Book Review: The Bane Chronicles by Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan, and Maureen Johnson

The Bane Chronicles by Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan, and Maureen Johnson

Title: The Bane Chronicles

Author: Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan, and Maureen Johnson

Genre: YA Fantasy

Number of Pages: 507

Overall Rating: 4.62/5 stars

Synopsis: Fans of The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices can get to know warlock Magnus Bane like never before in this collection of New York Times bestselling tales, in print for the first time with an exclusive new story and illustrated material.

This collection of eleven short stories illuminates the life of the enigmatic Magnus Bane, whose alluring personality, flamboyant style, and sharp wit populate the pages of the #1 New York Times bestselling series, The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices.

Originally released one-by-one as e-only short stories by Cassandra Clare, Maureen Johnson, and Sarah Rees Brennan, this compilation presents all ten together in print for the first time and includes a never-before-seen eleventh tale, as well as new illustrated material.

Discussion: [Note: This review might be long-ish. It is over 3,000 words. You were warned. There also might be minor spoilers for the other series by Cassandra Clare.]

If you haven’t read The Mortal Instruments or The Infernal Devices yet, where have you been?

The series is simply fabulous.

Just like Magnus Bane.

He was a mere side character in the books, helping Shadowhunters when they were in need. I always liked him; how could you not like him? He was Magnus Bane, High Warlock and glam king.
“Magnus Bane, go insane, throw some glitter make it rain!” Don’t tell me you’ve never heard of that.

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Okay. Before we get into the review, I’d like to make a comment about the cover. Yes, it is beautiful [I actually love it]. BUT THE HAND. IT DOES NOT WORK.

Ahem.

So, I put sticky notes on parts I wanted to remember. That will be the basis of my review. I will do a quick review of each story, show you the parts I marked, and include GIFs. Sound fun? Let’s get to it.

What Really Happened in Peru

This story really opened up Magnus for us, showing us what he does in all his years of immortality. As readers of Clare’s previous books may know, Magnus is banned from Peru. He mentioned it once or twice, but we never really knew why. This story is supposed to explain it, right?

Wrong.

We go through the entire 50-ish pages trying to figure out which of Magnus’s adventure’s was the culprit of his banishment, and then… Well, I won’t spoil it for you. >:)

Let’s see my notes!

“I’m still not sure about any of this,” Ragnor said. “I’m not even sure where you got that hat.”

Magnus adjusted it for maximum jauntiness. “Just a little something I picked up. Seemed appropriate for the occasion.”

“Nobody else is wearing anything remotely like it.”

Magnus cast a disparaging look around at all the fashion-challenged sailors. “I feel sorry for them, of course, but I do not see why that observation should alter my current extremely stylish course of action.”

Oh, Magnus. How witty you are. And how fashionable, of course. I found this quite hilarious.

The llamas could not be judging him.

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Without any background, how is this not funny? XD What happened is, Magnus is trying to play an instrument and failing. It just so happens that llamas are stampeding at the same moment he is playing, and he thinks it is pure coincidence. They could not be judging his music.

Even in the midst of heartbreak, you could still find yourself laughing.

Not only is Magnus fashionable, but he has many words of wisdom. Just a bit of sentimentality from the funniest warlock.

“Magnus, you were trying to flirt with your plate!”

“I’m a very open-minded fellow.”

You didn’t laugh? Let me walk away.

The way mundanes in this part of Peru practiced medicine, it appeared, was to rub a guinea pig all over the afflicted sufferer’s body.

Some of these need no explanation.

I loved this story. It was quite entertaining throughout the pages. I was never bored. And it was full of laughs!

The Runaway Queen

It’s about the French Revolution, I believe. Marie Antoinette and stuff. It was okay…

My only note:

…when Claude picked him up like he’d been monkey-plucking all his life.

Some of these need no explanation.

Vampires, Scones, and Edmund Herondale

To be completely honest, I don’t remember exactly what happened in this. Let’s see if the quotes will help me remember. Sorry!

“After all,” Magnus remarked aloud to himself, swinging his monkey-headed cane, “attractive and interesting persons do not simply drop out of the sky.”

It was then that the fair-haired Shadowhunter that Magnus had spotted at the Institute somersaulted from the top of a wall and landed gracefully in the street before him.

“Devastating ensembles made on Bond Street with red brocade waistcoats do not simply drop out of the sky!” Magnus proclaimed experimentally to the Heavens.

This is, like, the only thing I remembered. Because it was so funny. I didn’t get it at first, but read it through a few times.

When one was immortal, one tended to forget the passing of time. Still, there was no excuse for wearing a bonnet last fashionable in the era of Napoleon I.

