RSS Feed

Tag Archives: City of Bones

Awesome Moms in YA Fiction

Posted on
The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones - Cassandra Clare - Lily Collins - Lena Headey - Jocelyn Fray - Clary Fray - Novel Conclusions writing blog

The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones movie poster via Google Images

In honor of Mother’s Day, I’d like to pay tribute to 3 awesome moms in fiction.  Especially in YA fiction, moms with really deep connections to the heart of the story seem to be everywhere.  We frequently run across loving, intelligent mom characters (although sometimes they are not – that’s a different blog post), but what makes them integral to the story?

In Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time, Meg’s mom Mrs. Murry is brilliant and understanding and cooks dinner on her Bunsen burner.  Although Mrs. Murry is not a main character by any stretch of the imagination, her presence in the story is a constant reminder to the characters, while lost on their journey, that they have something to come home to, something to strive for.  The mother character plays a key role in thematically representing home.

In the Harry Potter series, JK Rowling masterfully uses Harry’s mother Lily to evoke certain emotions in him.  We know very early on (so I don’t consider this a spoiler) that Lily died to protect Harry.  As we get further into the series, we learn more bits and pieces about Harry’s mother as Harry learns them.  Lily gradually becomes a more well-rounded character, and she comes to strongly represent love, something Professor Dumbledore is always bringing to Harry’s (reluctant) attention.  Lily’s love for Harry becomes the key that helps him to unlock a variety of things that I won’t get into because they would involve spoilers.  I would like to note that this is, of course, much clearer in the books than in the movies.

In Cassandra Clare’s The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones (soon to be a super fun movie!), main character Clary finds out in short order that her mom, Jocelyn, was keeping some intense secrets – and that she was keeping some of those secrets to protect Clary from a seriously unpleasant fate.  Though Jocelyn has quite a bit more going on, story-wise, than the moms mentioned above, she wants to protect Clary above all else.  Even as a secondary character, her relationship with Clary helps drive the plot.  Her guardedness about her past acts as a foil to Clary’s openness and naiveté about the Shadowhunter world.  In addition to this, despite all the secrets, Clary still loves her mother dearly, and her mother still represents home to her in this new existence.

To sum up, what makes these awesome moms integral to their respective stories?  These moms help create some fantastic thematic depth to each of these stories.  Now, done poorly, mommy characters can be flat as Kansas, but done well, mother characters help their kiddos to shine as main characters.

What are some other well-written mom characters you’ve come across?  How did they affect their kids story-wise?

Advertisements

Cassandra Clare’s Book Signing

Posted on
Clockwork Princess - Infernal Devices - Cassandra Clare - Novel Conclusions - Christi Gerstle - City of Bones - Lily Collins

Clockwork Princess Cover via CassandraClare.com

Have you ever been to a book signing?  I hadn’t been to a book signing in years, and I heard about Cassandra Clare’s Clockwork Princess book signing at a Barnes & Noble in central LA this past week and thought it would be a fun little literary event.  It was fun but definitely not little.  The crowd and staff treated Cassandra Clare like a rock star.  I would guesstimate that 1200 people waited in line to see Ms. Clare; it was some craziness.

Cassandra Clare is the author behind The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones series, soon to be a movie starring Lily Collins (I also found out that the always hilarious Robert Sheehan of Misfits plays sidekick Simon, making the movie that much more awesome).  Lily Collins and director Howard Zwart were at Barnes and Noble for the question and answer session before the signing, and authors Maureen Johnson and Sarah Rees Brennan joined Cassandra Clare for the signing.  What stuck out most to me during the Q&A was Ms. Clare’s explanation of how, in City of Bones, she “was going for a confluence of the real and the magical,” the idea that coffee shops and warlocks could co-exist on the same street.

Everyone I met in the crowd and in line at the signing was super friendly and cheerful (we YA readers must be a good bunch!).  One woman had driven down from Visalia (that’s 3 hours without traffic!  On a Thursday!) to see Cassandra Clare.  I also met the bloggers from Sparkles and Lightning and Tackling Tinseltown – check out their fun blogs.

What I Learned:

  1. Either plan to swing by the book shop early in the morning to get a wristband closer to the front of the line, or make friends with some employees.  We didn’t get our books signed until 10:30pm at a 7pm signing.  Yes, that’s a little intense for a school night.
  2. Buy/bring books by the mid-list authors that came with the front list author (in this case, the authors I’m referring to are Maureen Johnson and Sarah Rees Brennan).  I wish I’d chit chatted with them a bit more about their books and their experiences as YA authors as they were much more available than Ms. Clare, who was busy signing approximately 4 books for each person who came up.  Maureen Johnson and Sarah Rees Brennan were super friendly, making jokes and chatting up the crowd as we made our way to the front of the line.
  3. Ask more readers in line if they have blogs (I love finding local reading/writing-related blogs!).

Since I got two copies of Clockwork Princess signed, DRUMROLL… there will be a giveaway coming up this week!  Keep an eye out on the blog this upcoming week for a giveaway of a signed copy of Cassandra Clare’s Clockwork Princess.

Have you ever been to a book signing?  What was it like?  Do you have advice for signings?

Related Content:

%d bloggers like this: