IT’S BEEN TEN YEARS SINCE CITY OF BONES CAME OUT! WHAT IS EVEN HAPPENING????? *Sobs*
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.
Okay, ON WITH THE SHOW!
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!