Ah, his fashion sense is impeccable.

“Go, Charlotte. You know your duty,” said Fairchild.

HELLO PEOPLES IT’S CHARLOTTE FAIRCHILD. OMG.

“Capital!” said Edmund Herondale…

[May I just say: Herondale???!!!!] What does ‘capital’ mean like that…?

…and produced a necklace. The ruby glinted in the light of a nearby streetlamp, its heart the rich color of blood.

“It is a pretty thing,” said Magnus.

“Very pretty.” She sounded amused at the understatement.

“Not worthy of your beauty, of course, but what could be? There is one small thing besides prettiness to reccomend it. There is a spell on the jewel, to warn you when demons are near.”

Camille’s eyes…

IT IS IZZY’S NECKLACE. And it is being given to the vampire Camille. How did Izzy obtain it?

Years later another desperate Herondale boy with blue, blue eyes would come to his door, shaking with the cold of the rain and his own wretchedness, and this one Magnus would be able to help.

WILL HERONDALE. O.O

I loved all the references, as you can tell. It’s just fun to see another character mentioned. :)

So this story didn’t really stand out to me, but it was okay.

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The Midnight Heir

When I finished reading this one, it was my favorite. But now I think it’s a tie between “The Last Stand of the New York Institute” and “The Course of True Love (And First Dates).” You shall see why soon.

But back to the Heir. The first half is about James Herondale. YEAH. THAT JAMES. And the second half is freaking creepy!

It took Magnus nearly twenty minutes to notice the boy shooting out all the lights in the room, but to be fair, he had been distracted by the décor.

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This one sentence explains Magnus. XD

“Trust. It is like placing a blade in someone’s hand and setting the very point against your own heart.”

Quite possibly the only words of quality spoken by a drunk James Herondale.

“What an excellent idea,” Magnus said. “I have heard alcohol only improves a man’s aim. The night is young. Imagine how many barmaids you can shoot before dawn.”

I laugh out loud every time I read this.

“We are but dust and shadows, as the saying goes,” said James. “Of course, the saying does not add, ‘Some of us also turn into shadows occasionally, when the mood takes us.’…”

As twisted as James is, this dry comment is quite funny in my mind…

“There isn’t any chance,” Magnus asked, without much hope, “that you are a rather nice fellow who believes he is cursed and must make himself seem unlovable to spare those around him from a terrible fate? Becuase I ahve heard that happens sometimes.”

Yeah. It happened to James’s father: WILL HERONDALE. OMGOMGOMGOMG

And here’s the second part:

“My father was cursed,” James said from the darkness. “Whereas I? I’m damned.”

Do we get to learn anything more about this? NO. So much suspense!!!

“Did she?” Will asked. “It’s not as if the girl looks like a toad in a bonnet.”

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The painted ships appeared to be sinking in clouds of dust.

I just thought this was so poetic.

This one was really good. We got to see Tessa and Will’s family, and then–Jem! Or Brother Zachariah. And he still plays his violin. <3

The Rise of the Hotel Dumort

This one was about vampires. And blood. And illegal alcohol consumption. I mean, I think there was blood. I’m not entirely sure. [This one didn’t stand out to me as much, too, if you can’t tell already.] There’s only two quotes. O.O

The first quote is kind of long, so I’ll put a snippet and explain the rest.

Then all at once, the lights came up again. But the speakeasy was gone.

Some background info: It’s 1929 in the USA, and alcohol is illegal. A speakeasy is a place where people drink illegaly. And Magnus had his own.

The police have just announced their arrival. This has happened more than once, apparently. What Magnus does, however, is use magic to transform the speakeasy into somthing else. This time it is a book club. And they are drinking tea and listening to jazz music. It’s quite hilarious once the authorities enter.

My other sticky note marks a date: October 24. WHICH IS MY BIRTHDAY. So, pretty awesome. :)

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Saving Raphael Santiago

As you may know, Raphael is a vampire that appeared in TMI. It is mentioned that he and Magnus have some sort of relationship, but it is never elaborated on. Turns out, Magnus helped Raphael when he turned into a vampire. Juicy stuff.

It was the sun getting to him, Magnus thought later, that had filled him with the desire to be a private eye. That and the Raymond Chandler novel he had just completed.

I thought this was quite charming–a great bit of detail.

“Oh, God, not the bloody vampires again,” said Magnus. “No pun intended.”

Get it? Get it? :P

Go to faeries for gossip about vampires, to werewolves for gossip about faeries, and do not gossip about werewolves, becuase they try to bite your face off: that was Magnus’s motto.

