another summer reading challenge post! I'm now in the process of reading The Mortal Instruments series. The first four books of the series are re-reads for me, while the 5th and 6th books will be first-time reads. I'd read City of Glass once before this read-through, and I was surprised at how different my opinion was this time around. As usual, I'll give a non-spoilery summary and overall thoughts/rating before jumping into a spoilery discussion and my favorite quotes.

Also, as you might be able to tell, I'm a bit behind on my reading, since this is going up the day City of Heavenly Fire comes out. AKA I have 2 more books to get through before I can even think of getting to City of Heavenly Fire. I fully intend to have the books finished by the end of the month, but at this point, I'm fairly certain that the last couple posts will not be out by the end of the month. But I'll keep you updated. At this point, I'm putting a halt on my other series so that I can finish up this. Once I get all of these reading posts out for May, I'll get those started up again.

Book Summary
[Reminder: don't read this section if you haven't read both of the previous books. I have to talk about what's happened up to this point to discuss the plot of City of Glass!]

After the events of City of Ashes, everyone at the New York institute need to travel to Alicante. Clary finally has the name of someone who could help her wake her mom up. The Clave is meeting to figure out what to do about Valentine, so the Shadowhunters need to be there as well. However, things seem to quickly fall apart as Valentine throws everything into chaos.

Overall Thoughts

Non-spoiler section!

I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed City of Glass. The first time through, I liked it but although I really enjoyed it, I thought it was just about as good as the other two books. This time through, I don't think that at all. It was far, far better than the other two. 

I'm finding it hard to put into words my opinion about the original trilogy. While I enjoy all the books as they are, there's a certain... lack of balance to the trilogy. While the first two books contained a lot of information and exciting scenes, they were nothing in comparison to everything we discovered in City of Glass, as well as all of the action-packed scenes in the book. By the time I reached the half-way point in City of Glass, I was (pleasantly) surprised that I was only half-way through. For me, reading the first half of City of Glass felt like the equivalent of reading either City of Bones or City of Ashes because of how much had happened already. I see this as the first two books being slightly lacking, rather than as City of Glass having too much in it. Approximately 250 pages of City of Glass were just as satisfying as City of Bones and City of Ashes had been... and those are both over 450 pages. It's a clear indication that Cassandra Clare's writing improved greatly.

That reminds me- in my City of Ashes discussion, I said that I was glad that this became a 6 book series rather than the trilogy it was originally written to be, because City of Ashes felt like only the tip of the iceberg. However, at the end of City of Glass, the story feels very complete. I'm definitely still not opposed to the series continuing, but I can also see that making it only a trilogy would be very conclusive as well.  

City of Glass also cemented my love of all of our "good" characters. There were some characters I maybe didn't like as much at the beginning, but while I still have favorite characters, I've come to really like and care about all of the characters.

I really don't have many complaints for this book. I really, really loved it- a lot more than I did the first time. This could be partially due to the fact that in my first read, I read City of Ashes and City of Glass in the same weekend, each in a single day. I didn't really give myself any breathing room from the series, and I didn't really have time to process what happened and my feelings toward the books. I probably also wasn't reading as closely or thoroughly because I just wanted to know what happened. I gave myself a few days with City of Glass, and although I did read the last 40% (according to my kindle) in one sitting, I at least had time away from the book to process everything that was happening.

Also, as a side note, I really enjoyed getting some tie-ins with the Infernal Devices. I'm glad that I read the Infernal Devices before re-reading TMI, because I can actually understand some of the references that I missed the first time around.

So, rating. At this point, I'm giving it 5 stars out of 5. I tend to be kinda picky with my 5 star ratings (although I'm trying to not be quite as picky) but I was surprised by how much I really enjoyed City of Glass the second time through. 

Spoilery Discussion!

Even the first time I read the series, I didn't really believe that Jace and Clary were actually siblings. The entire time, I was kinda like "OK, Clare, how are you going to resolve this? How are Clary and Jace going to end up together?" I was completely convinced that they would end up together, so I was fairly certain that some twist would come up and we would find out that they weren't siblings. Obviously, this time around, I knew that "Sebastian" was actually Clary's brother, which made the scene where they kiss even creepier than before I knew.

I also loved that this is where Clary finally fully harnesses her power to create runes. She's used it off and on throughout the series, but this is where it finally becomes really helpful.

I honestly have trouble even talking about the book, because although there were scenes that I really loved, I just really loved it as a whole. Everything was just so wonderful that it's hard to pinpoint the best parts.

I liked how the whole Sebastian/Jace thing was handled. I liked how the characters kinda found out at different moments. I felt so bad for Jace when he believed that he had demon blood in him. The one complaint is that it was made very clear that the child with demon blood would not be able to understand or show compassion or love or really any sort of emotion. But Jace has certainly shown emotion... so I'm not sure why no one caught onto that fact that Jace clearly couldn't be the demon-child.

