Many people, at some point in their life, can think of a time when they read a specific book that helped them through some tough time and helped them find hope, because they felt they could relate to the situations of the characters. A good example of such a book is Cassandra Clare’s The Mortal Instruments series, namely the sixth book, City of Heavenly Fire. In this riveting book, the main character, Clary Fairchild, is taken out of a familiar life and a familiar home and thrown into a whole new way of life that she never knew existed. She learns to adjust with the help of friends, family, and time. Great literature has a way of not only lifting the thoughts and spirits of an engaged reader, but also lifting the thoughts and spirits of society at large.
In the first book, Clary finds that there is more to the world than what she sees. Jace, a being known as a Shadowhunter, or demon hunter, shows her the world that hides beneath the one she lives in. Clary does not trust Jace at first, but they soon learn that they work well together. Jace shows Clary his world and how to live in it. At one point, Clary asks: “What are these?” When Jace responds with: “Vials of holy water, blessed knives, steel and silver blades,” Clary is appalled; however, Jace shows his world to Clary and how it works. This clearly depicts how Clary is trying to adjust from her old life.
Family also helps Clary as she adjusts to all of this. A close family friend whom she refers to as her uncle reveals that he is in fact a werewolf. Clary takes it lightly, and even jokes about it. She is happy to have him help her adjust, though. “‘Well, you can go ahead and hang your head out the car window if you feel like it. I’m a werewolf, not a golden retriever,’” says Clary’s “uncle.” Clary’s joking approach toward Luke’s werewolf nature reminds us that family is always a great help when one’s life is completely altered.
It takes Clary much time to adjust to her new life. In the beginning of the first book, Clary is about sixteen; by the time the sixth book has taken place, she is almost eighteen. City of Heavenly Fire states: “Every muscle in her body protested – even months of training hadn’t prepared her for the day’s draining trek across the burning sand.” Thus, by the last book, Clary is still adjusting to her new life. It takes many people a long time to adjust to a new place, or a new life, even a new school. The reader can relate to Clary in this sense.
The Mortal Instruments is NY Times Bestselling book series to which any person going through a dramatic change can relate. Clare gives the reader characters and situations that are relatable; she engages them, giving the reader hope that everyone goes through hard times, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Clary suffers many hardships, but she uses family, friends, and time to help her recover and learn to adjust. Literature is a great tool to use to help raise our spirits and thoughts; it can give us hope. A great book helps people going through hard times remember that they are not alone.