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Archive for the ‘YA Series’ Category

I can’t believe I’m going to say this…I really didn’t like the new Mortal Instruments book.  If you could see me right now I’m shaking my head with disgust.  Perhaps you think I’m being a little too judgmental but at 5 books in Miss Clare should have been giving me much better material to work with.  I hated Order of the Phoenix because it was so dark and painful to read but it was still a fantastic book.  City of Lost Souls was NOT a fantastic book.  I have a fangirl crush on this series so to be let down by this much anticipated book was monumental for me.  For that reason alone there WILL be spoilers in this post…and if you don’t want to read them I suggest you jump to the bottom…right now.

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1.  How many times do I have to read about people sleeping in beds?

Was this supposed to be some kind of ultimate romantic gesture?  Was it meant to keep things relatively chaste and yet still endearing and flowery and all that BS?  How many times do these characters need to sleep in beds next to each other before the actual reality of teenagers sleeping in the same bed happens?  Does no one have sex on beds in this universe?  Because even the two characters that DO manage to act like real teenagers and screw each other don’t feel the need to use a bed – ever.

 

2.  I am DONE with the platonic love story between Clary and Simon.

It is not fair to Simon.  It makes Clary look flighty and unreliable.  It’s completely unbelievable.  Quite frankly it was annoyingly distracting to read throughout the entire novel.  I understand that they are close because of their upbringing and fighting in a war together but all the bed sleeping and forehead kissing and texting and secret missions and confessions of love make Clary unlikable.  She is supposed to be in love with Jace – or at least in lust with him, yet continues to lean on Simon and use him throughout the series.

It is even brought up by Izzy that she thinks she can’t actually have a relationship with Simon because he’s still so f-ing wrapped up in Clary.  And that is ALL Clary’s fault.  I’m putting the blame on her.  She’s the one that keeps roping Simon into these messes.  She’s the one that needed him to sleep next to her and hold her hand and BS like that.  It’s all Clary.  She need to grow up, move on, and accept her destiny and allow Simon to be happy without her. 

I’ve had very close friendships with guys – I got along better with them.  This…thing between Clary and Simon it doesn’t happen in the real world.  It doesn’t even happen in the Mortal Instrument universe.  There is no other relationship like this because everyone else acts like they should when dealing with the opposite sex – either turned on or turned off – not this weird limbo BS that Clare keeps forcing on us.

 

3.  Why is relationship drama the driving force of all these characters?

I’m not criticizing the relationships themselves (though most of them need it), nor am I criticizing the idea that drama within a relationship can create plot and character building moments.  What I am saying is that every single character in this novel is driven to do pretty much anything because of the unnecessary and at times annoying drama that they created within their current or potential relationship.  The entire plot of this novel is supposed to be about the brewing war and the hell demons that are being raised by Sebastian and zombie Jace – but that takes a back seat to everyone’s relationship drama.

Alec and Mangus bicker throughout the entire book and Alec is driven with some bizarre need to know Mangus’ past and so he creates drama within their relationship by going behind his back and consorting with one of his evil ex’s.  This of course leads to Mangus’ breaking up with Alec and he’s suddenly so F-ING surprised that his stupid obsession has come back to bite him in the ass.  Really Alec?  Really?  You’re supposed to be the level headed normal character and yet the ENTIRE novel you are possessed with some stupid need to bring drama into your relationship. 

Isabelle – likewise – spends the entire novel being wishy-washy about her feelings about Simon.  She wants him to sleep in her bed, she wants him to bite her, she wants him to talk to her, she wants his attention…but only if he says that he likes her.  What kind of petty BS is that?  Really Isabelle?  Your badass character is degraded to some high school mean girl status because you’re too pretty to tell a boy that you like him?  And Simon can barely tell that Isabelle is playing games with him because he’s stuck in platonic love story land with Clary through the entire novel. 