I loved the story about Jace's star birthmark, especially now that I know where it came from. The fact that the star birthmark was passed along from one of my favorite characters is just so great! Also, one moment that stood out for me was at the party in the epilogue. Magnus was talking to a girl with brown hair when Clary arrived. After all of the Infernal Devices references, I couldn't help but wonder... was it Tessa? Tessa has brown hair. She would probably be there, fighting alongside the warlocks. And, while we obviously don't know everything about Magnus by any stretch of the imagination, we don't know of any other brown-haired girl that he would even give the time of day to. I dunno, it just seemed more important than just some random girl who happened to pop up.

I don't even know what else to say about this book, because it was just so good. Everything was great.

Favorite Quotes

Page 48: "Did you ever think that in a past life Alec was an old woman with ninety cats who was always yelling at the neighborhood kids to get off her lawn? Because I do," he [Jace] said. 

Page 151: "It's my cologne. Eau de Recent Injury." Jace raised his left hand.

Page 168: "Nice, bah. He's gorgeous." Magnus gazed dreamily in his direction. "You should leave him here. I could hang hats on him and things."

Page 251: "I'm really, really grateful to you for saving us, Maia, and Jace is too, even though he's so stubborn that he'd rather jam a seraph blade through his eyeball than say so."

Page 256: Malachi scowled. "I don't remember the Clave inviting you into the Glass City, Magnus Bane."
"They didn't," Magnus said. "Your wards are down."
"Really?" the Consul's voice dripped sarcasm. "I hadn't noticed."
Magnus looked concerned. "That's terrible. Someone should have told you." He glanced at Luke. "Tell him the wards are down."

Page 268: "You had to make a crazy jail friend, didn't you? You couldn't just count ceiling tiles or tame a pet mouse like normal prisoners do?" [Jace]

Page 316: "Have you tried talking to her?"
"No," Jace said, "we've been punching her repeatedly in the face instead. Why, do you think that won't work?"

Page 366: "If you ever meet the man who could take advantage of Isabelle, you'll have to let me know. I'd like to shake his hand. Or run away from him very fast, I'm not sure which." [Simon]

Page 496: There was only one thing she could ask for, in the end, only one real choice. She raised her eyes to the Angel's. "Jace," she said.

Page 516: "All Lucian wants," said Amatis firmly, "is you. You and Clary. That's all he ever wanted."

Page 534: "I am a man," he told her, "and men do not consume pink beverages. Get thee gone, woman, and bring me something brown."
"Brown?" Isabelle made a face.
"Brown is a manly color," said Jace, and yanked on a stray lock of Isabelle's hair with his free hand. "In fact, look- Alec is wearing it."
Alec looked mournfully down at his sweater. "It was black," he said. "But then it faded."
"You could dress it up with a sequined headband," Magnus suggested, offering his boyfriend something blue and sparkly. "Just a thought."

So, there you go, that's all for this summer reading post! I hope to get a couple more posts out soon, since it's getting close to the end of May, but we'll see!

Thanks for reading this! If you like my posts, don't forget to subscribe/follow, since it lets me know that you're enjoying what I'm doing. See y'all tomorrow!

Saturday, May 24, 2014

My Chemical Romance- The Black Parade

Hey, y'all! It's time for me to talk about another CD on my shelf! As always, I put my iTunes on shuffle, and the CD containing the first song that played is the one I'll be talking about!

Release Date: October 24, 2006
Genre: Alternative Rock, Pop Punk, Emo

*New Section/ Info*- When I bought the CD: I know it was around Christmastime, because I was with my cousins, and my best guess would be that it was 2009. Not sure why I hadn't bought it earlier, since I got into alternative music in early 2008, but at least we got there!

Track Listing
  1. The End
  2. Dead!
  3. This Is How I Disappear
  4. The Sharpest Lives
  5. Welcome to the Black Parade
  6. I Don't Love You
  7. House of Wolves
  8. Cancer
  9. Mama
  10. Sleep
  11. Teenagers
  12. Disenchanted
  13. Famous Last Words
  14. Blood [Hidden Track]

My Chemical Romance lineup on this CD:
Gerard Way- lead vocals
Ray Toro- lead guitar
Mikey Way- bass guitar
Frank Iero- rhythm guitar
Bob Bryar- drums

From L-R: Bob, Mikey, Gerard, Frank, Ray

About My Chemical Romance: 
Once again, I've ended up with a pretty well-known band. My Chemical Romance was formed in 2001 and gained significant commercial success in the early 2000s. They released four full length CDs: I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love in 2002, Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge in 2004, The Black Parade in 2006, and Dangerous Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys in 2010. Beginning in 2012, My Chemical Romance released a series of singles/EPs called the Conventional Weapons. Upon the conclusion of these releases in early 2013, the band announced its break-up.

My Opinion about My Chemical Romance:
I find My Chemical Romance kinda hit or miss. There are a couple CDs that I really enjoy by them, and a couple I just don't really enjoy as much. I admire them for their ability to create such great concepts to base albums off of, like they did with The Black Parade and Dangerous Days. While they've never been my favorite band, they do have some really outstanding songs.

