City of Bones (Mortal Instruments)
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Is this a discussion for City of Bones or Cassie Clare? Please can we give it a rest. This is a site for a book, not the author. There seems to be some personal antagonism being hung out to dry and truthfully, that is not why I came to this site. It makes me want to buy everything 'Cassie' and nothing recommended by certain posters just to be ornery!!!

[UPDATED] asked by K. Knoernschild on April 29, 2007
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"Is this a discussion for City of Bones or Cassie Clare?"

Both. Read the forums for other books and they're chock full of discussions about whether or not Stephen King lost his touch after the accident, JKR's adjective abuse, Orson Scott Card's politics, and on and on and on.

Any author who has enough fans to have a known history brings that to the table with them when they publish. Cassie's fangirls and her detractors seem to be here in equal number and seem to be keeping to their own threads. If you really want to discuss the book, start a thread about it or jump on one of the multiple plot threads already started, but don't expect people to tailor their discussions to suit you.
Millicent Margaret Amanda answered on May 8, 2007


What you seem not to understand is that this is a VERY valid issue for those who consider purchasing Cassie Claire's book. I would want to know that the author was a known plagiarist, so I could know not to give her money. It's as simple as that. I do not support persons who flaunt their lack of ethics, and others should have the opportunity to make the same decision.

If you ('you' being plural here) would stop arguing that it's okay if you USED to be a plagiarist as long as nobody has proven your CURRENT work to be plagiarism, the argument would die off on its own.

Frankly I am appalled that you think "abhorrence of unethical behavior" = "personal antagonism."

You are a teacher -- look at it this way. Would you want a man teaching at your school who claimed to be a "reformed" pedophile, or a "reformed" rapist, or a "reformed" serial killer? Of course not. We ALL judge people on the decisions that they have made in the past; I would rather err on the side of caution and assume she is still unethical, than believe that she has Seen The Light and become a law-abiding citizen suddenly and risk being proven wrong later, after I helped her to profit from it.

This is not about people saying "the non-plagiarized writing in the Draco Trilogy was crap, so CoB must be crap." It is about people saying "this person is unethical and should not be allowed to profit from that lack of ethics." To parallel your teaching comparison: we are not saying she has not improved since she was a "student author or an inexperienced one" -- maybe she has, maybe she hasn't, but that's not the point. The POINT is that she has proven herself willing to plagiarize and to bully those who attempted to make her plagiarism known, and she is now making a profit from something she would not have (a book deal) without said plagiarism.

We are judging her on her character as it relates to her work.
T. Hopkins answered on April 30, 2007

"Joss Whedon did not steal from other writers' intellectual property with his witty one liners."

Plagiarism and intellectual property theft are two different issues. One is a matter of ethical concern, the other is a matter of legal concern. Do not use the two synonymously. They don't mean the same thing and doing so weakens your argument.

That said, as we are talking about plagiarism, please show where Joss Whedon lifted word for word passages and passed them off as his own. I know he made references to popular culture and they were obvious ones. The audience viewing that knew they were there as Joss Whedon's intent was to do so. Please, cite your sources for paragraphs of material lifted from other shows where it appears Whedon's intent was to pass off that material as his own.

If you cannot do that, please retract your statement.

Her current work contains passages from her fan fiction, a source that was never properly cited for all the borrowing in it. By borrowing, I mean that she did not use obvious popular culture references that would be obvious to her reading audience (which is demonstrated by the multiple instances where readers quote her plagiarized bits citing her) but used obscure sources that her audience was unlikely to be familiar with. They were not clearly identified in the text. Cassandra Claire took credit for passages that were not her own. and Tanith Lee This was done to the tune of paragraphs. Her borrowing from her own fan fiction which is rife with those plagiarism problems puts the whole of her work into question.

And that doesn't even get into the poor quality of the work itself. Clunky, unrealistic analogies. (Spring grass is not the color of antifreeze is not the color of eyes.) The characterizations for a teenager are totally unrealistic. The text lacks internal consistency. There are other problems with the work too, problems that have been stated repeatedly, and been soundly dismissed by others because they don't feel a need to explain what works in a book. Those same readers who support Cassandra Claire's work frequently engage in several logical fallacies including appeals to popularity (SHE IS A NEW YORK TIMES BEST SELLER! SHE HAS FANS!) and circumstantial ad hominem (YOU ARE JUST JEALOUS AND WANT TO SEE HER FAIL!). Try again with out the specious allegations and logical fallacies.
P. Renta answered on May 6, 2007


> OMG I can't believe that you are comparing a pediophile and a killer to a liar...