The worst offenders are Clary and Jace.  Granted I expect it at this point.  If their relationship had been normal and lovely to read it might have surprised the crap out of me and I might have liked this book.  Instead you have Clary’s worst betrayal of Jace yet in this series.  Why he is still with her after all the absolute BS she’s put him through I will never understand.  I find it very hard to see how she could be forgiven for what she did to Jace without even a second thought from him.  She is the soul reason that there is going to be another war.  She is the only reason that Sebastian was able to rise to power.  She is the entire reason that Jace now has some kind of X-Men power.  Clary is basically the entire reason that pretty much any of the drama and world ending events have happened in this book.  She refuses to see reason, she does not think of consequences, she will most likely continue to ignore advice and wishes of any other character as long as she gets what she wants.  She’s selfish and dangerous, she runs off impulse and not reason, and she needs to somehow be incapacitated in the next book if anyone plans on getting out alive.  She will be the reason the world ends.  You mark my words now.

 

4.  Cassandra Clare has a very strange obsession with incest.

You know…reading it through those first few books it was taboo and forbidden – it gave this series an edge that not a lot of others have.  I don’t know if it was ever really necessary to do that with Clary and Jace but it made for an interesting read.

BUT – to have Sebastian basically tell his sister that he fully intends to rape her (in so many words) is crossing some kind of line that makes me wonder what is going on in Cassandra Clare’s head.  I’m pretty sure she’s an only child so I don’t think she’s working on some therapy here.  Sebastian is pretty damn evil all on his own so there was no need to add this element of incest to his evil ‘to-do list’.  So that leaves – for me at least – some strange obsession that Clare has with incest in general.  It was incredibly uncomfortable to read because I KNEW that there was no way Jace and Clary could be related – but it is made abundantly clear that Clary and Sebastian are related.  There was just no need for it and yet it is teased throughout the entire book cumulating with Sebastian practically molesting Clary after beating the every loving crap out of her.  I…just…why???

If you got into writing to write about incest…maybe you should just keep those little ‘gems’ to your fanfiction career where they belong.  I’m just baffled by it.

 

 

This book was a colossal waste of my time.  I can sum up the entire plot of it within a few sentences and yet it took over 500 pages for Clare to get there.  The unnecessary repetitive droning of relationship drama, the increasing events that made me want to strangle Clary, and the underpinning of creepy that permeated throughout this entire novel made for an uncomfortable and boring read.  I’m actually glad there is only one book left in this series because at this point I don’t know if I’ll have the energy to read past that.

 

Rating:  Two Stars

Reasoning:  Ridiculous drama, unnecessary creepiness, with almost nothing happening within the 500 pages, left me with a very bitter taste in my mouth.

Recommended For:  No one.  If you need to know what happened in this book just email me and I’ll give you the five-sentence break down.

 

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I finished this book a while back.  October 5th to be exact, but my life has been so absolutely crazy with my teaching credential that I decided to throw all caution to the wind and write this with half a brain.  Forgive me if it’s rambling and odd.  But I have such love for this author that I couldn’t NOT write a review!

Let’s get this party started with the man that is number one on my fictional badass list: Percy Jackson.  You read that right – Percy has effectively bumped Harry out of the number one spot (this month), and it is all because of this book.

Because I want everyone to read this book, this series, and the series before it, I am not going to throw out any spoilers – which will be hard – but instead tease you until you feel as though you HAVE to read this book.


This books starts out with a boy named Percy being chased by some monsters.  You might remember Percy from books such as these:

Or you might remember Percy from the end of this book:

But you should never equate this:

For real – just don’t do it.

Poor Percy has been fighting these awful monsters for days now and neither of them seem to be able to die.  Percy doesn’t know why because Percy doesn’t remember anything.  He knows he’s special, he knows he can fight demons, but he doesn’t remember much else except a name: Annabeth.

He remembers that she is important; that she is special only to him, and that he must get back to her.  If you aren’t already swooning at the epic love story building here then maybe you should just slink back into your frozen cave you loveless monster.

Once Percy arrives in…temporary… safety the real adventure of this novel begins.  A prophecy needs fulfilling, a team of demigods receive their quest, and this time it’s a crazy, winding journey to the great white north – where the protective power of the gods can not extend.  This is where pure demigod awesome comes into play, and this is why the new peeps we meet this novel: Hazel and Frank are lucky that Percy is around.  Wild and dangerous is his kind of time.