About the CD:  
This is probably My Chemical Romance's most well-known and commercially successful CD. This concept album is a rock opera, focusing on a patient dying of cancer. The songs tell the story of his death and reflect upon his life. 

This is my favorite My Chemical Romance CD. I think it's incredibly well-constructed and cohesive and really enjoy almost all of the songs on the CD. It's really, really great.

As always, I'm going to give each song a rating out of 10 and then give a brief explanation of why it got that rating. 


The End- 8.5/10. Not too much to say about this one. I like it as an opening song. It starts out relaxed (well, relaxed for MCR) and then gets some MCR crazy thrown in before going straight into Dead!

Dead!- 9/10. I love so many of the lyrics in this song. First of all, "Have you heard the news that you're dead?" but aside from that, there's "If life ain't just a joke, then why am I laughing?"

This Is How I Disappear- 8/10. A pretty average song. Pretty good, but not a standout. I do really enjoy the guitar on this one though. That's definitely the highlight.

The Sharpest Lives- 10/10. I just really love how completely creepy the verses of this song are, and I love the contradiction between that and the chorus. I wasn't a huge fan of this one when I first heard the CD, but it really grew on me, and now it's one of my favorites.

Welcome to the Black Parade- 10/10. Is it really possible to not give this one a 10/10? It's the epitome of the entire CD, and arguably MCR's best song ever. It's certainly the one they're best known for. It's a masterpiece, and I definitely think it's one of their best songs they've ever done.

I Don't Love You- 8.5/10. I've fallen out of love with this one a little, but it's still a really good song. I generally don't tend to gravitate toward slower songs (especially when it's MCR), but this is one that I've always enjoyed.

House of Wolves- 9.5/10. This song is really great. It's got all of the craziness I've come to expect from My Chemical Romance. The guitar and vocals are outstanding on this one, especially in the bridge. So great. 

Cancer- 8/10. I don't have a ton to say about this song. It's good, but for me, it's not a standout. I'm sure there are people who really love this one, but as I said before, slower songs aren't really my thing. And my favorite of Gerard's vocal styles is the harder, in-your-face vocals, like in House of Wolves, not the slower songs. 

Mama- 9.5/10. The creepy factor is so incredibly high on this song, and it's just so incredibly dark but it works really well. Typically, I pay attention to the music more than the lyrics, but the minimal instrumentation on the verses forces you to listen to the dark lyrics. So much love for this song. 

Sleep- 7/10. Forgettable, for me. It's just average. The chorus isn't bad... but I generally don't want to listen to the opening bit, and the rest of the song isn't good enough for me to put up with it. Kudos for making a "Three Cheers" reference though.

Teenagers-10/10. Oh, man. This song. Probably my favorite My Chemical Romance song. The only complaint (which really has nothing to do with the song) is that it doesn't really seem to fit into the CD. I dunno, it just seems like its own separate entity among all of the songs dealing with the patient dying of cancer. But I don't mind because I absolutely love this song. 

Disenchanted- 7.5/10. A little forgettable for me. I had to listen to it to even remember anything about how it sounded. Once I listened, I remembered that I do kinda like it, but it's not one of the better songs on this CD.

Famous Last Words- 9/10. I was really torn between a 9 and a 9.5 for this one, but I went with a 9 just because I often think that I like it more than I really do. It's a good song, but I don't tend to listen to it very much. The chorus is a little flat... probably because it's mostly the same note. But I think the guitar is really cool in this one!

Blood [Hidden Track]- 9/10. This one always makes me laugh. Gerard's vocal style on this is great, and the cheesy ghostly moans in the background are hilarious.


Favorite Songs: Teenagers, Welcome To The Black Parade, and The Sharpest Lives.

Least Favorite Songs: Sleep and Disenchanted.


Welcome To The Black Parade music video

Teenagers music video

Rating: 9.5/10. While the individual songs don't necessarily merit the 9.5, the concept and my overall love for the CD get it up there. I'd prefer to give it like a 9.25, but I don't have a category for that, and don't plan on making one. But, either way, this is a really great, well-written and well thought out CD.

Hope you liked my newest "The CDs on my Shelf" post! Have any questions? What are your opinions on My Chemical Romance? Let me know in the comments. If you like my posts, I'd really appreciate if you'd subscribe/follow, because it lets me know y'all are liking them! Hope you enjoyed! Comment, comment, comment! I love feedback! Thanks for reading!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

City of Ashes Discussion [Summer Reading Challenge]

Hey, y'all! I'm here with another summer reading challenge post! I'm now in the process of reading The Mortal Instruments series. The first four books of the series are re-reads for me, while the 5th and 6th books will be first-time reads. I'd read City of Ashes once before this read-through, and I was surprised at how much of the plot I'd forgotten.  As usual, I'll give a non-spoilery summary and overall thoughts/rating before jumping into a spoilery discussion and my favorite quotes.

Also, as a side note, you may have noticed that my normal series haven't come out as planned. Not to worry- I plan on getting a CDs On My Shelf post out in the next couple days, followed closely by a City of Glass Discussion.

Book Summary
[Reminder: don't read this section if you haven't read City of Bones. I have to spoil the events of City of Bones to discuss the plot of City of Ashes!]

Valentine has escaped with The Mortal Cup, but his presence is still clear. Downworlder children have been murdered, and the Shadowhunters suspect Valentine is behind it. To make everything infinitely worse, the Clave suspects that Jace is working with Valentine, another Mortal Instrument- the Soul-Sword- is stolen, and discord within the Clave is growing.

Overall Thoughts

Non-spoiler section!

I remember liking City of Bones A LOT more than City of Ashes the first time around, but upon a re-read, they're at least equal. I haven't yet decided if I like City of Ashes more than City of Bones. Also, as I'm writing this, I'm finding it extremely difficult to talk about it without spoiling anything, because I feel like everything worth talking about is a spoiler!

I certainly like Clary a lot more in this book. She actually figures out how to be useful! And the way that happens is extremely cool, in my opinion.

And of course I absolutely love Jace, as usual. I had totally forgotten about a certain moment with him and Simon near the end of the book, and when I re-read it, it reminded me why I love Jace so much. As I said in my last post, I wasn't sure I'd love Jace as much as Will Herondale or Jem Carstairs, but re-reading the books is just reminding me why I loved Jace so much in the first place. He's arrogant and sarcastic, but he's also an unbelievably wonderful character. Where would this series be without him?

Reading this also reminds me why I'm so glad that Cassandra Clare made this series 6 books rather than 3. By the end of Clockwork Prince, I felt like although we didn't have all of the information, we were nearing some sort of conclusion. In City of Ashes, however, it still feels like the tip of the iceberg. That could be because I've read past the original trilogy, but it just doesn't feel like the middle book in a trilogy.

I do think that the quality is better in City of Ashes than in City of Bones. The plotline is a lot more intricate in this one than in City of Bones. We get to see into the minds of more characters and see each character's struggles and confusion. It makes for a really solid book.

My big complaint for this book has to do with some relationship stuff. I can't say what exactly, since that would spoil City of Bones, but just... ew. After learning what we learned in the first book... WHY? In the long-run, I think it's great, but with the knowledge that these characters have at this point... NO.

So, rating. I think I'm going to go ahead and give this 4.5 stars out of 5. I may end up bumping it up to something like 4.6 or something, if I do decide that it's better than City of Bones, but for now, 4.5

Spoilery Discussion!

Starting out with the whole relationship thing. I'm sorry, but if I liked a guy and then found out that he was my brother, I would immediately say "well nevermind then!" and MOVE ON. The fact that Clary and Jace can't seem to keep their hands off each other, even though Valentine has informed them that they're siblings, is so gross and wrong on so many levels. Why, Cassandra Clare? Why?

Also, every time Clary and Simon were together, it just felt so cringe-y. I'm glad that was ended, because I don't think I could handle any more Clary-Simon action. Too awkward. Doesn't work.

Clary definitely becomes more pleasant in this book. She's acting more like a Shadowhunter than as a scared fifteen year old girl. And the power to create runes is seriously awesome. I do have to say though, that it does seem extremely similar to Tessa from the Infernal Devices and how she has a special talent no one else has.

Simon's plot is another of my favorites. I remember, the first time through, I got annoyed with myself because I didn't realize ahead of time that Simon would become a vampire, even though he bit one. But it was fairly subtly and cleverly done, and I really enjoy that. And it also gives Simon more of a purpose in the series. He's not just the mundane hanging around anymore. And I also love the twist with him being able to go into the sunlight. So great.

Which brings me to probably my favorite moment in the book- the moment when Jace lets Simon drink his blood. This is what reminded me why I love Jace so much. He cut his arm open and allowed Simon to drink from it, knowing fully well that Simon could easily kill him (whether purposefully, or accidentally). I don't care whether he did it for Clary, or if he did it purely to save Simon, but it's such a selfless act and shows that Jace isn't just that pretty, arrogant boy with no emotions.

I also love all of the questions left unanswered at the end of the book, particularly with Inquisitor Herondale and Jace. I obviously know the purpose, since I've read past this book, but I think it's really great to leave that hanging for the third (and originally, final) book of the series.

Favorite Quotes

Page 10: "I said mostly extint." [Jace]
Alec jabbed a finger toward him. "Mostly extinct," he said, his voice trembling with rage, "is NOT EXTINCT ENOUGH."
"I see," said Jace. "I'll just have them change the entry in the demonology textbook from 'almost extinct' to 'not extinct enough for Alec. He prefers his monsters really, really extinct.' Will that make you happy?" 

Page 123: "Yeah," Jace said, "he's terrified I'll tell everyone that he's always really wanted to be a ballerina."

Page 126: "Is he dead?" he [Magnus] inquired. "He looks dead."
"No," snapped Maryse. "He's not dead."
"Have you checked? I could kick him if you want." Magnus moved toward Jace

Page 137: "I was going to watch Project Runway," said Jace. "It's on next."
Project Runway is my favorite show, so that always makes me giggle.

