Ten Years of City of Bones: Week One

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To wish Cassandra Clare a happy bookiversary and gear up for the FREAKING GORGEOUS special re-release of City of Bones, the lovely Jessica over at Booked J came up with this themed book meme to celebrate. And I just HAD to participate because I’ve been a lunatic over this series from the start. I just HAVE A LOT OF FEELINGS OKAY??


The anniversary edition of City of Bones will be released on November 7, which means we’re only a few weeks away from spending even more money on books (HERE BOOKS, JUST TAKE IT ALL 💸). There are ten prompts for ten GLORIOUS years and I’ll be rolling one these babies out every Saturday.* If you want to join in the fun and spend the next ten weeks wistfully reminiscing with us, you can find out more about it HERE! For this first week I’ll be taking a little stroll down memory lane, sharing how I found the book and what it means to me.


*You may have noticed that it is, in fact, Sunday and not Saturday. Well reader, that’s because I’m a bum who took way too long to write this. I’m in the middle of moving and since MOVING IS THE WORST ARGGHHHH, I’ve been an unorganized nut case. I love my books like an extension of myself, but OMG TRANSPORTING THEM ALL IS AWFUL. UGH.


When did you first discover it?

I first discovered this book during my junior year (senior year????) of high school from a friend who recommended it. For reasons I can no longer remember, I was reluctant to start (I know, what was WRONG with teenage me?!?!). THANKFULLY, I ended up caving under some heavy duress (ahhhhh, the joys of peer pressure) and borrowed a copy. Needless to say, I fell hard for this novel and IMMEDIATELY ran out and bought my own copy. From that point on, I was one of those crazy fangirls preordering each book, stalking forums, and generally freaking out about everything shadowhunter related.

FUN FACT! The story of how I discovered this book is almost EXACTLY how I discovered Twilight (recommended by the same friend, among many others. Talk about duress…), but that story has a vastly different ending of the not-good variety. Maybe a post for another time…

How did it make you feel?

SO MANY FEELS!!! Oh man, I went through so many different emotions reading this. Similar to Jessica, I was pretty close to Clary’s age when I first started and it hit me right at the awkward time when you’re adult enough to make important life decisions, but you actually have no idea how the world works. Can you hear that? It’s Britney Spears singing!! I’M NOT A GIRLLLLLLL, NOT YET A WOMANNNNNN!!!


Okay I’m done. But City of Bones introduced me to a lot of new ideas that sheltered, nerd me hadn’t been exposed to before.

Up until that point I had been obsessed with books like The Princess Diaries series and The Mediator series (okay pretty much anything by Meg Cabot)—books that are cute and fun, but a tad shallow in emotional depth. Of course, I had read and OBSESSED about all the Harry Potter books, but that series didn’t catch me in quite the same way as this one did. Even though Harry Potter deals with a lot of adult themes, there was nothing that directly related to me. None of Harry’s problems were my problems (FEEL FREE TO CHANGE THAT HOGWARTS. STILL WAITING FOR MY ACCEPTANCE LETTER) and I held that series at a distance from myself a little.

Clary and the shadowhunter gang, however, dealt with a lot of the same obstacles my friends and I were dealing with and it was AMAZING seeing that in a book. Clary grew up with a single mother, she loved to draw and wanted to go to art school like I did, Jace doesn’t know his biological parents, Simon is an awkward nerd in love with his best friend, Isabelle longs for her family’s approval, and Alec is exploring his sexuality and learning to love himself the way he is. Even though they’re fictional characters that fight mythical demons in their spare time, it made me feel not so alone and that was such a relief. Teenagers don’t want to stand out, they want to blend in (at least, I did) and this book really helped me through some awkward times.

Plus, that scene at the end is CRAZY!!! I don’t want to give it away for those who have never read it, but my shadowhunter fans will know EXACTLY what scene I’m talking about. The entire book is magical, and funny, and awesome, and then we’re hit with the BIGGEST CURVEBALL EVER. Oh my god, SO MUCH DRAMA!! SO MUCH ANGST!!! It was like reading a soap opera. At the time, I thought it was HILARIOUS. I vividly remember reading that part in my eighth period English class and DYING, followed by me finding the friend who lent it to me and freaking out.

Does that feeling still hold up?

Absolutely! My perspectives have changed now that I’m older and (hopefully) wiser, but I still get that feeling of comraderie and comfort. Maybe it’s the memory of being comforted that’s so soothing? I don’t know, but those feelings are definitely still there. I’ve also found that this is one of those books I can read repeatedly and still find something new each time.

What does it mean to you and why?

