My life is a bit hectic. Moving, jobs, online class, upcoming trip to Canada, teaching summer school and my summer is pretty much booked. And yet, there is still a need for reading fun things that are not curriculum related (seriously, so boring!!). So, this morning I went to my new library, got a card and then raided the YA section. And so now, here I am.
City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
2007, 485 pages
I admit, I grabbed this one because it was in a book display with books that are turning into movies. I usually hate jumping on a bandwagon, particularly those that involve movie tie-ins.
However, the Pooka recommended it and also, I liked it. Go figure!
The main thing that this has going for it is that it is way darker than the usual YA stuff. Much less romance, less angsty teenage girl, more kicking ass and taking names.
The gist of the book is this: Shadowhunters live in our world. They are supposed to protect the DownWorlders and mundanes (humans) from demons and general awfulness. Clary is a teenage girl who is suddenly introduced to this world that lives parallel to the regular, mundane world. She makes some friends, kills some demons, et cetera, et cetera. Also, there is an evil Shadowhunter who wants to enslave all mundanes and Downworlders.
So, it sort of sounds like the plot from some of the Harry Potter books, but again, it’s darker.
My favorite things:
1. There is a cat named Chairman Meow. Brief appearance, but awesome name.
2. This quote. There is a discussion about how real men are terse and then this: “That’s why when major badasses greet each other in movies, they don’t say anything, they just not. The nod means, ‘I am a badass, and I recognize that you, too, are a badasss,’ but they don’t say anything becasue they’re Wolverine and Magneto and it would mess up their vibe to explain.” 🙂
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 bedazzles
City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare
2008, 453 pages
Sequel to City of Bones. On a side note, why do so many YA novels have sequels, and then a hundred other books that follow? Why isn’t one good enough? Anyway, not the point.
This book continues with the general supernatural beings: werewolves, vampires, fairies, demons. Clary and her friends are trying to figure out some things, like what the evil Shadowhunter is up to. There is much soul searching and new information to be learned. Naturally, a big battle plays a large part of the story.
How’s that for concise?! I don’t want to give anything away because the series is good, and this one just builds off the first one, so, read them! That is my suggestion. The second one did not disappoint at all.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 bedazzles
The Selection by Kiera Cass
2012, 327 pages
Ok. Imagine that you are reading The Hunger Games. Now, same future world with castes, same people trying to earn a living and dreaming of a better life. Same lottery thing. However, instead of a lottery to become a Tribute and fight other people to the death, it’s a lottery to find a new princess for the land of Illea. All girls send their names to a selection committee and then are chosen to meet and woo the prince…or the prince will woo them. Their family will also move from whatever caste they are now (One through Eights, Eights being awful, Ones being the best) and will become Ones….or Twos. I haven’t quite figured out the caste situation yet.
America Singer, who is a singer, and a Five, has fallen in love with Aspen, a Seven, and that’s just not going to work. He convinces her to put her name in for the Selection, and she is chosen. That means she moves to the capital to try and win the prince in marriage!
I really enjoyed this book. Since it was about a million degrees today, it was almost as good as ice cream. I just sat and read and enjoyed. I think one of the reasons that I enjoyed it is that this girl is no push over. She doesn’t suddenly go nuts over the Prince just because she should. She sticks to her guns and really thinks about what she wants. None of this falling in love and being married to a soulmate at 17 or whatever. She actually thinks about it! Hurray!
(I’m not ruining anything. How else could there be a sequel if she decided super fast?!)
The other thing that I enjoyed is when you get snippets of the “history” that was created for this future world. The country of Illea was once North America. However, China took over the United States, because we owed them so much money. It wasn’t great when America was run by China, so all of North America came together to fight, and thus, it became Illea, with a king and queen instead of presidents. I also enjoy that some neighboring royals came to visit who were from Swedway…perhaps Sweden and Norway have become one?
Rating: 4.75 out of 5 bedazzles