City of Bones is rubbing me the wrong way


Mid reading update for City of Bones

I am having so many issues with this book that it sometimes literally makes me vocalize my rage by screaming and yelling at the screen of my SonyReader. These are just some of the questions I have directed at the black letters of this book

1) WHY, oh in God’s name WHY does this author hate consistency in writing style? As soon as my bookclub partner and I saw that the book opened with a quote from Milton AND Shakespeare we were cautious. Our caution payed off. (She does continue to put warning quotations later on – Virgil, IN LATIN!)

The majority of the book so far has been written in a primary school “Writing course” style (not to put down any children or teenager writers, but you know what I mean. It’s like reading that set essay “Autumn in my City” that all schoolchildren dread).

Then, just to spice things up she drops in an “intellectual” sounding word that you need a dictionary to find out what it means. And this is done for no stylistic reason whatsoever because these words stick out like a sore thumb. My friend called it “I used the dictionary” moment, whereas I am convinced the author has that “Word a Day” calendar and has decided to use those words no matter what!

In other situations the complete opposite thing happens. The narrator is perfectly capable of naming all the weapons in the weapons room (“The weapons room looked exactly the way something called “the weapons room” sounded like it would look.” – REALLY?! You don’t say) but she does not know what a leather bag filled with arrows is called (yes, all of you who checked Google or read Lord of the Rings know that it’s a quiver).

In addition to the vocabulary problems, this woman really does not know how to compose sentences that make sense (read again the quote about the weapons room). Another sparkling example of her inability write is this “But more importantly… And more importantly that that…” – uuuuuuu way to go! F. Scott Fitzgerald would be proud of this! Also “Her knees felt like bags of water.” Could someone explain this to me, please.

And, to finish off her paragraphs and flow of thought is so all over the place that I would have failed her in my writing class were she one of my students.

2) the characters! Where do I begin with the characters?

Perhaps with the bland Clary (Obviously and ego boost nickname for the author) who very often makes the reader scream in exasperation with her scattered thoughts and her “I hate her” attitude towards the good looking Isabella (yes, you guessed it, she hates Isabella even though she doesn’t know her. My guess is Clary hates her because her friend Simon has a crush on her.) On the other hand, that is one of the rare age appropriate character traits in this book, so perhaps I should not criticize this.

Then we have Jace. The good-looking, piano-playing, demon-hunting, charming, angsty, past-scarred artisticsoul bent on justice (not revenge) against the guys who murdered his father. Those of you who have read Twilight series: remember how Edward was always Adonis-like; well Jace is all tawny – hair, eyes… My and my reading partner did wonder if perhaps his nether regions (winkwink) are also tawny. Don’t think we’ll find out, but if we do, I’ll let you know.

Other characters are just as badly written as these two.

I think this is it for now.

If there’s more, I’ll update.


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