Okay, I’m only 27, which is still young and I don’t know if I’ve earned the right to reminisce like this (BACK IN MY DAY… *shakes fist at meddling kids*) but this book has come to represent that time of my life. I associate the Harry Potter series with my pre-teen years and this one represents my transition into adulthood. It’s like hearing a song and being transported to a specific moment in time—I hear that song “We Are Young” by Fun and immediately get taken to my college graduation night. That’s the feeling City of Bones gives me!

God, can you take all the sap happening in this post?? I’M NOT CRYING, YOU’RE CRYING!


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5 thoughts on “Ten Years of City of Bones: Week One

  1. THIS POST IS THE MOST BEAUTIFUL POST TO HAVE EVER BEAUTIFUL POSTED (uhh???) but real talk I love the way you answered all of these but I am especially nodding my head to a few things because–duh–what else would I be doing?

    I think the one that gets me most is the way you described the nostalgia over the series–or City of Bones–as a whole. The nod to a song. I’ve always tried to wander my mind in search of a way to describe *the feeling* that comes with it (besides that warm little home vibe) but it literally does transport you back to a specific year. I feel like we’ve definitely earned our right to be all, “BACK IN MY DAY” and not just because I do a killer old man voice.

    (*Fact: I do a killer old man voice. Suddenly I’m 26-going-on-89-year-old-lifetime-smoker and it’s WILD. And maybe a little scary.)

    Also… the! PLOT! tWIST! AT! THE! END! OF! CITY! OF! BONES! Literally sniped me the second I read it. I was like, “WIG.” (or whatever the 2007 equivalent to shouting Wig when someone totally *gets* you was) and kind of cackling a bit because, well, teenage!Jessica was a jerk apparently. And then when I reread it again (and fell HARD) I was like *crawling on the floor* the ANGST the TWISTS the EVERYTHING.

    I probably posted an angry or shocked Myspace bulletin about it. Thankful that Twitter wasn’t a thing back then because I totally would have Tweeted at Cassie and she would have been like, “Oh. Great, the teenagers have found me.” and I would have definitely been served a restraining order. Just kidding. I think.

    ANYWAYS. Not to be Extra Nosy Rosie (this would work better if my name was Rosie but you get the idea)–what are some of the things your perspective has changed on in City of Bones?! I wanna know! Spill everything! Except my coffee, don’t spill that. I always feel like I have SO MUCH TO SAY about things and so much has changed for me thought-wise in the 10 years since it was released so I definitely get your feeling on that and Twilight too.

    I’m sorry I’m rambling!!! And blasting Britney Spears now!!!


    1. Oh man, I can already feel the length of my reply getting out of hand!!!

      Umm, super jelly of your old man yelling abilities. That’s not something I’ve mastered and it would be so much more effective to yell at people in old-man-smoker voice.

      And OMG MYSPACE! Ahhh I’m dying 😂 I probably DEFINITELY posted something about it on MySpace (RIP).

      Teenage Loretta was a complete jerk too! When that plot twist happened at the end, I laughed SO HARD!! I was like, REALLY?? THIS IS WHAT WE’RE DOING??? It almost put me off the series because I was worried sh#t would get weird, but thankfully my curiosity won out. Plus, I HAD to keep going for Magnus!

      I think the biggest change is who I identify with now that I’m an adult verses when I was younger. Teen Loretta SUPER identified with Clary because she was arty, only had one close friend, wanted to art school, etc. Since then my parents have gotten divorced and I’ve gone through some family problems, so I find myself identifying more with Isabelle and Alec. It’s so interesting (and cool!) that one book can have so many different meanings! I also find that I weirdly understand Magnus better?????? Teen me couldn’t even begin to process what it would be like to live that long. But now I think I can wrap my head around it better for some reason???? BECAUSE IM JUST SO OLD AND WISE. Lol.

  2. This post is amazing!!
    I love the idea of this themed book meme!
    I’m a huuuuge fan of everything Cassandra Clare! I’m soo excited for her upcoming books. I currently have Lady Midnight and Lord of Shadows that I didn’t read because knowing Cassandra, the second book is going to ruin me. And I don’t have patience to wait for the third one! But I realllly want to read it! It’s such a dilemma!

    1. Oh my god, SAME!!!! I’ve been sitting on Lady Midnight for a while now, but I’m terrified to start it because A) it’s been a while and I’m worried I’ve completely forgotten everyone. There’s just so many characters and they’re all connected somehow! I need a map 😂 And B) I know once I start I’ll be useless until I finish the whole series. The struggle is REAL! And I just heard there’s ANOTHER series happening after the Dark Artifices! GAH!!

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