Ruined by Paula Morris

The story starts out at a steady pace and heads in an unsure direction. Rebecca, a native New Yorker who grew up with only her father is sent to live with her father’s friend, Claudia, in New Orleans while he’s away on business. Claudia is a fortuneteller who makes a living reading tarot cards to tourists on Bourbon Street. She is exactly what you think a tourist trap medium would look like, bangles and all.

In comparison to the life she left behind in the big apple New Orleans feels like another world entirely. Where New York is hip and flashy New Orleans is old fashioned and based on ancestry. Everyone in this new world seems shallow and too centered on tradition. One thing that catches Rebecca’s attention is the cemetery across the street from her Aunt Claudia’s house. It’s full of above ground gravestones where old money teenagers go to drink beer and hang out on the prestigious stone steps of their family tombs.

And if that’s not odd enough the first person that Rebecca befriends is Lisette, a ghost. After a couple small twists some of the characters take a wrong turn down a path driven by fear. Rebecca has a destiny and a family history that can only be described as cursed. At first it was difficult to understand where the story was headed but as it progresses the puzzle pieces began to fit together. Only the picture on the puzzle is still confusing. It’s not until the very end that everything begins to make sense. And though the progression is slow and the romance is dull the well-written novel will keep you interested until the last sentence.

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Shadowhunters

            The Mortal Instruments series, written by author Cassandra Clare, is a world hidden inside a world. Where humans roam the streets side by side with numerous supernatural creatures such as vampires, werewolves, demons, and other types of mystical beings. Obviously the human population is oblivious to it all or there would be mass chaos derived from fear. Clary Fray, a young girl who just turned sixteen years of age, discovers that she is a shadow hunter, a race of demon hunters that vow to protect the world from beings with far darker hearts. After her mother is attacked and kidnapped she teams up with a guy named Jace Wayland, a demon hunter living at the shadow hunter institute in Brooklyn, NY.

            In August of 2013 the first book was made into a movie. Lets just say that it got less than desirable reviews and fans were quite displeased with how much the filmmakers had adapted the plot. By adding a magical portal in the institute that never existed, revealing that the main Clary and Jace were not related- information that is not revealed until later in the series, and blowing up the mortal cup after freezing her biological father inside the portal. As anyone who has read the books can tell, it was freely adapted.

            After the movie flopped the production team decided to turn the series into a television show in the hopes that they could win back the fans and get more ratings. The first episode in the series aired January 12. As someone who loves the book series it was a bit painful to watch. The dialogue was dumbed down to the point where every line felt cheesy and overly dramatic. The poetic touches it portrayed in the book and even the movie were all but gone. The main character Katherine McNamara probably had some of the worst dialogue in the whole episode. It’s difficult to condemn the actors when their lines were horrendous.

Not to mention, the character of Clary is described as awkward, nice and ordinary, except for her beautiful red hair. Katherine was a little more overly sexualized than what was necessary, even in comparison too the scene in the movie in which Clary, played by British-American actress Lily Collins, was forced to dressed in a skimpy dress in order to crash a party thrown by a warlock.

Their next mistake was their interpretation of Isabelle Lightwood, the younger sister of Alek who is played by Emeraude Toubia. Isabelle is a tough female character, that at times can be a little immature and codependent. She is known to dress in skimpy clothing but always manages to be respectable and classy in the end. In the episode you see Emeraude dressed in a tacky, white leather outfit with a cheap platinum wig dancing provocatively on a stool in a night club to distract some guards. I have no idea how the guards didn’t catch on to her plan, even when she removes the wig and coat, revealing her tattooed body. The only character the show managed to portray correctly was Alec Lightwood, represented by the handsome. Alec’s character is very jealous of Jace and Clary’s attraction to each other, he’s territorial, always serious, and very much by the book.

It’s hard to believe they had a second chance to create a great television series based on the work of Cassandra Clare and they still managed to muck it up. All in all the show was disappointing to watch and is defiantly something I would personally not recommend any true Mortal Instruments fan watching.