City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare
Clary Fray just wants everything to go back to normal, but that is nowhere near an option. Now that she is an official Shadowhunter and she is still accustoming to this hectic life. To make things even worse, her mother is in a coma, her best friend Simon is now more than a best friend, and her stubborn and indignant brother Jace….. is also her ex-boyfriend. Clary must find a way to defeat the evil Valentine (her father) to save her mother and also untangle all of the other issues that are tearing her to pieces. Can she pull it off?
What I Thought of City of Ashes
I loathed this book! It is officially the first book on this blog that wasn’t finished and I assure you, there are numerous reasons why.
The first, most infuriating thing about this book was the characters. Simon was a pushy idiot who kept trying to make Clary like him the second Jace was declared her brother! I thought that Clary and his fight in the previous book made it pretty clear that Clary want nothing to do with Simon in terms of them having a relationship besides friendship. I think that Simon leaping at the opportunity that Clary and Jace couldn’t date, because you know, that’s illegal, was a complete jerk move and made Clary very uncomfortable because the last time she politely rejected him he threw a fit! (Additionally, the whole brother-sister concept was so weird and made this book twenty times more awkward to read! Why Cassandra Clare, why?!) Then there was Jace. He was being a cocky jerk throughout the entire book. He was never patient with Clary, and didn’t even attempt to understand her difficult situation. Honestly, part of the reason I continued reading as long as I did was because I was waiting for Clary to explode at everyone treating her wrongly. But, like always, she ran away from her problems and tried to act like everything was fine.
Another part of City of Ashes that made me stop reading was the awful plot. I can see how teen girls loved it: it’s just a flawed mash-up of Twilight and Harry Potter. (Combining two wildly popular teen books is not creativity Cassandra Clare!) Also, it was obvious that the author endlessly tried to catch readers off guard, but her “plot-twists” were incredibly predictable and stupid. Overall, the plot was a confusing mess of nonsense plot-twists and some unoriginality.
My final complaint is that the writing style was very confusing. I felt like it was going from first person to this rather first person omniscient perspective. For example, how could Clary know that the hair on the back of Jace’s neck stood up? Was she closely observing his neck or does she somehow sense it? This was very bizarre to me and made this novel seem ever more ridiculous. Overall, with annoying characters, an incredibly dumb plot, and absurd writing style, City of Ashes was an absolute letdown that I struggled to even get three quarters of the way through.
A memorable moment was when Simon turned into a vampire because it was one of the only moments where I was surprised. It was really out of the blue and made for an interesting scene.