Readerly Rambles: 17 August 2015

readerly rambles

What I read: I got a wild hair and decided to pick up some YA reads. I grabbed the first two books from Cassandra Clare’s The Mortal Instruments series, City of Bones and City of Ashes.

Typically I’m super hesitant to review YA books. I know I’m not the intended audience and I feel like adults can be a bit harsh on YA books. Of course I’m tired of the “love triangle” element and I could use less whining, but I live with a teen and I know that is normal for that age. I usually leave YA books mildly annoyed by the characters and wishing the plot had more depth. I can honestly say that I enjoyed the characters in these books and the plot was intelligent and fast-paced. It was a great reading experience!

The plot concerns a teen girl, Clary, who comes home one day to find her mother is gone, her home is ransacked and then she is attacked by a giant demon. Talk about a bad day. This kicks into gear an intense story involving Shadowhunters (angelic demon hunters covered in tattooed runes), demons, vampires, werewolves, and fairies. The first book had me gripped, but the second was a bit slow towards the end. I think it is because I read them back to back and the teen angst/love got a bit tiring.

The writing is lovely, the characters fresh, and there are many discussions about the importance of coffee, which is a plus in my mind. This series reminded me of Harry Potter in some parts. Not in a “coat-tail riding way,” but more in the way the characters were cast as diverse and complete “people.” It is skilful how Clare conveys her characters’ histories even when we don’t see the characters for very long. It really kept my emotions tied to the story. I wanted to see how these characters triumphed or failed. If a writer has me caring for more than the protagonist then you can consider me hooked (and I’m hooked). I’m going to wait a bit to pick up the third book, but this is certainly a series I will revisit.

~~~ Stats ~~~

City of Bone

Started: 07/26/2015

Finished: 07/29/2015

Pages: 485

Challenges:

Owned/Borrowed/Library: Library

Stars: 5 Stars

City of Ashes

Started: 08/04/2015

Finished: 08/14/2015

Pages: 453

Challenges:

Owned/Borrowed/Library: Library

Stars: 3 Stars

~~~~~~~~~~~

What I’m reading: Yesterday I started John Steinbeck’s East of Eden and I can honestly say that I’m embarrassed I didn’t read him sooner. His writing reminds me of Thomas Hardy’s novelsit must be the unflinching look at humanity in really beautiful prose that reminds me of Hardy. I’m a little over 50 pages in, but I cannot wait to sink into this book.

What’s up next: The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters. I swear. I will really read it this time. I know it isn’t The Little Stranger. I think I’ve accepted that enough to move on and actually read the dang book. 

Other Bookish News: I had planned on doing Bout of Books, but this is the first week of faculty being on campus and I am so slammed at work. I have a feeling I will want to spend my evenings watching TV and crocheting rather than reading. I would really encourage you to take a look at Bout of Books, though! Lots of participants and great Twitter convos all week.

Happy Reading!

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5 comments

  1. I am the same with you on the YA. Of late though, I don’t know what’s happened to me because I seem to be riding a wave of YA Fantasy novels, and enjoying them too 🙂

  2. Glad to read your take on the Clare books. I’ve seen the covers, but haven’t seen anybody else review them and I’ve been curious. I’m almost done reading Cather’s The Professor’s House – so far, so good. It has taken me way longer to read than it should since I’ve only been reading at bedtime. I’m looking forward to new routines soon – and hopefully some additional time to read! 🙂 Happy reading to you.

  3. I read and/or abandoned all my Bout of Books books before the event started. Oops.

    As for YA, I tend to be really picky about what I read these days, because I know I’m not the intended audience. Some work for me, some don’t, and I try to avoid (or give up) those that don’t.

  4. I’ve really enjoyed the Clare series, from what I’ve read of it. I’ve gotten through the first three books. Like you, I was definitely impressed by her writing and world-building. I’ve been trying to get my daughter to read this series. Perhaps this is the nudge she needs…

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