City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

Clare, C. (2007). City of Bones. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division. 

ISBN-13: 978-1416955078

Genre: Fantasy, Magic, Vampires, Werewolves, Warlocks, Demons, Angels, Fairies, Romance, Elves, Incest, Supernatural

Reading level/ interest age: 16+

Plot summary:

Clary and her best friend Simon decide to visit a club in town called Pandemonium. When Clary sees a few teens sneaking off into a storeroom, she decides to follow them. Inside, Clary witnesses the murder of a young boy. She panics and leaves the club with Simon. The next day Clary’s mother tells her they are going to move to New York and Clary decides to go out and get some fresh air. She bumps into Jace, one of the teens from the club, and he explains that the boy he killed was a demon. When Clary checks her phone, she realizes that she has several missed calls from her mother and decides to go home. Once there, Clary can see that her entire house has been ransacked. She desperately searches for her mother but instead is attacked by a demon. Clary manages to kill it but is bit and poisoned in the process. Having followed her home, Jace rushes in to rescue her only to find that she did the job for him. Jace decides to take her back to the Institute where he lives and Clary is given the choice to join them in search for her mother or return to a normal life.

Reader’s annotation:

Clary finds out she is a shadowhunter with special abilities. When Jace rescues her, the two fall in love but could there be a familial connection between the two of them?

Information about the author:        

“Cassandra Clare was born to American parents in Teheran, Iran and spent much of her childhood travelling the world with her family, including one trek through the Himalayas as a toddler where she spent a month living in her father’s backpack. She lived in France, England and Switzerland before she was ten years old.

“Since her family moved around so much she found familiarity in books and went everywhere with a book under her arm. She spent her high school years in Los Angeles where she used to write stories to amuse her classmates, including an epic novel called ‘The Beautiful Cassandra’ based on a Jane Austen short story of the same name (and  which later inspired her current pen name).

“After college, Cassie lived in Los Angeles and New York where she worked at various entertainment magazines and even some rather suspect tabloids where she reported on Brad and Angelina’s world travels and Britney Spears’ wardrobe malfunctions. She started working on her YA novel, City of Bones, in 2004, inspired by the urban landscape of Manhattan, her favorite city. She turned to writing fantasy fiction full time in 2006 and hopes never to have to write about Paris Hilton again” (Clare, 2014).

Curriculum ties: N/A

Booktalking ideas:

1.       If you could choose to be any race of character in the book, what would you pick and why?
2.       If you ended up in Clary and Jace’s situation, how would you react?

Critical evaluation:

Clary is shamelessly modeled after the author, Cassandra Clare. Both have red hair and a sense of adventure. Despite this, City of Bones is an enjoyable read and part of a long series with millions of fans. Though the movie adaptation was disappointing, readers can rest assured that the novels are much better and only delve deeper into the world of shadowhunters. The only drawback is the sheer amount of characters in the books. Some are loveable and a large part of the storyline but others are not. City of Bones maintains a light feel and tone despite the darker side of the world that Clary is exposed to. The author does a good job introducing the reader to new concepts and her spin on mythical creatures. The book also lacks the incessant chatter of inner dialogue which is a nice break from some other young adult novels in the genre.

Challenge issues:

·         Incest

Defensive Maneuvers:

·         Have the library’s collection development policy memorized and on hand in case a situation arises.
·         Keep positive reviews on hand to refer to or hand out when needed.
·         If the book has won any awards, mention them to the patron and briefly explain the award.
·         Listen to the patron and practice good customer service skills when communicating. Let the customer know where or if he/she can escalate his/her complaint.
·         When necessary, cite sections of the ALA’s Library Bill of Rights or refer to the ALA's Strategies and Tips for Dealing with Challenges to Library Materials.

Why included:

I happen to like The Infernal Devices more than The Mortal Instruments but this was a good start to the series which I enjoyed reading immensely. I want to promote this book because the world Clare takes you into is interesting and her characters are unforgettable.


Clare, C. (2014). My Bio. Retrieved August 22, 2014 from

No comments:

Post a Comment