Vampires, werewolves, and forbidden love; oh my

Teen Drama Novel ‘City of Bones’ Full of Cliches, Stereotypes


Those tired elements and clichés have repeatedly been targeted at teenage girls since the success of Twilight, and that is exactly what you will find in this first installment of “The Mortal Instruments” series written by Cassandra Clare.

The protagonist, Clary Fray, a fiery, but seemingly ordinary girl living in New York City, accidently witnesses what appears to be a murder at the hands of black-clad teenagers. The problem is the body has disappeared without a trace, and so have the teenagers, but no one else claims to have seen anything. At this point, Clary begins to realize she is not as ordinary as she thought. That was her first meeting with the Shadowhunters, an elite race of half-human, half-angel warriors who fight demons and police the previously mentioned half-demon werewolves and vampires.

To its core, The City of Bones is riddled with clichés and tropes. For one, Clary believes herself to be a plain old teenager living in the city until she meets a boy (who, sure, happened to be murdering someone at the time) that changes her entire life. Because God forbid there be a female protagonist in young adult literature that does not discover a dormant superpower after meeting the boy of her dreams. Said boy, Jace, has just enough flaws to make him the ideal bad-boy-with-a-good-heart archetype. He wears leather pants and kills demons, while coincidentally also being extremely witty and attractive. And get this – he has a tragic past.

No way.

While a fun and interesting read, this book is not so much the next big young adult series, but rather a combination of all of them – think Buffy the vampire slayer meets Harry Potter with a little bit of Star Wars at the end. If you are a fan of the paranormal, forbidden romance, and of course, bad boys in leather pants, The City of Bones is a must read – just don’t look too deep into it.