i really wanted to tie in Clockwork Angel and Clockwork Prince in this book report, but this is looking to be long winded, so i decided to focus on Clockwork Princess.
okay. this book/series has turned me into a total fangirl. i have no idea why--well actually that is a lie, i totally know why. it's all because of Jem. i will state right here right now that i am team Jem (i heart Jem) and the team Jem vs. team Will crap has been insanely crazy (or the reader reviews and discussion topic threads from Goodreads have led me to believe). i feel that this team crap is nothing like the Edward vs. Jacob angst from the Twilight Saga because, let's be honest, there really wasn't a love triangle in those books. Bella only ever loved Edward. it was obvious in the first book. ugh, it all comes back to Twilight somehow. but in all actuality, it was really hard at the end of Clockwork Princess to really be team anyone, because everyone wins at the end. i know die hard team shippers (really fangirls?) are either really pissed or pleasantly surprised with the ending.
i really liked this book. i'm not sure if you could tell. the main reason i liked this book was because of the characters. i love Tessa, Will and Jem (especially Jem if you haven't been able to tell. okay i'll stop because it's getting a bit creepy). there's just something about these characters that struck a chord in my heart, and i haven't been able to find this connection to characters in a lot of books. i can only name a handful.
i started off reading Clare's City of Bones, City of Ashes and City of Glass. i liked them, i liked the whole Shadowhunter thing. it reminded me of Buffy a bit, and who doesn't love Buffy? i picked up these books right after i burned through The Hunger Games trilogy, and i was craving some more bad ass characters. then i learned of another series by Clare that is a sort of prequel to her Mortal Instruments series, and it sounded interesting. then i fell in love. i really liked Tessa. i liked her more than Clary, much much more. i was slightly annoyed with Will because i saw him as Jace, and i knew that Will is supposed to be a distant relative of Jace's, but i was like, "come on." and then there is Jem, who in the first book i liked but by the second book i fell in love with. oh good lord!
so what is it with this book you ask? for me, it's the characters. the plot was just so-so, but i didn't care. i had to know if Tessa was going to marry Jem, and i truly cared deeply for all three of the characters. i wanted the best for them.
so, this is where things get interesting for me, and how i look at this book because Clare brings up a good question that a lot of people do not like. i said earlier that i really liked this book, but when i first finished the book i was a little shocked. both Will and Jem get the girl, not at the same time, but they get her. a lot of readers looked at this as Clare wanting to make everyone happy, to pander to her readers, but really she just pissed off more people than pleased them because people are really pissed, yo. team Will shippers are all like "having Tessa and Jem getting together is disrespectful to Will, and it disregards their love as nothing more than trivial, and how could Tessa tell Jem that she loves him after losing Will because it's like emotional cheating." i wanted to say, "settle down team Will shippers, it's not the end of the world. Tessa mourned Will for 80 years, she is immortal so she will at some point move on." it's like talking someone off a ledge. team Jem shippers were kind of chill and all like "ick, Jem is getting Will's sloppy seconds. but it did suck that Tessa jumped into bed with Will right after she found out Jem had "died". Tessa is a whore. yo." it seams that people don't mind that Tessa can and will move on but not with either Will or Jem. good lord, some people have really high morals. not me because i am evil and amoral.
i personally thought that Tessa loved Will more. i think a lot of that had to do with the fact there was very little, if any, POV from Jem. it seemed that Tessa always thought of Will first, he was always the first boy she mentioned or thought about or worried after, and so as the reader i took the hint and thought Clare is trying to tell us Tessa loves Will more. but i did feel that the interactions between Tessa and Jem in the second book really showed me that he loved her, and i could see Tessa falling in love with Jem because that is what i did. i didn't see any falling in love with Will because i felt that i was always told that he loves her, and Tessa thought Will was super hot, and they both enjoyed reading, and who doesn't enjoy a sexy book nerd?
having Clockwork Princess end with everyone "winning" and getting what they want has upset a lot of people, and i think a lot of that has to do with what Clare is trying to say with these characters. i think she has had a bunch of people ask her about this idea of Tessa ending up with both Will and Jem because she posted a statement on her tumblr about exactly this. this is why i really liked this book (it's a long quote but really great).
We are taught to expect things from love triangles. As you said, there are no rules, but in many ways the purpose and intent of a love triangle is seen to be that a person who is torn between character A and character B makes the statement "I love you, character A, more than I love character B, and so I will be with you. The end."