All right.

Plagiarism isn't lying (though she did lie about having plagiarized) -- it's stealing. So let's keep within the same realm, shall we? Plagiarists steal intellectual property. Thieves steal money and valuables. Would you hire a "reformed" pickpocket/thief/catburglar/whathaveyou to work as a bank teller? Or even to run a till at a store? My guess would be no. That's not to say your reformed thief should be locked away for life and never given a second chance to be a productive member of society, but it's a huge risk to place them in a situation where they will be tempted, by desire or merely by habit.

She has shown herself to have a habit of plagiarizing; whether she still has the DESIRE to do so is a question I can't answer. However, she's being placed in a situation of temptation. Time will tell whether she resists. Giving her money (by buying her book) is betting that she has resisted the temptation (or saying you don't care whether she has).

I'm not a betting woman (and I do care about not supporting plagiarism).

> But I think a group of you for whatever reason is atagonistic to her and want to do all you can to see her fail.

All right. I am antagonistic towards her because she plagiarized, lied about it, and set her dogs on people who pointed it out. I want her to fail, because I believe that it is indecent to profit from such behavior.

I'm not sure why this is difficult to understand. It's not a matter of OMG SHE STOLE MY BOYFRIEND AND I H8 HER!!1! or something -- she did something unethical and she's profiting from it. Her lack of ethics is relevant because... she's profiting from them. Her past behavior is relevant because... she wouldn't have a book deal if she hadn't been a popular fanfic writer, and she would not have been as popular as she was (or maybe wouldn't even have finished the stories, who knows?) if she hadn't had a gift with quips... except the gift was *lifting them from other works*, not thinking them up herself.

> Who the hell made you judge (and jury?)

As a consumer, I am THE judge and jury -- we all are, whenever we make a purchase, whether we realize it or not. Lots of people don't shop at WalMart because of their business policies, for example. That's why boycotts were invented.

Thea Ryan:

Exhorting people to be civil usually works better when you are civil yourself.
T. Hopkins answered on May 2, 2007

"I realize that all readers carry a history in their heads of what they know, both of the world and of the author. I was just hoping to read some opinions (positive or negative) and discussion about the BOOK and I got a virtrolic history of her fan fiction... on numerous threads..."

Isn't that a bit hypocritical of you? You start a thread to like, you know, not discuss that book and blast others for not talking about the book like you want them to but don't?

If you want to discuss the book, I'd love to see a more detailed discussion of the accuracy of the characterization of Clary in terms of her acting her age. Is it believable that a teenage girl would have no reaction to making out with their brother? Especially a girl from New York City? Generally, that's pretty taboo in American culture and it strikes me as a bit culturally out of sync that Clary would have no feelings regarding that, especially since most high schoolers would react with scorn and derision towards their peers if they found out that some one made out with their near relative.

Clary's lack of understanding about her mother not liking her being out so late is another one of those issues. Most teens know why their parents are concerned but still think it isn't FAIR. They don't have Clary's level of cluelessness.

Clary just doesn't act like any teenage I know. This problem totally makes the book unbelievable.
P. Renta answered on May 9, 2007

Personally, I do not care about the author's past. This book is terrible. Whatever came before does not change that.
L. Hathaway answered on November 26, 2007


I think most (not all) of the discussion regarding the author is legitimate and relevant to this discussion forum (if not over the top at times - most of the time, maybe).

You're saying you would buy anything she wrote just because other people have a strong dislike for her/her work? Isn't that a bigger and/or more extreme issue than people discussing the author on her own book's forum?
Grimwood answered on May 8, 2007

Why is it that every CC-defender spells plagiarism "plagerism"? Just wondering....
kete answered on May 4, 2007

Positive posters are just as rude and dismissive, if not moreso. The prevailing sentiment (among positive posters) seems to be that these books exist in a bubble, and you are arrogant/mean/evil/stupid/petty/jealous/etc. if you bring anything else to your reading (such as an awareness of CC's reputation and actions within HP fandom) or if you expect anything other than brain candy out of the book. There's also a blind insistence that "there's no such thing as really original" or something along those lines, that genre is BY DESIGN hopelessly derivative to the point of regurgitation, etc. etc. ad nauseum, and that you are arrogant/mean/evil/stupid/petty/jealous/etc. (as well as ill-read!) if you don't know that already.