This novel is full of all your old friends from Camp Half-Blood, a particular demigod from the Underworld, all your new friends from Camp Jupiter, and very little involvement of the gods – except for Hera…and no one likes that bitch.  There was so much action in this novel that I seriously almost read it for 24 hours straight.  I could not put it down because every page was important to plot development.  There is a fantastic weaving of a lot of the old myths that you remember reading such as Phineas, harpies, Amazons, and bad Cyclopes armies.  I could really dive into it more but just know that the usual tongue in cheek humor of Riordan is still out in full force – Amazons running Amazon…amazing!

The same three narrator approach is still being used to its full advantage in this novel and the other characters are so involved when not narrating that you never feel like they are lost within the story.  The climax of the novel is absolutely breathtaking in both the fight sequence as well as the self-sacrifice that happens within each of the characters and if the end of the novel is leading right into the next then I am going to spontaneously combust from happiness due to the epic kiss that will take place.

My book even came with a nifty little brochure explaining to me the wonders of Camp Jupiter…still not sure if it beats Camp Half-Blood.

I’ve tried really hard not to spoil anything here but my hope is that you are intrigued enough to read this series.  You have no excuse if you are a fan of the Percy Jackson series.  These books are engaging, entertaining, enlightening, and…enduring…yes – they will stand the test of time because who doesn’t like a great story with an amazing hero?

Final Score: FIVE FANTASTIC STARS!

Reasoning: Mixing the old with the new, the Roman with the Greek, the whoop-ass with the bad-ass, and everything in between = epic awesome.  If you haven’t read any of these series yet you are missing out on so much my heart hurts for you a little.

Recommended for:  YA fans, Percy Jackson fans, Greek fans, Roman fans, mythology fans, fantasy fans, adventure fans, girls and boys alike, students that are struggling with reading, teenage sons, teachers, educators, parents…have I covered everyone yet??  Because it’s everyone.  This book is recommended for everyone.

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I really wanted to say I liked this book – but not really.  I have this lukewarm feeling for it that is both frustrating and annoying.  You’d think that I loved it since I read it in a day but in actuality I think it had more to do with insomnia than Haven.  It’s not that it was terrible, it was a quick and easy read, but everything about it just sat with me wrong.  This thing is FULL of spoilers so skip to the bottom before you ruin it for yourself – if you even care…

To be fair I’m a little “suped” out at the moment.  Either I am drawn to nothing but YA novels about supernatural beings or that is ALL that YA authors are writing about right now.  I get that people want to cash in on Twilight and the such but you have to at least TRY not to be a blatant rip off of that cash cow – not so much with Haven.  There were several moments that I felt were pulled exactly from Twilight.  And perhaps this is just general vampire lore stuff that happens in most books but I’m getting sick of it.

Let me give you a break down of the male lead, Aidan, and you tell me who it reminds you of:

*Born in England in the 1800’s

*Was wealthy and pompous

*Turned by a female vampire

(seems pretty run of the mill vampires stuff right??)

*Age 17

*Can read minds

*Has fantastic abs and pecs

*Has golden sex hair

*Is brooding and bi-polar

*Is super smart

*Constantly wearing layers of clothes

*Totally stalking the new girl but at the same time pushing her away

Yeah….I recognize you….

To be fair Aidan also has TONS of other super powers that totally do not make him Edward Cullen (dramatic eye roll) but I’ll get to that in a moment because it involves the female lead – Violet.

Violet’s parents are both dead and she continues to “survive” with her stepmother.  She is forced to move to New York and is mystically drawn to one prep school in particular.  She has to transfer mid-year.  She is instant friends with her roommate, and her roommate’s friends.  The hottest guy in school notices her and Edward Cullen Aidan notices no one.  But Violet has a dark, dark secret that she doesn’t want anyone to find out.  She’s powerful, so powerful that no one must know of her powers.  Fanfiction fans shout it loud and proud:  MarySue.

For all of you reading that might not be as well versed as I in Fanfiction terms a MarySue is the worst kind of character.  She is the projection of the author in the worst way possible.  MarySue is always the exotic new girl that catches the attention of (Edward Cullen, Harry Potter, Superman, etc.).  She is always loved by all and friends to everyone, she also always has powers well beyond even her own understanding that she must use to “save the world”.  She is annoying to read and the sign that you should abandon the story quickly.