And a great motto it is. :)

…remembered his mother and how she had not been able to touch him once she’d known, and how his stepfather had held him down under the surface of the water.

A little glimpse into Magnus’s past. I wish there was a story about his childhood; thatw ould be very interesting. This line gives it much more depth.

“…the cazadores de sombras…”

“Shadowhunters” in Spanish. I thought this was cool.

Once Raphael was gone, he thought, he was getting a cat. And he would always throw his cat a birthday party.

Did we ever witness a party for Chairman Meow? Because I’d read that. Or look at a drawing of it. [Hint, hint…if anyone can draw.]

“I never get attached to Nephilim!” Magnus protested.

Ragnor coughed, and in the midst of the cough said soemthing that sounded like “blerondale.”

“Well,” said Magnus. “Hardly ever.”

;) “Blerondale.”

El hambre agudiza el ingenio,” said Raphael.

Hunger sharpens the wit.

“Good proverb,” said Magnus. “However, like most proverbs, it sounds wise and yet does not actually clarify anything.”

Words of wisdom. Should be a proverb. ;)

“Get out,” Magnus told him. “Out! I want you out. I’m going to throw a party when you leave, and you know you hate those. Along with fashion, music, and fun as a concept…”

When Magnus was being created: a dash of intelligence, a cup of warlock-ness, a dash of fashion and music and fun–whoopsie! Guess that’ll be five cups. ;)

[Am I using a winky face too much? Is it weird?]

I liked learning more about Raphael Santiago, because he was just kind of…there before.

The Fall of the Hotel Dumort

This was the really bloody one. LOTS about vampires. And high vampires.

Basically, they’re feeding off mundanes who are addicted to cocaine, and they overfeed.

Yeah. Happy stuff.

[Well, Magnus does make it a bit lot sunshinier.]

“What do you do?” the woman asked.

“This and that,” Magnus said.

“Are you in fashion? You look like you’re in fashion.”

“No,” he said. “I am fashion.”

Getting haughty, are we, Magnus? Although, he is pretty much living, walking, talking fashion. And glitter.

Now that it was a more of a civilized hour, people were out. Gay couples walking hand in hand, in the open, during the day. That was fairly new. Even as the city seemed to be falling apart, something good was happening.

This is in 1977. So pretty cool, right? I thought it was good of Magnus to make this observation, and good of Clare to include. It says a lot about Magnus.

Magnus looked at the broken-down facade of the Dumont. Someone, he noticed, had changed the n to and r. Dumort. Hotel of the dead.

Thank you, Cassandra Clare, for explaining this! At last! I was so confused about the Dumort VS Dumont thing.

This story was quite bloody, but still filled with Magnus’s charm and wit. It had its moments. Not my favorite, though.

What to Buy the Shadowhunter Who Has Everything (And Who You’re Not Officially Dating Anyway)

A very adorable Malec moment. But the real Malec thing is soming up. :)

And he wears truly awful sweaters, Magnus thought, and was dismayed when the thought brought with it a rush of affection.

AWWWW! <3

…as he rummaged for his big blue coffee cup that said BETTER THAN GANDALF across the front in sparkly letters.

I just thought this was fabulous. How is it not? And wherever did he find it?

“It wasn’t funny for Bill Herondale!” said Magnus. “Oh, damn it. Now you’ve got me doing it.”

Let me set the scene: This demon and Magnus are talking about stuff, and Will Herondale comes up. But the demon calls him Bill. This actually really funny because Will’s name is William, and Bill can be short for William. So his nickname could be Bill. ;P

“Flattery from you makes me nervous,” said Ragnor. “It means you want something. Doubtless something awful. I am not becoming a pirate with you again, Magnus. I don’t care how much you pay me.”

They were pirates??? XD I guess when you’re immortal, you get bored… I wish Ms. Clare would elaborate on this.

They [vampires] were messing up his love life as well as being inconsiderate party guests who had got blood in Magnus’s stereo system at his last party and turned Clary’s idiot friend Stanley into a rat which was just bad manners.

HE IS NOT AN IDIOT AND HIS NAME IS SIMON AND HE IS MY LOVE. And just bad manners? Uh-huh. Simon got turned into a vampire because of that!!!

So, yeah, a quite adorable chapter, but the real stuff is coming soon.

The Last Stand of the New York Institute

This story is all about Valentine and the Circle and I was EXTREMELY close to crying. I had tears in my eyes. He is killing these poor Downworlders for “crimes” they ahd apparently commited. You see all these Shadowhunters–Jocelyn, Maryse, Luke!–killing these innocents and it’s heartbreaking.

“I can get Ragnor to help me.”

