Book of the Week-City of Ashes-Special TMI Read-A-Thon Edition!

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Don’t forget to check out the entire TMI Read-a-Thon tour here.

City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare

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GoodReads / Barnes and Noble / Amazon / Book Depository

Genre:

Young Adult, Urban Fantasy, Romance

Part of a Series?:

The second in the Mortal Instruments Series

Age Recommendation:

13+

Plot Summary:

From GoodReads:

Clary Fray just wishes that her life would go back to normal. But what’s normal when you’re a demon-slaying Shadowhunter, your mother is in a magically induced coma, and you can suddenly see Downworlders like werewolves, vampires, and faeries? If Clary left the world of the Shadowhunters behind, it would mean more time with her best friend, Simon, who’s becoming more than a friend. But the Shadowhunting world isn’t ready to let her go — especially her handsome, infuriating, newfound brother, Jace. And Clary’s only chance to help her mother is to track down rogue Shadowhunter Valentine, who is probably insane, certainly evil — and also her father.

To complicate matters, someone in New York City is murdering Downworlder children. Is Valentine behind the killings — and if he is, what is he trying to do? When the second of the Mortal Instruments, the Soul-Sword, is stolen, the terrifying Inquisitor arrives to investigate and zooms right in on Jace. How can Clary stop Valentine if Jace is willing to betray everything he believes in to help their father?

In this breathtaking sequel to City of Bones, Cassandra Clare lures her readers back into the dark grip of New York City’s Downworld, where love is never safe and power becomes the deadliest temptation.

My City of Ashes Experience: 

The minute that I had finished City of Bones, I knew immediately that I had to get my hands on City of Ashes. I think it was really late at night though, 2, maybe 3 am so of course that wasn’t an option. I hadn’t bought an e-reader yet so I couldn’t just download the next book the way I did when I finished Divergent at 3 am and needed Insurgent immediately. I waited until the next day and went as soon as I could down to Borders (agh, I miss that store) and bought it, and immediately went home and dove into the story.

See, the way Cassandra Clare left off in City of Bones? I couldn’t just handle that. I had fallen madly in love with Jace Wayland, and was shipping him with Clary SO hard. When I found out they were brother and sister, I just couldn’t handle it. It couldn’t be true. There was no way! It was some sort of sick and cruel joke and I had to find out what was going on.

When I read through City of Ashes, I was blown away, and I immediately liked it even more than I had liked City of Bones. Cassie had taken the story she had already created and blown it up even bigger and even better. Everyone had something to worry about it, and it was all wrapped up in the ever looming drama and fear of Valentine. Jace and Clary were in love, but siblings. Simon was in love with Clary, not fitting into this new world that she was a part of. Alec continues to struggle with his sexuality and the lies he continues to tell. Its not only this story of fantasy and all that, but there are real human stories, real human emotions and I think that really comes clear in City of Ashes.

I love the turning point for Clary in this book. Clary is becoming more part of the Shadowhunter world, and I love that. In City of Bones, she is struggling to fit into a world that she was technically born for, but hidden from her entire life and that is incredibly difficult, especially when your dad-figure is suddenly a werewolf, your mom is unconscious and can’t even tell you about this world and your best friend is a mundane, not part of it at all. So in City of Ashes, when she starts to become a bigger part in the world, I found myself following her into that. I love that we see her connect with the fae for the first time, because they are a Downworlder species that we hadn’t really met before.

I also really loved that we get to see the magic that is Clary starting in this book. When she uses the open rune to get into Jace’s cell in the City of Bones, and when she destroys the ship and when she creates the Fearless rune. Those are magical moments for me, because not only is she a Shadowhunter but she’s also a special one, a powerful one. She may not be able to fight but she’s smart and powerful and that’s what makes her so incredibly strong. I got the fearless rune tattooed on my shoulder, partly because of my obsession with the ideas of fear and fearlessness and bravery but also to connect myself with Clary as a character.

The relationship between Jace and Valentine really make it a great book as well. I think its easy for the reader to know that Valentine is a bad guy but I liked that Cassie made sure that Jace struggled with it. It has to be so hard for him. Valentine, no matter who he is, was Jace’s father, and raised him. Even though he was not the best parent, he was the only person Jace knew as family until the Lightwoods, and the only affection he ever knew. He loves him, despite everything, and its such a struggle for him to fight against him and I loved the realness and the rawness of that relationship.

The Last Word

They say the middle book of a series is the one that leaves you with no hope, and City of Ashes does that. Its the one where you attempt to take down the bad guy and the bad guy wins for a bit. Think Star Wars and other trilogies where this happens. It just has to happen that way and I think Cassie does an amazing job. She really leaves us off in City of Ashes feeling absolutely hopeless. Valentine has escaped, with the Cup and the Sword. Jocelyn is still not awake. Simon is freakin vampire. Jace has just told Clary that he’ll be her brother from now. It literally leaves you feeling so let down, but its beautiful that way because you immediately want to read City of Glass and fix it all!