But despite Violet being a MarySue I kept reading because I, mistakenly, thought there was no way someone would publish a MarySue THIS blatant.  And then about 200+ pages in I gave up hope because she suddenly turned into Buffy.  Yeah – you read that right.  Violet realizes that she can hear Aidan, something that no one else has ever been able to do.  Then she has a vision (because her superpower is precognition) in which she sees herself staking Aidan through the heart.  They bad guys call her a specific name in the vision that basically boils down to Slayer.  She can hear Aidan because she’s the Slayer and she is now destined to kill him as well.  If you’re keeping track that’s about three different series that have been ripped off so far.  Let me just break this down in terms that geeks like me will understand:

Violet

Enrolls in a special school

With special friends

Meets a dark and handsome special boy

And then finds out that she is supposed to kill this special boy

I let out the largest sigh possible when I made it to that far into the book and made my poor husband stir in his sleep.  It’s cool if you’re going to rip off Twilight – as stated above I pretty much expect it these days – but if you’re also going to rip off X-Men AND Buffy you better at least get it right.  There better be torment and agonizing sexual tension between “the Slayer” and “the Vampire with a heart of gold”.  There better be f-ing epic missions if everyone at the school has some awesome superpower.

None of that happens in Haven.  We spend 100 pages being forced to watch Aidan and Violet bicker between themselves because he realized that she’s the Slayer and is trying to get her ready to kill him.  There was never enough sexual tension to make their relationship believable, there was never enough cool happening with the rest of the “Scooby squad” for me to even care that they existed, Violet never embraced the awesome of her powers and instead continues to weep throughout the entire novel whenever she has to use one, and Aidan is never more than two dimensional.  True Blood might be pissing me off with their horribly weak season and all the campy craziness that they have going on with all the different supernatural beings on that show but at least they know what the people want – sex, drugs, blood, violence, and fricking rock and roll.

This story had so much going for it.  I really liked the premise – the idea of a girl coming to grips with her superpowers in a school for kids with super powers.  But the second you start throwing vampires and shapeshifters (oh yeah that’s in there too) and crap like that into the mix while blatantly ripping off famous, beloved, and well established series you immediately lost me.  There is only so much I can take before I have to call BS.  Sorry Haven

Final Score:  2 Stars

Reasoning:  If you’re going to rip off a bunch of different things at least make it interesting.  This is going to be a series, you can tell, but I am not getting the next book.  And if I so much as hear that wizards show up I’m burning the first book in a cleansing fire.  lol

Recommended for:  Probably teenage girls that know nothing about the awesomeness of the WB line up in the late 90’s.  God I miss those days….

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 I have to admit – right off bat – this book took me forever to finish.  I started it way back in February or March of this year and I just could not slog through it.  I’ve read 5 other books since I started this one and I still think I made the right choice.  It’s not that this book was bad, it was just so horribly slow and repetitive that I thought I was going to sprain my eyeballs from all the eye rolling I was doing.  It shouldn’t take two-thirds of your book to set up something as simple as the concept of this novel.  The last third was executed quite well, incorporating all the plotlines and wrapping it up into a nice neat little packaged ending, but to get there was work.  And I don’t like working when I’m reading.

 Because I actually liked this book, for the most part, I’m not going to give away any spoilers here but there still are quite a few things to comment on and not in a gushing way.  First of all the book starts out good; gripping, confusing and slightly scandalized because we start right at the aftermath of the date-rape.  But from that point on the story starts to unravel into endless paragraphs of the narrator having flashbacks and avoiding her life at all costs.

 Now, I’m not saying that this isn’t real behavior, I’m not saying that I didn’t believe that most women and girls experience exactly what Alex goes through: the flashbacks from simple things, the fear, the anti-social behavior, the desire to keep quiet about it, etc.  But what I am saying is that it took the author an entire novel for the character to stop being a victim and start fighting for her rights.  AGAIN – I know that some women never do this.  Some women never stop being a victim because they cannot work past the wrong that was forced upon them – but we don’t read fiction to be reminded of things that happen in our lives.  We read fiction for inspiration and to have written examples of how we can better ourselves and our communities.  Alex does make that journey from victim to hero by the end of the novel, but it shouldn’t have taken 332 pages for her to do it.  It becomes all the more annoying when you think she’s about to turn the corner and then regresses back because of her flashbacks and uncertainty.  Not saying that isn’t realistic just saying that there could have been better execution on her character in regards to character growth.