“Ragnor’s in Peru,” said Catarina. “He says he finds it very peaceful without your accursed presence, and that’s a direct quote.”

Ah, remember Peru?

“You gotta come,” he said as he stumbled in. “They have my family. They’re here.”

“Who are here?”

“The crazy Shadowhunters everyone’s freaking about. They’re here. They have my family. You gotta come now.”

D’: The tears begin NOW.

“I am Lucian Graymark,” said the young man with the thin clever face at the front of the group.

LUKE!!! :’O

“Maryse, Robert, please. Valentine is a noble man!” Lucian said…

O.O MARYSE. ROBERT. *flails*

“I am fighting for a better world for myself and my son,” said the woman called Maryse.

“I have no interest in the world you want,” Magnus told her. “Or in your doubtless repellent brat, I might add.”

He just called his boyfriend a repellent brat. Think about it… O.O *flails*

The next quote is much too long, but I have an image.

00

There is a twelve-year-old werewolf girl, tied to a chair with silver rope. Silver coins are pressed to her eyes, smoke coming from them. Silver is deadly to werewolves, and Valentine is using it to torture her for information.

This was the saddest part. I was very close to crying right here.

The last part I tabbed is also very long.

Let me set the scene. Jocelyn enters Magnus’s apartment, holding a red-haired little girl of about two. She wants her child to be kept away from Shadowhunters, even though she is one, to be a mundane.

Tessa is there with Magnus, and she is wearing a shirt that reads WILLIAM WANTS A DOLL. It was a feminist statement. This makes me love Tessa even more. Mainly because she starts ot in the 1800s, feeling it;s strange to wear pants and making boys do things for her. Now she’s a feminist.

This was my favorite story. No more words.

The Course of True Love (And First Dates)

AKA Malec Malec Malec. It was freaking adorable.

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Let’s get to my notes!

“No, it doesn’t really,” said Catarina. “You’re sarcastic twelve hours a day, but you’re almost never spiteful. You have a good heart under all that glitter.”

Now, isn’t that sweet. But it’s not Malec yet.

If Jace was gold, catching the light and the attention, Alec was silver: so used to everyone else looking at Jace that that was where he looked too, so used to living in Jace’s shadow that he didn’t expect to be seen. Maybe it was enough to be the first person to tell Alec that he was worth being seen ahead of anyone in a room, and of being looked at longest.

And silver, though few people knew it, was a rarer metal than gold.

Didn’t your heart just m e l t ? This is too cute and adorable and sweet. Everything we love about Malec.

“Stupid, sexy Shadowhunters.”

Hehe. Magnus thinks Alec is sexy. :) THEY ARE TOO ADORABLE FOR WORDS.

Words seemed to explode out of Alec in a rush, though judging by his expression he wished he could hold them back. ‘It was my fault. I got everything wrong before I even showed up, and you knew how to order at the restaurant and I had to stop myself laughing at that song on the subway. I have no idea what I’m doing and you’re, um, glamorous.”

AWWWWW!!!! <3 <3 Too cute. He thinks Magnus is glamorous.

Then there is a very steamy scene in Magnus’s apartment. But I can’t post that.

I loved thsi story so much; it was just so adorable and perf and I just can’t even. I am a total Malec shipper. SO MUCH.

The Voicemail of Magnus Bane

This is the voicemail from his cellphone from one day. A lot happens. And it has to do with the Malec breakup. Or just Ma/lec. D’:

“…I honestly do feel bad for Alec. He’s a good guy. Much less annoying than Jace. I’ve always felt like, given the opportunity, we could be friends. Maybe bros. Maybe we could be bros who shoot arrows together.”

Isabelle convinced Simon to leave a message on Magnus’s voicemail to try to get Alec and him back together. And that happened. XD

Izzy tries very very very hard. It’s quite funny. For example, one time she pretends to be a lawyer for Alec and says a bunch of fancy stuff and it’s hilarious.

And then Raphael Santiago calls, and this is how he has to begin:

“Greetings, Magnus Bane, High Warlock of Brooklyn, from Raphael Santiago of the New York vampire clan, loyal servant of our glorious Queen Maureen, forever may she reign in dark glory, and the future Prince Consort Simon, babelicious rock god.

“We have to begin all our telephone calls in this manner now. Including our nightly call to a place called Hot Topic…”

LOL.

And that brings me to the finale of my book review. I thoroughly enjoyed this lovely collection of stories about the glorious Magnus Bane.

Hello, lovelies. I do apologize for the length of this review. If you made it all the way here, thank you.