That is what is expected, and that is exactly what did not happen, and so I am not surprised that it would make many feel a bit uncomfy. The Clockwork series has a love triangle, but it is also about love triangles, and like I’ve said before, is about what I wanted to say about love and about life.
We are taught by many romance narratives that one can feel only one great love in a lifetime. Even if, as in the example here, the person you married, and loved, has been dead eighty years, the idea has been entrenched in us by media that loving someone else next, as much, diminishes or undermines that love. It is the purpose of the Disney “happily ever after” coda — we don’t want to know what happens after the couple gets together: we assume an unclear sort of happiness awaits, but don’t want to know if they fight, or one of them dies first, or any of the things that happen in actual life. Their love story ends when the curtain comes down, and therefore they are preserved in happiness forever, like flies in amber — and none of the messiness of real life, of loss and death, of cycles of happiness and sorrow, of the inevitability of aging, ever touch them at all.
I think this is an actually damaging way to think about love. Love, even romantic love, is not something you only feel once and forever, and to have loved one person does not make love that you feel later less. Love isn’t a zero sum game: we’re not issued a bucket of love at birth and the more of it we give out, the less we have (in fact, the opposite is true.) Very few people remain with their first loves forever; very few people love only one person romantically ever in their lives. Yet we are told that is the ideal we should strive for. That if love is followed by loss life is destroyed, and an attempt to move on cheapens the love we had before. It’s a narrative I’ve seen ruin people’s lives, literally, and so it’s one I both reject, but wanted to explore.
after coming across this quote about the "love triangle" it all just clicked for me and what Clare is trying to accomplish in this series. i think a lot of people won't get it (and chose not to get it) because it comes down to a matter of morals and where one stands when it comes to love and marriage. most people only believe in the "one true great love", in stories and in their actual lives but we all know that it isn't possible. just look at the divorce rate here in America, about 50% of all marriages end in divorce. this is where a big can of worms is opened and a crazy discussion occurs about people believing in "one true love" or not. this is exactly why we have places like Goodreads. i personally believe in love, hell i fall in love all the time, and it is crazy and it breaks my heart, but i do not believe in this "one true love" idea. that is why the ending sits so well with me.
oh good lord! there is so much other stuff i want to talk about this book.
to be honest at first i was a bit upset, i wanted Tessa and Jem together. they did end up together, so why does it matter that they hooked up later as opposed to the beginning? then, when i stepped back from the story and really looked at it i saw the love between Jem and Will and i was like "holy cow this is totally a bromance". when Jem left to become a Silent Brother, Will was heartbroken. i believe Tessa was more concerned about Will and his heart breaking for losing Jem than her own heart breaking from the end of their engagement. each person in this triangle truly loved the other two people with all their heart. each love is different and its own kind of love. you can't tell someone, anyone how to love one another, and you can't love two people the same way because each person is different. hell love is different, and it evolves (ask anyone who has been in a long ass relationship, like me and the boy, our love is not the same love as when we first got together.) oh good lord listen to me, i am such a sap. i need to move on otherwise this could get ugly.
i absolutely adored the Sophie and Gideon love story. how Gideon would call for scones just to see and talk to Sophie, and then she finds the pile of scones under his bed because he doesn't like scones. i thought it was super cute and sweet, and when Sophie storms out of the room after finding said scones, and Gabriel had been laying in Gideon's listening to the two of them and was all like "nicely done, brother." i had a chuckle at that. and when Gideon proposed to Sophie, super awkward and precious.
the ending or more importantly, the last few chapters i loved deeply. it was a beautiful end for Will, a wonderful way to say goodbye to a character that many people loved. boy, did i cried my way through the end of this book. i felt that Will lead a long beautiful life with the woman he loves. they had children together and they got to see them grow and have children of their own. then we as readers got to let him go. it was nicely done, and i truly felt as though we buried Will. side note, anyone who thinks that Will wouldn't want Tessa to move on and find another love is crazy. it's unfair to Tessa to not have her move on. it seems harsh but realistic y'all. Tessa grieved for Will for 80 years. what more do you want?
oh good lord! i can go on and on about this book. i just really enjoyed it. it's funny how people's reactions to it are so drastic. if they are a team Will shipper, they did not like the ending at all and if you are a team Jem shipper you didn't mind how it ended. what seems to be an added bonus is we might see Tessa and Jem in some of Clare's other books, which i'm totes excited about y'all. xoxo.