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Share in the comments! What do you love about City of Ashes? What are some things that you maybe didn’t like? Have you re-read it recently? What are some of the reasons you love it! Can’t wait to hear from you!

April Book Wrap Up!

Books Pledged to Read in 2014: 150 Books

Am I On Track: Nope. Not at all. 6 behind, viagra approved I believe

Books Read So Far: 44

Total Books For April: 12

Remember, information pills as always, look to click the book title in order to read the review!

Love Letters to the Dead

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The Infinite Moment of Us

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The Last Forever

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#scandal

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Breakable

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Attachments (Re-Read)

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City of Bones (Re-Read)

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Get Even

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City of Ashes (Re-Read)

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City of Glass (Re-Read)

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Rapture Practice 

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Ink is Thicker than Water

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What did you guys read this month? Share in the comments!

Tuesday Top Ten-Favorite City of Ashes Moments!

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I realize, viagra dosage of course, this web that it is Wednesday so the whole Tuesday part of the title is a little untrue. I was cleaning my room today, web and well, I guess I got a….book lover injury. I was lifting a stack of books, I kid you not, and I hurt my back. I’ve literally been in bed the rest of the day and I haven’t been able to move all day. I’ve been so massively uncomfortable. So not only do these books hurt me, you know, emotionally and mentally, but also physically .

Only me, guys. Only I would be rendered completely useless by a stack of books haha.

But now I’ve realized that I’m not going to get any more comfortable than I already am (not) so I might as well write this post because I promised!

This is part of my TMI Read-a-Thon, which I hope that you can join in on! You can check out the post here.

Now let’s count down my favorite moments from the City of Ashes novel!

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10. When We Meet Maia 

I love Maia and I don’t think we get to see enough of Maia in the books and I don’t think that Maia gets enough credit. It was awesome to get another girl in this book besides just Clary and Isabelle. I love the confidence that Maia has and I love that she’s a female Downworlder. She’s tough, but emotional. I love everything about her. I love that we are in her head when we first meet, so we get her back story with her brother, Daniel, and her ex-boyfriend who turned her into a werewolf. I love that she becomes so important. I really don’t think she gets enough

“Maia never trusted beautiful boys, which was why she hated Jace Wayland the first time she ever laid eyes on him.” 

9. When Jace Defies His Father 

I think this is an ultimate moment and I don’t know that people really stop to appreciate how incredibly hard it is for Jace to do this. Valentine is the bad guy. Of course, he is. We, as the reader, see the absolutely horrible things that he’s done, is doing and plans to do. But for Jace…this is the man who raised him. He may have done so harshly but that doesn’t stop Jace from loving him, and from having an affection for him. For the first ten years of his life, Valentine was all he knew. He taught him, made him the person that he is, and Jace loves him, and was conditioned to obey him. To defy his father was a huge choice that he had to make even if it was the right one. I thought it was a beautiful moment in the story and a beautiful, growing moment for Jace.

He must have been pretty pissed when you said no,” Alec observed. 

Jace looked up from his bleeding wrists and stared. “What?” 

“I said–“

“I know what you said. What makes you think I said no?”

“Well, you did. Didn’t you?” 

8. When Imogen Herondale Dies for Jace

I think I appreciate this  moment a whole lot more once we find out the real truth of Jace’s parentage. At the time, I was baffled by it. I couldn’t understand how this woman who showed so much hatred and disdain and disrespect toward Jace could suddenly jump in front of him, and get killed by a demon. It absolutely blew my mind. But when we realize that she is his biological grandmother, that the line of Herondale is not over, I think its a beautiful moment. She is the first person, besides Valentine, Hodge and Jocelyn, who figures out the truth about him and she jumps in front of him, to save the last bit of her son, Stephen, that she has left. Agh. I’m getting emotional just thinking about it .

Breath hissed through the Inquisitor’s teeth. “It can’t be,” she murmured. “You can’t be–“

7. When Simon Becomes a Vampire 

I know that some people probably don’t like that part, and that they would have rather had Simon live as a mundane or die, period but I think that him becoming a vampire was almost necessary. Simon, to me, was just never going to be able to keep up with the Shadow world. He was a mundane, no matter how much I really liked him, and a mundane just didn’t fit into that world. I think that by becoming a vampire, he was better fit into the world, even as a Downworlder. I also think that it weirdly gave him confidence and it helped for him to gain the respect of Jace and Alec and others. I liked when Simon became a vampire. I really felt like he belonged in the story from that moment on.

“Now what?” said Isabelle, with a hard edge to her voice. “Now he’ll die?” 

“And rise again. Now he will be a vampire.” 