 I also was not a fan of how secretive the Mockingbirds were and how at first Alex had no desire to learn anything about them despite her older sister having started the group in the first place and then later couldn’t seem to understand all the clues they were dropping.  Not saying that I didn’t giggle with glee about a group of students that dealt out justice amongst their peers – that was fantastic.  The concept of the Mockingbirds was what really drives the book and kept me reading.  But having to wait for Alex to piece it all together was horribly frustrating and while I do have a full sense of what they are now – again – I felt like it shouldn’t have taken 332 pages to get there. 

 What complicates my general attitude about the Mockingbirds is that the adults of this prestigious campus are made to look like complete and utter morons.  Really?  Not a single teacher has figured this out?  Not a single administrator has put two and two together?  You do realize you have to be the best of the best to teach there?  So are the students that smarter than the teachers??  The level of believability was frustratingly low in that aspect, but it didn’t distract too much from the story.  Perhaps she was trying to make commentary on the general attitude of institutions that ignore the problem instead of trying to facilitate it – but something like that doesn’t work in a high school setting, even if it’s a prep school.  Just saying…

 Overall I feel this book has an excellent message that needs to be spread more in YA fiction.  We don’t need to be writing about vampires and ghosts and shit.  It’s fun and all but in the constantly shifting and technological world we live in teenagers are having to face real and detrimental life decisions and circumstances that most adults would have a hard time dealing with.  Teenagers are being bullied into suicide.  Teenagers are being assaulted for their sexual preference.  Teenagers are being raped.  This needs to be talked about, it needs to be written about and it needs to be held to a higher standard in YA fiction.  In my opinion there are two tiers of YA fiction – books like Twilight and then books like The Mockingbirds.  We need more Mockingbirds… 

 Final Vote:  3 Stars 

 Reasoning:  Excellent topic, wonderful idea, but horrible execution of the first two-thirds of the book.  Worth reading but if this is going to be turned into a series I think I’m just going to stick with this first one.

 Suggested For:  All YA fans.

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I never had any intention of reading the book I Am Number 4 by Pittacus Lore.  But, my dad had mentioned that it was a quick and easy read and had placed the seemingly large book in my hands.  It sat on the top of my stack of 15 for a week or two before I had a boring weekend and decided – what the hell.  I knew they had made a movie, I was slightly interested in the movie because A) I’m into aliens B) It had the whisper-talker from Glee and C) The male lead is slated to play Jace in the Mortal Instruments movie in development right now (squee!!!).  Needless to say it wasn’t the ‘awesome’ word of mouth or ‘obviously fantastic’ writing style that lead me to read it.  I finished it in a weekend and when I brought it back to my parent’s house on Easter weekend with a ‘meh’ kind of shrug my dad smiled and shrugged as well and said, “well at least it was an easy read”.

 That was when something interesting happened.  My sister’s boyfriend asked us what we were talking about and I held up the book and explained,

 “Yeah, I read it, and even the first chapter of the next in the series but I wasn’t impressed.  Horrible execution on a cool idea.”

 To which my sister’s boyfriend said,

 “Wait – there’s some kind of controversy about this book.  The writer…what’s his name….I can’t remember his name.  Anyway he’s basically running an MFA sweatshop to pump out books like that.”

 Oh REALLLLYYYY…..

 Needless to say once the Easter festivities were done I went home and immediately looked up the controversy.  Turns out this ‘famous’ writer, that is running an MFA sweatshop of mediocre YA fantasy is none other than – James Frey.  You remember him…A Million Little ‘Lying’ Pieces – James Frey.  So I looked further into it and felt something churn in the pit of my stomach. 

 The first article that I read was some pretty mundane stuff: that he was collaborating with another author on a six part series in the YA genre.  Not only that but Michael Bay was ready to fill it with explosions on the big screen.  Then the unsettling line came next:

 “A few (publishers) were puzzled as to why Mr. Simonoff, who represented Mr. Frey on the novel “Bright Shiny Morning” and another novel Mr. Frey is currently writing, had submitted the book anonymously.”