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Book Review: Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare

Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare

Title: Clockwork Prince

Author: Cassandra Clare

Number of Pages: 498

Genre: YA Fantasy

Overall Rating: 4.5/5 stars

Synopsis: In the magical underworld of Victorian London, Tessa Gray, has at last found safety with the Shadowhunters. But that safety proves fleeting when rogue forces in the Clave plot to see her protector, Charlotte, replaced as head of the Institute. If Charlotte loses her position, Tessa will be out on the street, and easy prey for the mysterious Magister, who wants to use Tessa’s powers for his own dark ends. With the help of the handsome, self-destructive Will and the fiercely devoted Jem, Tessa discovers that the Magister’s war on the Shadowhunters is deeply personal. He blames them for a long-ago tragedy that shattered his life.

To unravel the secrets of the past, the trio journeys from mist-shrouded Yorkshire to a manor house that holds untold horrors, from the slums of London to an enchanted ballroom where Tessa discovers that the truth of her parentage is more sinister than she had imagined. When they encounter a clockwork demon bearing a warning for Will, they realize that the Magister himself knows their every move, and that one of their own has betrayed them.

Tessa finds her heart drawn more and more to Jem, but her longing for Will, despite his dark moods, continues to unsettle her. But something is changing in Will; the wall he has built around himself is crumbling. Could finding the Magister free Will from his secrets, and give Tessa the answers about who she is and what she was born to do?

As their dangerous search for the Magister and the truth leads the friends into peril, Tessa learns that when love and lies are mixed, they can corrupt even the purest heart.

Discussion: I liked this book waaaaaaay more than the first book in The Infernal Devices trilogy. The first book’s plot isn’t as complex as I wanted it to be, and it was kind of predictable. But this plot was much better. I also think that this series could be read first; in fact, it might be better.

So.

  1. The truth about Will. I can’t spoil this, no matter how much I want to [I’m eating chocolate right now and it’s really good…], so I will just say this: you learn more about him, and your opinion about him might soften. Or at least mine did, considering I hated him after Clockwork Angel.
  2. Sophie has a bigger role. I find Sophie very sweet and lovable, and I was very glad to see her friendship play out with Tessa. I like how they talk about very girlish, simple things, like boys and relationships, but also consult each other about larger issues.
  3. Jessamine is much more interesting. I was fascinated with Jessamine in the first book, but she was just the sour-faced girl on the side. But now she has a role, an actual, complex part. I applaud Clare for adding her in and making the story more interesting.

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But, alas, even Clare’s books have flaws.

I noticed in this book more clichés:

  • biting your lip and bleeding as a result
  • clenching hands and white knuckles
  • melodramatic

Clichés make me cringe inwardly. They are all so dramatic and unrealistic that I can’t help wonder what the author was thinking. Have they seen people in real life? I think.

Plot twists were around every corner, which kept me on my toes and reading. Good job, Cassandra Clare! I think that is one of her [many] strong points. Of course, a character had to die already, just like in TMI.

Oh, and the cliff hanger! That would have killed me if I didn’t have the next book. Thankfully, I did.

I enjoyed the second installment of The Infernal Devices a lot and have already begun Clockwork Princess.  I think I know what will happen, because Instagram likes to spoil things for me, and I’ve read the series after this which gives stuff away, but oh well.

Have you read Clockwork Prince? Did you enjoy it? Did you notice the clichés ? Tell me in the comments below.

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Book Review: Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

Title: Clockwork Angel

Author: Cassandra Clare

Number of Pages: 476

Genre: YA Fantasy

Overall Rating: 4.5/5 stars

Synopsis: In a time when Shadowhunters are barely winning the fight against the forces of darkness, one battle will change the course of history forever. Welcome to the Infernal Devices trilogy, a stunning and dangerous prequel to the New York Times bestselling Mortal Instruments series.

The year is 1878. Tessa Gray descends into London’s dark supernatural underworld in search of her missing brother. She soon discovers that her only allies are the demon-slaying Shadowhunters—including Will and Jem, the mysterious boys she is attracted to. Soon they find themselves up against the Pandemonium Club, a secret organization of vampires, demons, warlocks, and humans. Equipped with a magical army of unstoppable clockwork creatures, the Club is out to rule the British Empire, and only Tessa and her allies can stop them….

Discussion: I really do love Cassandra Clare’s work and the Shadowhunter world she has created. I was so happy to be back in the realm after the conclusion of City of Heavenly Fire. I also found out a few things.