Page 447: A pair of werewolves occupied another booth. They were eating raw shanks of lamb and arguing about who would win in a fight: Dumbledore from the Harry Potter books or Magnus Bane.
I always love a good Harry Potter reference!

So, there you go, that's all for this summer reading post! I hope to get a couple more posts out before the end of the weekend: a CDs On My Shelf post, and my City of Glass discussion. Hopefully I finish it by then, because I really need to get going if I'm going to get done with The Mortal Instruments by the time that City of Heavenly Fire comes out. It's gonna be a doozy.

Thanks for reading this! If you like my posts, don't forget to subscribe/follow, since it lets me know that you're enjoying what I'm doing. See y'all tomorrow!

Friday, May 16, 2014

City of Bones Discussion [Summer Reading Challenge]

Hey, y'all! I'm here with another summer reading challenge post! I've now started into The Mortal Instruments series. The first four books of the series are re-reads for me, while the 5th and 6th books will be first-time reads. I'd actually already read City of Bones twice before this re-read, so out of the books, this is the one I'm the most familiar with.  As usual, I'll give a non-spoilery summary and overall thoughts/rating before jumping into a spoilery discussion and my favorite quotes.

Book Summary
Our main character, Clary Fray, is a fifteen year old girl from New York City. One night, while out with her best friend, Simon, she realizes that she can see people that no one else is able to see. The next day, her mother goes missing, and when Clary returns home, she's attacked by a creature. Clary finds herself sucked into the world of demon hunters called Shadowhunters, and while trying to discover what happened to her mom, she realizes that she may be a bigger part of the Shadowhunter world than she originally thought.

Overall Thoughts

Non-spoiler section!

I'm going to try my hardest not to compare this to the Infernal Devices very much. I'm going to try to save that for the end of the month wrap-up. I do know that there will be some small comparisons, but I'm going to keep it to a minimum.

Right off the bat, I do have a comparison. Reading Clockwork Princess, Cassandra Clare's newest book, and then going straight into City of Bones, her first book, was a bit troublesome for me. It shows how much Clare has improved as a writer, but it also made it a bit difficult to really get into City of Bones, because it seemed a little childish in comparison. Once I got into it, however, I found myself enjoying it again. I didn't enjoy it as much as I did the first time, but that might be because I knew what was happening already.

There were a couple things that upset me because of some inconsistency between TMI and the ID. In City of Bones, Jace says that the Mortal Cup can only be used on children. Yet, we know from the ID that it was used on someone who was not a child. I doubt Jace doesn't know what he's talking about, so I'm not sure what Cassandra Clare was thinking with that.

Ok, so Clary. She bothered me this time. It wasn't overwhelming by any means, but there were definitely moments where I just wanted to smack her. There were several times when she could have figured something out just by thinking about it, but she was so oblivious that it wasn't even funny. There were also a couple times where she kinda just stood around and let everyone else do the work, and I wish she would've just done something.

OK, enough of the complaints. On to the good stuff. JACE. I had begun to doubt if I'd like Jace as much as I did the first and second reads... but I loved him, as always. There's one scene where I got mad at him, but I've always been annoyed in that scene. Overall, he's definitely my favorite character in the book.

This next part is based on past times I've read it rather than this time. So, clearly since this is the third time I've read this book, I already knew everything that was going to happen and therefore I didn't have that urge to keep reading to find out what was going on. However, the first time I read this book, that urge was there so strongly that I finished it in a day. There only a few books that I've read in a single day (on the first read). Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Divergent, and (most recently) Clockwork Princess are the only ones I can think of off the top of my head. Typically, I prefer to read chunks at a time, but when I'm really, really enjoying a book, I can't stand to put it down no matter what. Because of this, I think that plot-wise, this was a really great opener. There's a nice handful of action scenes, but also that on-going mystery there to keep the reader curious and wanting to continue to figure out what's going on.

So, rating. Although it kinda sounds like I have several complaints about the book, I really do like it. I think the main things that bothered me were Clary and the fact that I didn't think that the writing was quite up to par with some of Clare's other books. I'm going to [tentatively] give City of Bones 4.5 stars out of 5. I'll give my final rating on the series discussion post, but I think that for now, 4.5 is adequate.

Spoilery Discussion!

OK, so addressing one of my Clary problems more in-depth. Given the timeline and the fact that Clary discovered that her mom and Valentine were married, Clary should've deduced that she was Valentine's daughter approximately 200 pages before Luke told her. I mean, Clary has realized that her mom hid her entire past, so would it really be that far of a stretch for her to wonder, "Wait, is it possible that I'm Valentine's daughter?!" She didn't even question it. Plus, the fact that Simon made it incredibly obvious that he liked her, but she was clueless. Really, Clary?