 So why exactly was he shopping this book series around anonymously?  Why did he change from “autobiographical” (lol) to Young Adult?  It just wasn’t adding up.  But that first article that I read had been written back in 2009.  I dug a little deeper and found the article that my sister’s boyfriend had been talking about and it all became abundantly clear: 

 “Someone is going to replace Harry Potter,” he recalls thinking. “Maybe it’ll be me.”

 Anyone, and I mean anyone, who wants to write because they think it’s totally easy to write ‘the next Harry Potter’ is going to fail.  I’m not saying that because I’m an uberfan.  I’m saying that because Harry Potter is something that comes along once a generation.  It’s not some flash in the pan YA adventure, it’s not some series that will fade into obscurity – Harry Potter has become a part of our culture – much like Lord of the Rings before it.  If you think it’s that easy to write a classic you’re setting yourself up for failure.

 But everyone thinks they can write the next Twilight – it’s the reason Twilight is Twilight and the YA market has been flooded with look-a-likes.  I’m not going to fault him for thinking he could enter the YA market with something serial and forgettable.  But I am going to fault him for this:

 “To find writers, Mr. Frey trolls writing classes and other writers’ gathering places. Writers contracted with Full Fathom Five earn no salary and make almost no money up front (they get $250 upon signing and another $250 upon completion of a book—”Chinese-food money,” one author called it). They are promised 30% to 49% of all revenue whether it comes from videogames or publications rights.”

 So not only is this guy NOT writing any of it, he’s sucking the ideas from other writers and then dicking them out of all the hard earned money they could be making.  Not just that, the article goes on to say that he’s only seeking books that have serial potential and in particular books that could be made easily into a TV, movie, or videogame series.  This was the point that I had to look away because I felt like hurling from rage.

 What is happening to the literary industry?!  Why are publishers letting this happen?  Why are we as a public letting this happen?  When did having an original idea and wanting to share it with the world become big business?  When did writers only write something that they think could be turned into a series or a stupid movie?!  It is a sad, sad, sad day when we put aside artistic integrity for the falling American dollar.  Has our country become so desperate that we think the only way to be rich and famous is to write shitty young adult books? 

 There has to be a line drawn.  There has to be a stopping point at which we, as smart and worthy consumers of literature, have to say NO MORE.  I will not read your ridiculous series because it’s horrible.  I don’t care how much you paid other author’s to give your book a good review.  I don’t care if Michael Bay wants to treat your novel with an explosion orgy.  I will not read this book because it sucks. 

 I refuse to even add serial novels to my “to read” lists on Goodreads anymore because I’m just sick of it.  Nothing is coming out anymore, especially in the YA section, that isn’t set to be a series.  If you can’t execute on your idea in one book than maybe you suck at writing.  There – I said it. 

 I feel like I shouldn’t have to say this but – this has to stop.  We are creating a horrible cycle of terrible fiction that is being made into terrible movies.  We need to take back artistic integrity.  We, as readers, need to stop buying this crap and demand better fiction!  I know we can do it.  I know there is talent out there.  I know we can create better fiction!  So let’s start!  And make sure that James “I’m a dick” Frey doesn’t get to destroy all that we love!  Go team!

 Final Vote: 0 Stars

Reasoning: While the idea was good – Alien race that has been around since the dawn of time, fighting a war against another alien race that are set to destroy any and everything in its path – and the group of 9 aliens left that can stop it.  We follow Number 4 (John) as he comes into his powers and learns of his destiny. – This novel was horribly executed.  Sloppy and boring opening half, confusing and unsatisfying climax and conclusion, with the tamest and most unbelievable love story plotline I have ever read, all create a novel that I would have given one star to.  But because of the controversy surrounding the book it gets none.

Suggested For: No one.  But if you’re going to read it don’t pay for it – steal it so James Frey doesn’t make any money and has to release all the MFA students from their sweatshop bondage!  Free YA Fiction!  Don’t read this book!

