Oh, Cassandra Clare, we have had such a love/hate relationship the past week. Over Spring Break, I re-read Clockwork Angel and Clockwork Prince and fell in love with my boy, Jem, all over again. I was so worried that he was going to die, because let's face it, it appeared that Will and Tessa were the ones who were going to end up together, despite the fact that Tessa and Jem were engaged... (Spoilers ahead)
The book started off well. Then, as I was laying in a sunbeam in the living room, watching the Tigers game, I noticed what looked like a date written on the inside cover of the book jacket. Curious, I took the book cover off to examine it. I was surprised to find that it was an extensive family tree of the Herondale, Carstairs and Lightwood Family. As I was looking at it, I was sad to see that Jem had no death date, presuming that Cassandra Clare didn't want to spoil when he died. Then to my horror I saw Will Herondale and Tessa Gray's names linked by a line signifying marriage. After processing what that meant I started spluttering and threw the book jacket across the room. Why the heck would you put information like that on the book jacket when the series isn't finished??? When people reading the book do not yet know how it turns out and that they get married?????
I was furious. I took to twitter and facebook railing on Cassandra Clare. Poor Momma was there to witness the whole thing. I went to grab the book jacket to continue studying it (Hey, it was already spoiled, why not?) Momma grabbed it from me and threatened to hide it from me so that I wouldn't keep looking... Not only was I mad that it was spoiled, I was also so mad at the outcome. I mean, I could pretty much see it coming, but I still held out hope that Tessa and Jem were the endgame. It crushed my dreams.
It was tough to keep reading. I felt betrayed and angry and like I already knew what happened, so why keep reading. It's sort of a strange sentiment, because I do love re-reading books, but there's something different about knowing the outcome the first time through a book. Finally, I was able to get back into the book...
I quickly realized that I would not be able to continue reading in the presence of my family; I was going to cry too many tears, so I had to stick with reading in my bedroom :)
When Will left Jem to go save Tessa, I about died. It was so heartbreaking. That is the part I read before bed one night. I stopped reading right after that part and continued crying for at least five minutes. I am no big fan of Will's, but I love the relationship between him and Jem and it was so sad to see them parting ways for perhaps the last time.
Then Jem died and I was sobbing uncontrollably. Cody was clutched in my arms and his fur was wet from my tears. It took several minutes and me getting up for water before I calmed down. I'm not sure why his death and his character affected me so much. Other characters I've loved have died and never have I ever had such a strong and emotional reaction. Momma asked if knowing that it was coming made it any easier, it did not.
That night I kept reading and I truly wish I had not. Because then Will found Tessa, told her Jem had died, they cried together and then slept together. WHAT!?!?!?!?!?!?! Several hours after finding out that their fiance/blood brother had died and they were sleeping with each other. I do not understand that. I know that they loved each other and finally felt like they could tell each other. I guess they thought they were going to die anyway, but seriously. I was sooooooooooooooo mad. I felt like it was such a betrayal to Jem's memory. I mean, sure, in the future they can be together, but so soon after Jem's death. Not OK.
Then they're fighting Mortmain and who should show up, but Brother Zachariah, I mean Jem!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!? Again, What??????????? I had this beautiful, heart-wrenching good-bye to Jem and he wasn't really dead. I should have been rejoicing that he was still alive, but I was just enfuriated. I couldn't believe that Cassandra Clare would do that. Trick us all with such an emotional ploy as making us think Jem died and then having him still be alive. It felt like a cop-out and I was not happy.
But I still trudged on. Tessa turned into an awesome angel. Jem/Brother Zachariah came back to break up with her/heal her. Tessa got better. Gideon and Sophie got engaged. Charlotte became the Consul. Will and Tessa dated. Cecily and Gideon dated. The book ended. I was less mad, but still not happy.
Then came the epilogue. Oh the epilogue, what a perfect epilogue. I think that Cassandra Clare should teach J.K. Rowling how to write an epilogue. I am so very grateful for this epilogue. It was perfect.
After 150ish years, Tessa and Jem were going to meet up for their annual meeting on their bridge. And who should show up in 2008, but Jem in blue jeans and no longer a Silent Brother. Blue jeans? Our Jem? What? A cure for his illness was found so he left the Silent Brothers. Seems like kind of a slap in the face to the Brothers, I mean, do they really want someone who only wants to be a part of them until he can leave them? But I didn't care, because here was Jem, healthy and whole. Sure Tessa had married Will, had kids and watched Will die. But here was Jem, ready to love her and she was ready to love him!!!!!!!! *Sigh* It was perfect, did I mention that? Just when we had been convinced that Will and Tessa were the endgame, oh snap, Will died and now Jem and Tessa get to be together. Everyone's happy! Including Jillibean.
It was a very rocky ride, but if you can judge how much I love a book by how many tears I shed, then I guess I loved it! It did end on such a happy note, that I will probably forget all the anger...