I'm sure, that if you've read City of Bones, you know that the part where I really hated Jace was when we first see him with Valentine. I've always thought that this section was incredibly out of character for him. I guess I could understand him being shocked and therefore acting weird. However, can you imagine Star Wars if, when Darth Vader says "Luke, I am your father," Luke went, "OK, let me help you take lightsabers away from my friends!" I mean, Jace is an incredibly self-sufficient and independent character, and he was acting like an obedient five year old for a while. It's just too out of character.

The rest of the time, I really liked Jace though. I love Jace a lot. I think he's a really fun and interesting character to have around. Where would we be without his sarcasm and witty repartee? I think that if this were real life, I'd hate him, but this isn't real life, and I think he's adorable.

I think that the action and amount of world-building are two of the strongest parts of this book. We get the scene with the vampires, several demons and forsaken, and the battles at the end. It's an action-packed first book, and that makes it really great. I also felt like we got a great sense of the world. It definitely helps that the main character is being introduced to the world at the same time as us. What she understands, we understand. What confuses her, confuses us. It's really helpful.

Overall, I always enjoy getting into Cassandra Clare's Shadowhunter world!

Favorite Quotes

Page 6:"Meanwhile," Simon added, "I wanted to tell you that lately I've been cross-dressing. Also, I'm sleeping with your mom. I thought you should know."

Page 83: Alec looked horrified, as if she'd asked him to put on a tutu and execute a perfect pirouette.

Page 153: "It wouldn't be my move," Jace agreed. "First the candy and flowers, then the apology letters, then the ravenous demon hordes. In that order."

Page 179: 'Shadowhunters: Looking Better in Black Than the Widows of our Enemies Since 1234.'

Page 186: "Magnus Bane? But that's not even a name!"

Page 194: "Good idea," said Jace. "I shall be Baron Hotschaft VonHugenstein."

Page 324: "Look. Jammies."

Page 324: "Don't tell me," he [Jace] said. "You've got a drawing emergency. You need a nude model. Well, I'm not in the mood. You could ask Hodge."

Page 341: "True. I'd always hoped that when I finally said 'I love you' to a girl, she'd say 'I know' back, like Lei did to Han in Return of the Jedi."

Page 345: Jace said, "Unfortunately, Lady of the Haven, my one true love remains myself."
Dorothea roared at that. "At least," she said, "you don't have to worry about rejection, Jace Wayland."
"Not necessarily. I turn myself down occasionally, just to keep it interesting."

So, there you go, that's all for this summer reading post! A chapter of The Secret Lightning Scar should be up on Saturday. Sometime after that, I should have a City of Ashes post up. Hopefully on Monday.

Thanks for reading this! If you like my posts, don't forget to subscribe/follow, since it lets me know that you're enjoying what I'm doing. See y'all tomorrow!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The Infernal Devices Trilogy Discussion [Summer Reading Challenge]

Hey, y'all! I'm here with another summer reading challenge post! I finished the Infernal Devices trilogy by Cassandra Clare, and I've posted discussions about each of the books individually. Here are the links to all three posts:
Clockwork Princess

Now, I'm here to discuss the series as a whole, including my opinions about the entire series, my rankings of the books, rankings of the covers, and some of my favorite things in the series.

Series Summary

The Infernal Devices trilogy begins in 1878 and is centered around our main character, Tessa Gray, an American teenager who has just traveled across the Pacific Ocean to London to live with her brother, Nathaniel. She discovers that she has the unique ability to shapeshift into different people and finds herself becoming more and more entangled in the secret world of demons, warlocks, vampires, werewolves, and Shadowhunters (people who are half angel and half human, who protect people by hunting demons). She discovers that a mysterious leader named The Magister plans to use Tessa and her power as the centerpiece to a disastrous plan. And, in the midst of impending danger, Tessa finds her heart torn between two Shadowhunters.

Overall Opinions

I had read the first 4 books of The Mortal Instruments series (Cassandra Clare's other series, set in the same world, in present day) before reading The Infernal Devices, and had already fallen in love with the Shadowhunter world that Clare has created. This Infernal Devices series has only solidified my love of this exciting world. I had been extremely skeptical about its ability to impress me as much as The Mortal Instruments did, but I was happily extremely impressed. The characters at first glance seem like simple carbon copies of other characters Clare has created, but they are so incredibly complex and fascinating. The relationships between the characters are so well developed and beautiful, especially the love triangle. The love triangle is one of the best that I've read, if not the best. The three characters' relationships are all so unique and you know that no matter what happens, and who ends up together, everyone is going to have some sort of heartbreak. 

I fell in love with this trilogy in a way that I never expected. It's so hard for me to give it an actual star rating. A 5 star rating system doesn't seem descriptive enough for this series. Even a 10 star rating system doesn't seem descriptive enough. However, I'm not going to go crazy, so I'll go with a 10 star rating system. I don't want to give it a full 10 stars, just because I feel like I can't call it perfect. However, a 9.5 star rating doesn't seem to be quite good enough. I'm going to give it 9.75 stars out of 10. Excessive decimals? Maybe. But this series merited that rating. 