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Ahhhh Mortal Instruments you never cease to entertain me.  I have to admit that when I heard some of the first rumors about this book, the rumors being that it would be told ALL from Simon’s POV I was very skeptical.  Honestly – I like Simon and everything but that seemed boring as hell to me.  You’re not reading Mortal Instruments for Simon – I think we all know what leather clad Shadowhunter we’re paying $20 for.  Needless to say I soon found out that the initial idea of it all being from Simon’s POV had been scrapped and instead we were back to the lovely third omniscient POV that makes this series incredible. 

Were there parts that were slow?  Sort of, but not enough to distract you. 

Were there long passages about how the color of the trees and how they rustled against the pavement like bones and crap like that?  Of course there were, and it was still annoying. 

Did I roll my eyes at how absolutely retarded Clary is?  Would it be a MI book without at least one instance??  Come on.  But I will admit that the fiery redhead is starting to get her wits about her – so points will not be docked there.

Was Jace absolutely tortured and delicious?  Oh yes – a thousand times yes.  I dare say this might be the most tortured he’s been in all the books proceeding.

Should I have read the extra note that was attached to the back of the book before starting to read the book?  NO.

Did I know exactly what was going to happen in this book because I read the letter first?  Yes.

Did it ruin the book for me? Not exactly.  But this marks TWICE that this lady has revealed HUGE spoilers about her book before you can read it.  Fool me once, shame on you.  Fool me twice – I should have fricking known better.

I’m still going to give this book my seal of approval.  Clary was much better, Jace was even more scrumptious, there was a wonderful even spread across all the character’s this time, and there was only one point where I actually thought – where the hell are all the adults?!  And Simon – oh Simon.  I can see why she wanted to tell it all from his POV, I’m still glad she didn’t, but the absolute torture she put him through in this book was palpable.  He is going to be a pivotal and interesting character as the final few books make their way out. 

Final Vote:  4 stars

Reasoning:  Because there is only so much cock teasing I can deal with before I start to get cranky.  I say if Jace and Clary’s love is strong enough to ‘burn down the world’ then LET them.  This book also was obviously a stepping stone to the final two, a lot was brought up, and not much was solved.  I appreciated the switching between the rag-tag group of main characters but it did make the book seem like an endlessly spinning revolving door, and she used this to her convenience to hold tension and keep secrets.  Some say that’s sloppy writing, some say that’s good writing, I’m saying it got a bit on my nerves at times but don’t feel inclination to either opinion. 

Suggested for:  TMI Fans.  YA-Fantasy fans.  Ladies who like to read about smoldering blond leads that can kick ass and take names – all with a snarky smile.  My love for Jace will never fade.  lol

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The release date (April 5, 2011) is upon us for book 4 in Cassandra Clare’s six part epic known as The Mortal Instruments Series.

Oh – you haven’t heard of TMI?  Well sit down for a spot – I’ll fill you in.

The Mortal Instruments is a series that follows Clary, a seemingly normal teenage girl navigating the streets of New York City until her mother is suddenly abducted in a violent and unexplainable way.  As Clary tries to find her mother she comes across a group of teenagers – but not just any teenagers, they look like a cross between bikers and ninjas.  They are called Shadowhunters and their leader is the mouthwateringly hot Jace Wayland.  Turns out Clary’s mom was abducted by some pretty bad baddies, and at a breakneck pace Clary starts to realize that there is a whole underworld of supernatural beings that are barely being kept in check.  Vampires – check.  Werewolves – check.  Faries – check.  Warlocks – check.  Underworld demons – check.  Half-human/Half-angel biker/ninjas (Shadowhunters) – DOUBLE check.

This book has it all, and is incredibly fun to read if you like certain things about fantasy but not the whole package (like me).  And while I have a pretty skewed view of the very first book for my own personal reasons, I still recommend this series to a lot of people because it has all that you’re looking for in YA romance/action/adventure.  And honestly – Jace…just oozes hotness.

I have my book pre-ordered from Barns and Nobel because it comes with a totally bad ass hand written note that plays a part in the novel.  It’s a letter from Jace to Clary – and no one knows what it says – but I think we all know that it will be dramatic.  Nothing Jace does is normal…lol

So my question is this – what does the letter say?  And hence – my first poll.  Let me know what you think!

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