6. When Jace Jumps out of the Malachi Configuration 

Seriously there’s not much to say about this part except it makes Jace a total badass. And it hints at what the Seelie Queen said about him and Clary being Valentine’s little experiments. Jace is capable of so much, if only he gives himself the chance to believe in himself. So yeah. Jace is just a badass in this scene.

“I am Valentine’s arrow,” Jace whispered. “Whether he knows it or not.” And he jumped. 

5. When Maryse Asks the Inquisitor to Release her Son 

I wish Jace had been there at that moment to see this. Because Maryse is seen as hard, and unyielding, as the leader of the Lightwood family and the one that got them involved with Valentine and the Circle in the first place but I always believed that there was so much more to her. She had three children and she took in Jace, and I believed she loved each and every single one of them. Even when she was telling Jace to leave, all I could think of was that she loved him so much that she couldn’t bear to think of him as Valentine’s child. So the moment that she stands up to Imogen and tells her to release her son, I felt like cheering. This is a huge part of the reason why I call him Jace Lightwood and not Jace Herondale. His family is the Lightwoods, and Maryse proves that here.

“And the first thing you’re going to do is free my son from that accursed Malachi Configuration.” 

4. When Jace Lets Simon Drink His Blood 

Can we just address the fact that these two barely tolerate each other, if like each other, and they’re in constant competition over Clary. I keep thinking, they’d like each other more if they weren’t both fighting for the love in Clary’s heart. So when Jace discovers that Simon is not dead, and he immediately cuts into his skin to save him…I was just blown away. I mean, I didn’t think that Jace would leave him for dead, but the fact that he immediately saved him, without any thought or pause, I was just like, jesus, Jace. He spends the entire series doing the right thing, even through his flaws and mistakes, and he doesn’t even realize it. The relationship between Jace and Simon definitely changes here.

He leaned down, pressed his bleeding wrist against Simon’s mouth. “Drink my blood, idiot,” he whispered. “Drink it.” 

3. When Clary Creates the Fearless Rune 

Of course, this scene is incredibly important to me. I have the fearless rune permanently tattooed on my shoulder. This scene, the creation of this rune, is near and dear to my heart. But there’s more to that, of course. I love that we are beginning to see the abilities that Clary has. I love that Jace is thinking of the Fear demon, and what he’ll need to get past it. I love that when Alec gets the Rune put on him, he immediately becomes fearless. But I love the best that they don’t need the rune to be fearless, that they learn to accept their fears and to get past it. I think that’s why the fearless rune means so much to me. You can’t be fearless; there’s no way. But you can accept and conquer them and deal with them, and I think everyone does that.

The pencil moved. She was almost sure that she hadn’t moved it, but it slid across the paper, describing a single line. She felt her heart skip. She thought of her mother, sitting dreamily before her canvas, creating her own vision of the world in ink and oil paint. She thought, Who I am? I am Jocelyn Fray’s daughter. The pencil moved again, and this time her breath caught; she found she was whispering the word, under her breath, “Fearless. Fearless.” The pencil looped back up, and now she was guiding it rather than being guided by it. When she was done, she set the pencil down and gazed for a moment, wonderingly, at the result. 

2. When Clary Uses the “Open” Rune 

Clary literally destroys an entire ship! AN ENTIRE FREAKIN SHIP! With one massively powerful rune. She is the one that saves the day, the untrained mundane-Shadowhunter girl. The one that people tend to overlook over and over and over again. The only people that always believe in her are Jace and Simon and they both believe in her at that moment and she explodes. She annihilates. She’s beautiful and powerful and incredible and she saves the lives of so many people. And its only book two. Its like, what on earth is this girl capable of? what is she going to do next?

Clary staggered to her feet. “That’s not what it says,” she whispered. “It says open.” 

1. The Seelie Court Scene

I mean, duh. I love incest as much the next person ;) Seriously, I fell massively in love with Jace in the first book and I was like, chanting, “Clace, Clace, Clace” the entire first book. When you find out they are brother and sister, it felt like the sickest, cruelest joke ever. So when this moment happens in the Seelie Court, where they are forced to kiss and forced to confront their feelings for each other, head on, I was ecstatic. I thought…they’re going to try and make this work. Despite the craziness of it, they’re going to try and be together because they totally belong together. They make each other better. That scene was sexy and desperate and you felt every emotion along with him. It’s also my favorite scene because of the Jace POV of the scene. They are both feeling so similar to each other, so desperate and hopeless and in love, and you feel every tiny bit of it. 

“While this is all very amusing,” said the Queen coolly, leaning forward, “the kiss that will free the girl is the kiss that she most desires.” The cruel delight in her face and voice had sharpened, and her words seemed to stab into Clary’s ears like needles. “Only that and nothing more.” 

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Those are some of MY favorite City of Ashes moments! What are some of yours? Don’t forget to share in the comments!