Ranking The Books

#3: Clockwork Angel

It almost pains me to say that this is my least favorite book of the series, solely because I loved the book so much. However, it just wasn't as good as the other two, simply because it was laying the foundation for the rest of the series. It wasn't quite as exciting as the other two books, and we hadn't yet gotten the development of the characters or the relationships between the characters that we grow to love in the last two books. And we don't get to see a ton of Magnus Bane. 

Favorite moment: Probably when Tessa and Jem first meet. It's too adorable.
Rating: Overall, continuing the 10 star system, I'd give it 9 stars out of 10.

#2: Clockwork Prince

This was a big step up from Clockwork Angel. We learn more about the characters in the series, the love triangle is incredibly believable and well-developed. There are secrets and betrayal that are just so incredible. There are so many more moments of action and excitement and I found it really hard to put down. It was really great.

Favorite moment: Maybe the moment when Magnus kisses Will. It's just too funny. 
Rating: I'd have to give it 9.5 stars out of 10.

#1: Clockwork Princess

I read this book almost in one sitting. If I hadn't been forced to go do some things (because unfortunately, there is such a thing as real life), I would have just sat there and read and read and read. This book was so action-packed. Something exciting was constantly happening. There were no slow points, and I just couldn't tear my eyes away from it. I was expecting Clockwork Princess to be better than Clockwork Prince (because the GoodReads rating avg. for Prince was 4.48, and Princess was 4.58). However, I wasn't expecting it to be that much better. The rating avg. for Angel was 4.29, so I figured that the difference between the quality of Prince and Princess would not be as large as the one between Angel and Prince. But I was wrong. I was astounded at how perfect of an ending it was. As I said in my Clockwork Princess discussion, I thought that it was the perfect combination of heartbreak and happiness. It was beautiful. 

Favorite moment: The epilogue. The epilogue. The epilogue. It was so beautiful.
Rating: It was a clear 10 stars out of 10. I couldn't have asked for anything more.

Ranking The Covers

#3) Clockwork Angel

I've never been the biggest fan of this cover. I don't think it's a very good depiction of Will. The background is really pretty, but the cover is nowhere near as dynamic in person as it is in the above image. I'm sure the hardcover is a bit prettier, but either way, this one is easily my least favorite cover. 

#2) Clockwork Princess

This cover is gorgeous. Tessa looks great, and I love that she has the codex and her clockwork angel. I especially love the bridge in the background because of the meaning behind it in the series. However, I'm not a huge fan of pink or rose gold, and that's kinda the color scheme of the cover. Also, I'm not a big fan of the building in the background. The buildings on the other books look nicer. 

#1) Clockwork Prince

This cover. This cover. This cover. Jem Carstairs. The blue color scheme. It's so incredibly gorgeous. I don't have any complaints about this cover. It's so great. I don't even know what else to say. It's just beautiful. 

Favorites/Least Favorites

Favorite character: It's a toss-up between Jem and Will at this point. They're both really great and dynamic and I love both of them. I also really love Magnus. 
Least favorite character: I'm not going to be obvious and choose a villain. I don't like Jessamine. I honestly don't. I didn't feel bad for her at any point. 

Favorite ship: Tessa and Will. I love Tessa and Jem as well, but I like Tessa and Will more. 
Least favorite ship: *This is a small spoiler, proceed with caution!* I would have to choose Gabriel Lightwood and  Cecily Herondale. It wasn't instalove, but it was pretty close. 

Favorite moment: In the entire series, the epilogue. The epilogue. 
Least favorite moment: When Will and Jem's parabatai relationship was ended. It was such a painful moment. I think it was beautifully written, and it was one of the sobbing moments. It's such a bittersweet moment for me. It was so well handled, but I hated that it had to happen. My heart went out to Will at that moment. 


So, there you go, that's all for the Infernal Devices Trilogy Discussion! Have you read the series? What did you think of it? A chapter of The Secret Lightning Scar should be up on Saturday. Sometime between now and then, I plan on getting my City of Bones discussion post up, and maybe even a City of Ashes discussion!

Thanks for reading this! If you like my posts, don't forget to subscribe/follow, since it lets me know that you're enjoying what I'm doing. See y'all soon!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Clockwork Princess Discussion [Summer Reading Challenge]

Hey, y'all! I'm here with another summer reading challenge post! As with the Clockwork Prince post, I decided not to update as I was reading. Instead, I have favorite quotes at the end of the post, like I did with the Clockwork Prince post. Let's get into the exciting conclusion of this series!

Book Summary

If you haven't read Clockwork Angel and Clockwork Prince, don't read this! I have to spoil the events of Clockwork Angel to talk about what happens in Clockwork Princess! 

The book picks up a couple months after the end of Clockwork Prince. Since showing up at the Institute, Cecily Herondale has begun her training to be a Shadowhunter. Jem and Tessa are preparing to get married, while Will continues to avoid Tessa. In the meantime, Mortmain and his automatons haven't been heard from, but soon, that's going to change. Among all the turmoil and Jem's looming illness, Will is still in love with Tessa. How will it all end?  

