City of Bones Book Discussion Week 1

Monday, April 04, 2011

Hey, everyone! Welcome to our City of Bones Book Discussion! We’re so glad you could join us! Over the next twelve weeks, we’re bringing on some awesome-ness to spice up your life! That’s right, we’re about to get the party started, but we have to set a few ground rules first (*trying to make a stern face*). This is how each week will play out:
  • Each week we will do a detailed discussion of the plot of that week’s chapters (every Monday!). We will also highlight characterization, quotes, favorite parts, random scenes, and ask/answer questions. 
  • Argh, thar be spoilers ahead, matey!! While each week will be spoiler-free for the next chapters in the book, all of the previous chapters we’ve read will become free game. So to keep this discussion fun for readers who have not read the amazing series (like poor Nora here: she’s seriously missing out, right, guys?) try to keep your comments spoiler-free, from the next chapters, as possible.
  • At the end of each post, questions will be asked. Feel free to participate every week! We’d love to hear your opinion but you don’t have to answer everything. The questions are only there as guidelines but we’d love to read your tangents on that week’s chapters. And if you feel totally inspired about this book, as much as we are, you could always discuss your own opinion in a guest post: just fill out the form HERE.
For an entire schedule of our discussion (or just in case you’ve missed a post), you can go HERE. And we’re also giving away a copy of City of Bones, to enter the contest, go HERE. Finally, on to the moment you’ve all been waiting for. *drumroll*

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

1: Pandemonium

This chapter opens up with our heroine in line for the ultra-hip, all-ages (wish we had one around here) club, Pandemonium. (Bring on the irony, how I love it!) Clary Fray her best friend, Simon, had no way of knowing this night would be unlike any other. While standing in line, a blue-haired boy (I really want to type freak, but Clary, for some reason, was drawn to him and thought he was cute (however Nora was drooling…)) in front of them was trying to wheedle his way into the club. “He was normal-enough-looking, Clary thought, for Pandemonium” (Clare 2).

Here’s a guy with freakishly blue hair, bringing a “weapon” (a supposedly-rubber wooden stake) onto the premises of this rockin’ club, on a Sunday. Oh, and the bouncer just lets him in. It must be his otherworldly charm (or just his glamour).

Pandemonium, the club, is like something out of a dream. (I’ve never been to a club, mind you, so I can only imagine the coolness from Buffy reruns.) “Colored lights played over the dance floor, turning it into a multicolored fairyland of blues and acid greens, hot pinks and golds” (2).

After Clary got into the club, she was having fun dancing with Simon, who “looked less as if he were contemplating the powers of darkness and more as if he were on his way to chess club” (5). At Pandemonium, Clary “she wasn’t even sure why it was that she liked it—the clothes, the music made it like a dream, someone else’s life, not her boring real life at all” (5). Her attention soon strayed from the dance floor and onto the sidelines where the blue-haired boy was following an innocent girl (well, at least that was what it looked like—she’s wearing all white) into the storage room. (Something big is about to go down, we all know it. I can almost hear the Jaws theme song playing in the background. Da dun da dun…) Simon fought the crowd to get a security guard while Clary went all vigilante and ran to the backroom in support of her hero complex. What she found would change her life forever.

Three teens have the blue-haired boy tied up and are interrogating him (like hard-core CSI or any crime-show fans), when Clary stumbles in (literally, there’s a lot of wires on the floor). Trying to barter for his freedom, the blue-haired boy offers to give them the location of Valentine. To which the leader, Jace, responds that Valentine is in hell. Jace is about to kill the guy when Clary stops him with a yell. “‘That’s not a person, little girl. It may look like a person and talk like a person and maybe even bleed like a person. But it’s a monster’” (13). Clary is surprised to find that the so-called monster not only bled black, but disappeared when he died (well, that’s never a good sign).

Simon and a very strong-looking bouncer burst through the door, about to save the day, only to find Clary alone in the backroom. It turns out that she not only has no proof of Jace killing the blue-haired boy but, for some reason, Simon and the bouncer cannot see Jace and his two comrades, Isabelle and Alec. (Only Clary can see them.) The bouncer probably thinks she’s an idiot when she sends him away saying it was all just a misunderstanding.