If a positive poster can make a list of what they liked about the book WHILE ACKNOWLEDGING (or at least, not actively dismissing) the flaws in the writing - and, I'm sorry, no matter how many times y'all say it, grass is ONLY the same color as antifreeze if you are taking the universe back to CGA color - they're not going to get jumped on. The thing is, there are very few posts along those lines, and it's really hard not to point and laugh at the "OMG HIGH QUALITY LITERATURE"-type reviews... or even the slightly-less-enthusiastic ones.

I enjoy a lot of things (not this book, but in general) that many people find stupid or worthless or too young for me or whathaveyou. If I were to say "I like serial romance," a lot of people would point and laugh, and most of them would have good reasons. Serial romance is predictable and simplistic, alternately misogynistic and emasculating, and the writing is reliably of indifferent quality. But sometimes it's what I'm looking for. Especially when I was working retail, it was great to be able to buy a stack of 10˘ books at Goodwill that I could power through in my downtime. I'd be interrupted all day by customers and have to put the book down at inconvenient times or even abandon it til the next day (which was AWFUL for me, as a read-anything-in-one-sitting person) but the simplistic and predictable nature of the genre allowed me to pick right back up again even if I'd forgotten what was going on. It was easy and comforting and filled the time. Yes, there were many flaws, but over a couple thousand books I only found two that were so bad I couldn't finish them (my give-up-in-disgust rate is much higher for other genres) and for most books I could find something (character, writing style, setting, etc. etc.) to enjoy in them.

That's a review of a particular segment of a genre, not a specific book, but it's the kind of thing I'd like to see from the positive posters here. Can you write a similar, balanced review of CoB and CoA? If so, I think many of the people you're condemning would be willing to take you seriously, instead of being "rude and berating."
T. Hopkins answered on August 21, 2008


Please pay attention to the entire content of a post rather than picking out strawmen to tear down. If you're trying to participate in a civil discussion, propaganda technique is not the way to go.

I gave an example of something "positive posters" say regarding this book and did not attribute it to HJC. Do not presume to put words in my mouth.

As for the rest:

"What I don't understand is why it is such a big deal that you make your point that you did not like the book OVER and OVER again. If I don't like a book, I never want to so much as think about it again."

I could not possibly care less about whether people like the book. You liked it, yay for you; there's no accounting for taste and I have no problem with that. But frankly it sickens me that it was even published (as you would be aware if you'd read the entire thread) and I find it morbidly fascinating the number of people who defend both CC and her writing. I feel very strongly about the situation surrounding these books -- for me, it's not really about the book at all. It's something larger. But even within the confines of discussion that's directly about the book, it fascinates me the number of people who defend it, and how they do so. There's a sort of Jerry Springer quality to it: I know it's rotting my brain, but I can't look away from the train wreck.

"Apparently Wuthering Heights is suppossed to be this amazing classic. I did not like all."

Me neither. But you not liking it, or me not liking it, does not make it NOT a classic. Just as you liking this book, or HJC liking this book, or a thousand other people liking this book, does not make it a "great book." It makes it a book y'all enjoyed, and y'all need to stop conflating "a book I thought was really awesome" with "a great book."

"The book is not just about the way it is written but the way the story is told. And, personally, I put more stock in the story than the typos and grammer."

Insert applicable joke about spelling here. But seriously, this is a larger commentary on the deterioration of standards, particularly in America. CC's publishers had a responsibility to get her a proper editor, and they dropped the ball. The editor and proofreader had a responsibility to clean it up, and they dropped the ball. And finally CC had a responsibility to know that she needed an editor, and to LISTEN to the editor... and she dropped at least one of those balls, too.

Her history aside, I have a feeling her books are very similar to the Twilight series in that a good team could have exponentially improved them. And I'm kind of sad that the world missed out on those books that might-have-been. And you know what? I blame the lack of them on people like you, who think a good story is good enough. There are enough of you that writers and editors and publishers know they don't have to do any better than "good enough," so they don't bother.
T. Hopkins answered on August 21, 2008
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