  1. Will Herondale is Jace’s ancestor. TBH, if they didn’t show names, it would have been obvious anyway. Their demeanors are identical, although I prefer Jace. I don’t like Will much, even if every other fangirl alive loooves him. Beauty comes from within, peoples. duh animated GIF
  2. Tessa Gray is [SPOILER ALERT!] the same one who was part of Clary’s namesake. How cool is that? So that means she is a warlock, and is immortal. But doesn’t that mean that the Silent Brother who turned human [or something else…] becomes her boyfriend? what animated GIF
  3. Church the cat is immortal; yay!!! I love Church.
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Awww. =^.^=

I like the plot a lot, and, of course, Cassandra Clare’s writing. Overall it’s just really great.

But let’s get nitpicky.

Clare’s writing, though it is lovely and flowing, is quite filled with clichés. Examples:

  • “I bit my lip, and tasted blood.” When you bite your lip, it doesn’t bleed. Only if you try extremely hard.
  • “I breathed out a breath I didn’t know I’d taken in.” Apparently the biggest cliché in YA.

These bug me. A lot.

If you’ve read The Mortal Instruments, I recommend reading this series. Even if you hadn’t you could read these first.

Note: I am able to post this today, instead of Wednesday. Also, Nakoma is now under My Writing.

Have you read Clockwork Angel? What did you think? Tell me in the comments below.

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Stacking the Shelves With Many Books!

 

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So…I went to the bookstore AND the library today, and obtained 11 books in all. [If I did my math correctly.] I am so freaking excited, because–well, you’ll see below. >:)

Books I Bought

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Top to bottom:

Afterworlds by Scott Westerfield-I have been wanting this book ever since I saw a book blogger’s review of it. It’s already amazing.

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare-Finally!

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins-I’m giving it a second chance.

Uglies by Scott Westerfield-I have also been wanting this forever. High hopes!

Books I’m Borrowing

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Top to bottom:

Specials by Scott Westerfield

Pretties by Scott Westerfield

Extras by Scott Westerfield

Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare

And just because it’s free from the library and utterly cool…

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That’s it for Stacking the Shelves. Unfortunately, the library didn’t have Mockingjay, but hopefully next time I visit they will.

What did you think of my babies books? Tell me in the comments below.

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Banned Books Week and Top Ten Tuesday

Thank you to Ava for recommending that I post about Banned Books Week.

This week, Sep. 21-Sep. 27, is Banned Books Week!

What is BBW?

Well, I didn’t know until I looked it up. Here is an overview, straight from their official website.

Banned Books Week is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read. Held during the last week of September, it highlights the value of free and open access to information. Banned Books Week brings together the entire book community –- librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers of all types –- in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular.

Banned Books Week was launched in 1982 in response to a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores and libraries. More than 11,300 books have been challenged since 1982 according to the American Library Association. There were 307 challenges reported to the Office of Intellectual Freedom in 2013, and many more go unreported.

This week celebrates the freedom of reading and, mostly, banned books.

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What types of books are considered banned?

Here are the top three reasons for banned books:

  1. Material considered to be sexually explicit.
  2. Material has offensive language.
  3. Material is “unsuited to any age group.”

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What can I do to celebrate BBW?

Most obviously, read! Read anytime you can, to show others that you can read and you are allowed to. No one can tell you not to. [Except maybe your teacher…] And read banned books. You can find a list of challenged authors from the 21st century, up to 2012, here. J. K. Rowling and John Green make the list! Basically, you can read almost any YA book. Because most contain “offensive language.”

You can also participate in some events. If you live in the USA, here is a list of states and their events.

And you can participate in a Virtual Read-Out. More information about that can be found here.

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For TTT, I decided it would be fun to make a list of [in my opinion] top ten books that should be/are challenged. This doesn’t mean I don’t like them; this is for fun!

TTT is a meme created by The Broke and the Bookish.

TTT is a meme created by The Broke and the Bookish.

My Top Ten Banned Books

1. Paper Towns by John Green

2. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

3. If I Stay by Gayle Forman

4. The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare

5. Ink by Amanda Sun

6. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

7. Where She Went by Gayle Forman

8. A Dark Sky by Giselle Rocha

9. The Princess and the Pauper by Kate Brian

10. Geek High by Piper Banks

Sorry I didn’t include pictures. I’m too lazy. XD

This post was extra-long!

[Added after a comment I saw.]

I find the whole concept of BBW to be a joke. These books are normal, everyday books that everyone reads. There’s no point of them being banned, in my opinion.

What are you doing to celebrate Banned Books Week? [BTW, I made up the acronym.] And what books are on your banned books list? Tell me in the comments below.

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Book Review of City of Heavenly Fire, a.k.a. Add All the Feels and Stake You in the Heart

Honestly, that’s what it was like. I’m going to try to keep this review spoiler-free, but I might do a bit of spoiling in a discussion rant afterwards. So, continue to calmly read my spoiler-free review below, but once that ends, go. Just go. [Unless you’ve read CoHF; that’s different.]