Simon doesn’t think it was a mistake. There was something wrong; he can tell. But he is such a good friend to Clary that he doesn’t push the matter and just leaves it with a you-can-tell-me-when-you’re-ready vibe.

2: Secrets and Lies

Clary’s an artist. Well, not as good of an artist as her mom (Jocelyn), but she does take classes, has an art group, and is attempting to capture the essence that is Jace in her sketch when this chapter opens. Attempt is the keyword and when that does not work out, she stops listening to what sounds like over-the-top emo- music (a band called Stepping Razor) and picks up the ringing phone.

It’s Simon; he wants Clary to join him and the rest of his currently unnamed band (they’re still working on it. They’ve got some ideas: Lawn Chair Crisis and Sea Vegetable Conspiracy to name a few) at a poetry reading by Eric, the lead singer. At first, Clary is indecisive about going: her mother is still upset about her coming home late from Pandemonium. Plus, “‘if I’m going to get in trouble, I don’t want it to be on account of Eric’s lousy poetry’” (24).

Clary spends the time waiting for her mother by thinking about her deceased father. Though she never met him her mother still keeps photos, medals from the army, and a lock of his golden hair.

Luke, her mother’s friend, comes in carrying boxes. When Clary asks about them, he avoids the questions by saying Jocelyn wants to pack some stuff up. Then Jocelyn comes home. Clary can immediately sense the tension between them. She soon finds out that Luke and Jocelyn are spending the rest of the summer in the country, and Clary is going with them whether she wants to or not.

Clary’s fifteen, and she needs her freedom. (Sending a city girl to the country is not her idea of freedom at all.) Simon then picks that fabulous moment to enter the scene. Forcefully, Clary drags him outside, concluding that it’s a matter to tackle in the future.

Jocelyn is worried about not being able to get a hold of someone named Magnus, but Clary is much too worked up to question it.

Clary leads Simon downstairs, pausing at her neighbor’s door, Madame Dorothea, a psychic, who gives daily palm readings, uses tarot cards, and does all unworldly things in the comfort of her own home. On the way to a Mexican joint, Clary keeps seeing things that she can’t explain: a pixie’s wings fluttering and a man with sharp teeth. Questioning herself, she does not mention anything to Simon.

While eating, Clary complains about her mother’s behavior. Simon tries to shrug it off, but Clary has concluded that she barely knows anything about her mom. “‘It’s like her life started when she had me. That’s what she always says when I ask her about it’” (31). Simon only adds to Clary’s suspicion by mentioning the scars on Jocelyn’s back. Clary has never seen them and starts to wonder, what else is her mother keeping her from? She’d rather not worry about it now and decides to go with Simon to Eric’s poetry reading.

Discussion Questions

• Jace reacts to the blue-haired boy’s knowledge of Valentine’s whereabouts in an almost personal way. What do you think about Jace’s reaction to the mention of Valentine?
• Simon is giving off a cute and awesome boy-next-door vibe. Do you think he stands a chance against the mysterious boy, Jace?
• Clary chooses to ignore the unusual things she’s beginning to see. Does that mean she should ignore Jace and what she saw in the backroom of Pandemonium as well? After all, no one else can see them…
• Jocelyn was trying to reach “Magnus.” The name sounds otherworldly. What do you think his significance in the book might be?
• Jocelyn has decided to spend the rest of the summer with Clary at Luke’s country house. What is Jocelyn running away from?

REMEMBER: Please try to give a minimum of spoilers unless it is about the chapters we have read already. Also, every comment (one per post) on our discussion posts gives you extra entries if you are entered to win a copy of City of Bones.

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  1. It sounds really interesting and witty. I LOVE spunky dialogue ;)

    I'm following.

  2. Just started this book tonight and I really like it so far. :-)

  3. Love Love LOVE this book, and I really need to re-read it :) I love the in-depth analysis and overview of plot for each chapter! Nice :D there were certain things I had no idea about, like Jocelyn mentioning "Magnus" which is significant giveaway in foreshadowing. Great Discussion questions :D

  4. I love this book and the first chapter introduce you to the story but there aren't boring. Love this book.