Friday Reads: Cassandra Clare (Or: The Sweet, Sweet Torture of Book Series)

I started reading Cassandra Clare's Mortal Instruments series over Thanksgiving. I'd had my eye on it for a while, and had some birthday Barnes & Noble money, so I bought Book One, City of Bones. My sister caught me reading it, went upstairs to her bedroom at my parents' house, and brought down Book Two in the series. "You'll need this," she said. "The first one starts out a little slow, but once it gets going, you won't want to stop." She was right. I devoured Book Two on the flights home, raced to the library in Brooklyn to pick up Book Three, and devoured that. I felt breathless. It was a glorious I can't stop reading, I'm scared to turn the page, what if something happens to the characters in two pages that will finally resolve some of the craziness, I have to know! kind of experience. And the romance! Cassandra Clare is a master at throwing obstacles between her romantic leads, and I have been sucked in wholeheartedly. 

By now you're asking, so what are these books about? Here's the jacket copy from City of Bones:

When Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder. Much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with odd markings. This is Clary's first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the world of demons—and keeping the odd werewolves and vampires in line. It's also her first meeting with gorgeous, golden-haired Jace. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace's world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in an ordinary mundane like Clary? And how did she suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know...

The Mortal Instruments Book One, plus the coffee needed when you stay up too late reading this series

Book Three ended with a mini-resolution instead of a cliffhanger (there will be six books in total, so I guess she had to let us breathe at some point), and I took a much-needed break before Book Four. Everyone was in such a good spot at the end of Book Three! Without spoiling anything, let's just say that I knew Book Four would probably threaten everything that was good and beautiful in this series' world, and I didn't want to deal with it yet. But at Christmas, my sister couldn't put down her brand-new copy of Book Five, so I didn't resist for long. Book Four came home with me and was done before New Year's.

I'm currently reading Book Five, City of Lost Souls. I want to devour it, because by now we've been introduced to so many characters, and they're all so fleshed out and real and have love interests and families and hopes and dreams, and basically...where I stopped before bed last night, EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM IS IN DANGER. Even the parents haven't been left unscathed. People are wounded and about to make major sacrifices and keeping secrets from each other, and Clary and Jace are...not quite as together as the reader (me, but probably every other person who's ever read this book) would like them to be.

So I want to know what happens next. I need to know. But I waited a few weeks to start this one and am trying to pace myself because I want this book to last. The next one doesn't come out until SEPTEMBER 2014. Cue the hyperventilation. I'm hoping and praying that Book Five will end in a way that's at least a little satisfying before my long wait for the final installment.

I haven't gotten this caught up in a series in a LONG time, but I can't be the only one. Have you read any series lately that you just can't put down even while wanting to make each book last as long as possible? Share them in the comments! I'm taking recommendations—especially if the series is already done, so I can read it start to finish. :)

Oh, and if you like epic Young Adult urban fantasy with major stakes and killer will-they-won't-they romance not only for the leads, but also for a lot of the supporting characters, read Cassandra Clare's Mortal Instruments series. You won't regret it.