City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare

Title: City of Heavenly Fire

Author: Cassandra Clare

Number of Pages: 725 [Yes, it is a tome. I know.]

Genre: YA Fantasy

Overall Rating: 5/5 stars [I mean, it would be impossible not to give it five stars. It would just be…wrong. So wrong.]

Summary From Cover: In this dazzling and long-awaited conclusion to the acclaimed Mortal Instruments series, Clary and her friends fight the greatest evil they have ever faced: Clary’s own brother.
Sebastian Morgenstern is on the move, systematically turning Shadowhunter against Shadowhunter. Bearing the Infernal Cup, he transforms Shadowhunters into creatures out of nightmare, tearing apart families and lovers as the ranks of his Endarkened army swell.
The embattled Shadowhunters withdraw to Idris – but not even the famed demon towers of Alicante can keep Sebastian at bay. And with the Nephilim trapped in Idris, who will guard the world against demons?
When one of the greatest betrayals the Nephilim have ever known is revealed, Clary, Jace, Isabelle, Simon, and Alec must flee – even if their journey takes them deep into the demon realms, where no Shadowhunter has set foot before, and from which no human being has ever returned…
Love will be sacrificed and lives lost in the terrible battle for the fate of the word in the thrilling final installment of the classic urban fantasy series The Mortal Instruments!

Discussion: OMG. Just, OMG. I know, not the most poetic or descriptive choice of words, but it’s very accurate. Be prepared to say this after you read it. Because you’re going to. Even if I have to tie you to a chair, duct tape your mouth shut, and scream it at you.

Ahem.

I’m trying to save some of my ideas for the spoiler discussion below. If you have read this lovely, torturous book, feel free to skip below; I don’t mind. This might be a bit sucky, actually.

First of all, the feels. They are overwhelming. [I guess this whole spoiler-free discussion will be a warning. (CAUTION: This book may cause emotions, feels, crying, trauma, elation, and unwilling laughing at inopportune times in public. Read with head, my dear friend. Proceed with caution.)] Be prepared to die inside, to laugh in public, to tear up, to feel like someone has stabbed you in the gut, to be so freaking happy you just have to tell everyone, to be perceived as a lunatic. These are all side effects.

The feels are everything. Yes, there is a plot. Yes, there are characters. Yes, there are relationships and kissing and swearing and drama and sacrifice and beauty. But, really, it all revolves around feelings. You can feel the characters’ pain and love and joy. You are them.

I really don’t no what else to say, except this:

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And I don’t even like Adventure Time!

If you have not read this book or series, go get it now. And, BTW, don’t read below, because…

SPOILER ALERT!!!

So, bye now. Bye!

SPOILER Discussion: I…I don’t even know where to beg–

WHY?! WHY MUST CASSANDRA CLARE TORTURE ME SO???

Simon is my favorite character. And when he volunteered to give up his immortality and his memories in the demon world, I wanted to go inside the book, slap him, push Magnus to his father and say “Have him instead!” and then possibly kiss Simon. But then Isabelle would have killed me. Seriously, though, Simon is my fave. It pained me so to think know, while I was sitting in a hot car staring at highway, Simon was a mundane and couldn’t remember Clary. He would grow up, go back to his mother, be in the band–be human. He is my OTP, though. Where are you, real-life Simon?

And the whole thing with Sebastian was creepy. Being in love with your sister, even when you don’t know what love is? I wanted to stab him! When Clary sat onto that throne, my heart was crumpled and thrown into the trash. Thank goodness it was her plan!

Jace has grown on be a bit. I find him much too perfect, egotistical, arrogant, heroic–Maybe I don’t like him at all. He reminds me of Jason from Heroes of Olympus; superman perfect. Although his moments with Clary are sweet.

Izzy is just as awesome as ever, Alec is still Alec, and the world still revolves around the sun. Everything is good and fine. I guess I would’ve liked a more…devastating ending, I guess. Maybe a major character dying, perhaps like, erm, *cough* Jace *cough*.

*protects self while fangirls run at me*

Love this quote! And Izzy.

And Emma! Dear Emma, I do adore and admire her so. She’s a lovely addition, although I do wish she was in on more of the action, I suppose.

To conclude my epic (as in epic, I mean long) review, I would like to say that although it was a bit of a traumatic experience, I loved CoHF.

Thanks for getting here! Sorry it was a bit on the long side, but I really felt like ranting and warning. y next read will be Malala Yousafzai’s newest book, I Am Malala: How One girl Stood Up For Education and Changed the World. Did you enjoy CoHF? Tell me in the comments below!

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I GOT 50,000 WORDS!!! (and a Book Review)

AwesomenessTV animated GIF

I GOT 50,000 WORDS ON MY NOVEL!!! WOO-HOO!!! I AM STOKED!!!

This GIF totally explained how I felt. It’s a bit creepy, actually. I had a one-person dance party to the song “I’m Yours” by Jason Mraz. It was awesome. In celebration of this wonderful occasion, everyone gets virtual cake!

Winner 2014 - Facebook Cover

I actually have some stuff to cover. I finished City of Lost Souls. My review will appear here shortly. I also will be getting Scrivener shortly. I guess that’s it. On to the review!

Book Review: City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare

Title: City of Lost Souls

Author: Cassandra Clare

Number of Pages: 534

Genre: YA Fantasy

Overall Rating: 5/5 stars

Summary From Cover: The demon, Lilith, has been destroyed and Jace has been freed from his captivity. But when the Shadowhunters arrive to rescue him, they find only blood and broken glass. Not only is the boy Clary loves missing, but so is the boy she hates, Sebastian, the son of her father, Valentine: a son determined to succeed where their father failed and bring the Shadowhunters to their knees.

No magic the Clave can summon can locate either boy, but Jace cannot stay away – not from Clary. When they meet again Clary discovers the horror Lilith’s dying magic has brought – Jace is no longer the boy she loved. He and Sebastian are now bound to each other, and Jace has become what he most feared: a true servant of Valentine’s evil. The Clave is determined to destroy Sebastian, but there is no way to harm one boy without destroying the other. Will the Shadowhunters hesitate to kill one of their own?

Only a small band of Clary and Jace’s friends and family believe that Jace can still be saved – and that the fate of the Shadowhunters’ future may hinge on that salvation. They must defy the Clave and strike out on their own. Alec, Magnus, Simon and Isabelle must work together to save Jace: bargaining with the sinister Seelie Queen, contemplating deals with demons, and turning at last to the Iron Sisters, the reclusive and merciless weapons makers for the Shadowhunters, who tell them that no weapon on this Earth can sever the bond between Sebastian and Jace. Their only chance of cutting Jace free is to challenge Heaven and Hell – a risk that could claim any, or all, of their lives.

And they must do it without Clary. For Clary has gone into the heart of darkness, to play a dangerous game utterly alone. The price of losing the game is not just her own life, but Jace’s soul. She’s willing to do anything for Jace, but can she even still trust him? Or is he truly lost? What price is too high to pay, even for love?

Darkness threatens to claim the Shadowhunters in the harrowing fifth book of the Mortal Instruments series.

CAUTION: Spoilers Below; Read At Your Own Risk

Discussion: This book was very hard to rate. I gave it five stars, but it wasn’t easy. At first, it was going to be 4.5 stars. Then three, and finally five. Why was it so hard? Read below.

The biggest thing about the book that jumps out at me is how emotional-rollercoaster-y it is. There’s love, there’s depression, there’s sadness, there’s almost-death, there’s confusion, there’s happiness (but it’s very short), there’s anger–pretty much all of it. And although most of the emotions were in the top three of sadness, anger, and almost-death (if that’s an emotion…?) it was a  good read. But this is why I kind of jumped to three stars, because it wasn’t very happy. Very rarely were the characters in a calm, relaxed, happy state.

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There was a lot of conflict, which is always good, but it didn’t seem like there were very good or solid resolutions. Sure, they save Jace, but Sebastian’s still out there, raising hell and the like. And Magnus pretty much is still mad at Alec at the end of the book (kinda why they break up).

The characters sometimes acted (in my opinion) a bit on the dimwitted side. When Clary loses her ring, she doesn’t even think to look in Sebastian’s room until it’s too late! Hello, Clary! Gah!

But I did enjoy the book because of…

  • the characters, despite being dimwitted at times, are very relatable and sweet, and I can really connect with them
  • the action! I love action. It made it really exciting.
  • the sweet romance; I am a sucker for that.
  • the writing. I really do adore Cassandra Clare’s writing. It is practically flawless; every sentence flows beautifully, gracing the next and perfecting the first.
  • the descriptions. Clare does a wonderful job of describing every little detail while not making it go on an on.
  • the cover art! I mean, it’s just pretty!
  • the villain. Clare makes him not just evil ‘cuz he’s evil, but gives him a reason. You do not know how much I hate undeveloped characters with no reason to do anything; they just do it because the author makes them.

And now for some random pictures of my lovely kitty, Mattie aka Mattipuss.

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Isn’t she adorable?

I have to go.

Bye,

Chloe