Overall Thoughts

WOW. This was a better and more thrilling conclusion to this trilogy than I had expected or even hoped for. Gone were the scattered slow moments of Clockwork Angel and Clockwork Prince. This book was so completely action-packed and exciting. Like with Clockwork Prince, once I got into it, I couldn't put it down. The only difference was that it only took 50 pages before I couldn't put it down.

I was very satisfied with the way that the love triangle was handled. This is probably my favorite love triangle I've read. All three of the characters involved in it are so great and you know that no matter what happens, characters that you love are going to hurt. I thought it was so well-written and heartbreaking, but yet so incredibly satisfying at the same time.

I'm not even sure I can really criticize much about the book! Cassandra Clare crafted a trilogy finale with the perfect mixture of heartbreak and happiness, and I can't say too much except that I completely loved it. Honestly, the best part of the book was the epilogue. I'm just glad that my roommates aren't here, because I cried several times during this book. The epilogue was practically a complete sob-fest. 

So, before I get into the spoilery discussion, I'll give my rating of the book. I typically try to avoid giving books a straight-up 5, but Clockwork Princess deserves it. The 5 star rating was a complete no-brainer. 

Spoilery Discussion!

This book was so beautiful. Dare I say perfect? Maybe. There are so many things that I want to talk about that I just can't because SO MUCH happened! Jessie's death was so sudden and unexpected. And then, Jem's impending death and Tessa's capture immediately after. Will's journey to save Tessa, and his pain when he feels that his parabatai is dead. The shock when we realize that Jem isn't dead, but has become a Silent Brother. The realization of what Tessa really is, and what she can do... It's just so many story lines weaving together, creating a completely action-packed book.

Ok, so William Herondale. I love Will Herondale. I understand all the love now. I get it. I still completely love Jem, and I'm sure I will continue to. At this point, I think I love them equally as characters. I definitely believe that the love triangle reached a beautiful conclusion. And that epilogue though. Tessa and Will got married, just as everyone knew they would, and they had a long and happy marriage. And then we see Jem and Tessa in 2008 when he's found a cure and they can be together. Cassandra crafted the perfect way for Tessa to be able to love both of them and to be with both of them, and it had me in tears.

Also, side note- Magnus Bane. He and Will's relationship is too great, and I absolutely love the part that Magnus plays throughout this series. I'm so glad that I get to see him again soon when I read The Mortal Instruments!

I honestly don't think that Cassandra Clare could've crafted a better conclusion. If I were to complain about one thing, it was that the couples ended up a bit too perfectly. Everyone ended up with someone. And yet, it didn't really bother me, because who doesn't like a happy ending?! This book was all that I could've asked for and more.

Favorite Quotes

Not all of the places marked in the book are below- I picked only my absolute favorites for this post- because as you can see, I have several marks in here. Like with Clockwork Angel & Prince, the blue tabs are Will moments, the purple tabs are Jem moments, and the green tabs are everything else. Per usual, I think most of the green moments are Magnus Bane. Because he's Magnus Bane.

Page 20:
[Jem]"Unfortunately, you may have to delay your plans for sororicide a bit longer. Gabriel Lightwood is downstairs, and I have two words for you. Two of your favorite words, at least when you put them together."
"Utter simpleton?" inquired Will. "Worthless upstart?"
Jem grinned. "Demon pox," he said.

Page 135: [Charlotte] "Will, I have already been up all night copying down the relevant parts. Much of it was-"
"Jibberish?" Jem suggested.
"Pornographic?" said Will at the same time.
"Could be both," said Will. "Haven't you ever heard of pornographic gibberish before?"

Page 227: "One girl, who is not Nephilim, is not, cannot, be our priority!"
"She is my priority!" Will shouted. 

Page 422: "Well, I think Henry and Magnus should go first," Gabriel said. "They invented the blasted thing."
Everyone turned on him. "It's like he's replaced Will," said Gideon, eyebrows up.

Page 522: "Mr. Rochester never courted Jane Eyre," Tessa pointed out.
"No, he dressed up as a woman and terrified the poor girl out of her wits. Is that what you want?"
"You would make a very ugly woman."
"I would not. I would be stunning."

Page 539: "Marry me," he said. "Marry me, Tess. Marry me and be Tessa Herondale. Or be Tessa Gray, or be whatever you wish to call yourself, but marry me and stay with me and never leave me, for I cannot bear another day of my life to go by that does not have you in it."

Page 557: But this was not Brother Zachariah. This was Jem. 

Also, the rest of the entire epilogue. It's perfect.

So, there you go, that's all for this summer reading post! I plan to have the series overview post up tomorrow, and then a chapter of The Secret Lightning Scar should be up on Saturday. Sometime between now and then, I plan on getting my City of Bones discussion post up, and maybe even a City of Ashes discussion!

Thanks for reading this! If you like my posts, don't forget to subscribe/follow, since it lets me know that you're enjoying what I'm doing. See y'all tomorrow!