"The Mortal Instruments (Book 1 to 3)" by Cassandra Clare

Hi, there!
Today, we'll be talking about one of my all-time favorite series. Since I got all six books for Christmas (got the best boyfriend in the world ♥), I'm currently re-reading them. I'm also trying to further define why I love them so much. Of course I have a nostalgic connection to them, I've loved these books since I read them when I was 12 (that's 7 years, my friends.) Today I'll tell you a little something 'bout my love for the Mortal Instruments!

Quick summary:
The Mortal Instruments are a 6-book series about Clary Fray, a young girl who finds out that she belongs to this magical and dangerous world of the Shadowhunters. Clary is accompanied by her best friend Simon and the Shadowhunters Jace, Alec and Izzy who help her on her quest all through New York to find her mother, who was kidnapped.

Published in: 2007
Pages: 485

I own the new paperbacks which come in a slipcase. The prequel-series ("The Infernal Devices") is also available in a similar slipcase, whose spines all create a picture together.
I really like these covers better than the old ones, they have a certain kind of magical feel to them. Each of the six books show a different character and I think the way they are presented, it really shows their power and the sorrow they go through. I also think they look less 'cheesy' than the old covers, they have a more adult-y feeling to them. Granted, there is a time difference of about 10 years between the first publication of the two different sets, so the style of YA-fantasy covers has changed a lot.
When read, the covers also tell about the story they contain: it shows a character from the book with a favorite weapon or other important pieces. Of course, the reader only understands after having read the books.

My Opinion:
As said before: I have a deep love for them. I first read the first three books when I was 12, so it was around 2011. Back then, I loved the books so much, I tried to make all my friends read them. In 6th grade we also had a little competition in class: everybody could present a book and the whole class was supposed to chose one for reading together. Of course I presented "City of Bones", but sadly I wasn't very popular and the whole class chose the book presented by a popular boy (it was a good book though, so kudos to him!). 
That means I have to admit one thing: I might be a little biased because of this nostalgic love for the books. Nevertheless I tried to read them with a critical eye as well and so I am able to recognize it's flaws whilst still loving them. 
The first three books of the series were also the first books Cassandra Clare published. That means her writing, her style and the plot are just not as 'perfect' as in the new books, for example 'The Infernal Devices' or the newly started series 'The Dark Artifices'. I still love her writing and I'm proud of how much better it got and how much more love and recognition Cassandra Clare is receiving these days. 
With that being said, I certainly think 'City of Bones' is a really good start into the series. Just like the characters themselves, the plot becomes more adult-like and more complex with each book and I think that progress concerning plot and writing fits to the development in the series. 
I think we all can agree when we say: the best aspect of these books are the characters. For me, Cassandra Clare is one of the few authors who can make me love secondary characters as much as the main characters. Alec, Magnus, Izzy, Simon....they all become so important to you and sometimes I think I love them more even than Clary and Jace - that's how good of a writer Clare is, concerning her characters. 
That doesn't mean the plot is bad or less interesting - definitely not! I just think the focus is on the characters, maybe not intentionally, but that's what stands out the most to the readers. 
About the plot: I just love these little connections from book one to three. There are so many little things that suddenly make sense when finishing the first three books (because first, the series was planned as a trilogy, but I do think the third book showed, that there is room for more). For me that means the plot is well thought out - like a big intertwined tree, where all the branches come back to the root. Of course, since it was a re-read for me, I kind of knew all of the big 'secrets' but that made it even better and heightened the suspense: I was screaming at the characters so they would finally realize what I already knew. The story has a lot of twists and turns, so I did a lot of screaming! ;)
The last thing to mention is that amazing atmosphere of New York City. I'm from Germany, I've never been to a city that big so to me, it feels amazing to read about that urban atmosphere and the seemingly endless possibilities. The books I own even contain a map with pictures of the most important settings - it's amazing!

I said before that I tried to read them with a critical eye, so I have to also mention something negative; or I'll try, at least. I can agree that a lot of typical YA-tropes were used in this book and when one has read a lot of YA-fantasy, the books may seem a bit cheesy and the romance a bit annoying. I do think that may be because of how old these first books actually are (10th anniversary is approaching!). 
I also must say that (and that only applies to the first book) the story was a bit worn out for me, because of the TV-Show and the movie and so on. The first book didn't grip me as much as the second one did and I was afraid that the books had lost their magic. They didn't - I just had read and heard of the first book too often. Starting with the second book, they had me turning page for page again. 

With all of these things said, I give my babies a probably biased rating: 10 out of 10. I love them. *mic dropped*

Next time I'll be talking about 'City of Fallen Angels', which is the fourth book in this series. I thought I would talk about the next three books in this series individually, because they're newer and I have only read each of them once when they came out. Hope to see you next time! ♥

-xoxo Lisa