Summary: I’ve got seven days to come clean to my new dad. Seven days to tell the truth…
For sixteen-year-old Tiffany Sly, life hasn’t been safe or normal for a while. Losing her mom to cancer has her a little bit traumatized and now she has to leave her hometown of Chicago to live with the biological dad she’s never known.
Characters. We actually met a LOT of characters in this book but I think going through all of them or even mentioning would kind of ruin you getting to know them as Tiffany does so I’m not going to do that.
Tiffany Sly. She is our protagonist and our narrator. She just turned 16 and is traveling to California to live with a father she’s never met. In the first chapter, we learn that she is terrified of flying, and also terrified to meet Anthony Stone. She has anxiety and she’s always worried about things that could possibly kill her. Irrational fears and what not. She is very nervous about meeting her father, but she’s also a bit in doubt since not long before she departed, another man came to her home, thinking he might be her father and he wants her to take a DNA test. So she’s thinking about that, plus, the other man is going to serve her father a court order so she has to take a DNA test and she’s thinking about that time frame. Seven days to confirm who might be her father. She marches to the beat of her own drum, she doesn’t conform, at least not completely, she does try not to test the waters, but she can’t help but to speak out against certain things she finds ridiculous that her new family does. She’s easy to befriend Marcus, even though he did come off as weird in the beginning and everyone freaks out about him, but she was pretty easy about it. She’s from Chicago, so she tries really hard not to be a stereotype in this new place, that’s also majority white. I really liked Tiffany, there wasn’t anything about her I didn’t like. She’s super tall, so of course people assume she likes and/or plays a sport but she’s into music. I loved her “nerdiness” and just how it was just natural and a part of her and not something shocking because she’s a black girl into what she’s into.
Anthony Stone. He is a potential father for Tiffany, but he is the one she’s going to live with. We don’t really get to meet him until the second or third chapter, and he’s interesting but also seems very detached and I did not like him, mostly in the beginning. I softened up to him more towards the end, but it was a hard journey. I felt like Tiffany when it came to him. She was kind of awkward with him, but unsure if he could be her father, especially once she meets him and sees what he looks like. There are moments where it feels right, where you wonder “Wow, maybe he is her father” but then he does something outrageous and you’re like “NO! He can’t be her dad!” I mean this dude has some pretty ridiculous moments, but he’s also kind of tragic in ways. A lot of things that dealt with him made me cry, especially at the end. Oh man. I had so much whiplash with him but I think Dana L. Davis wrote an interesting man.
Marcus McKinney. Definitely my favorite character of the book, he’s definitely a secondary leading character but I loved every bit with him. When we first meet him, I was a little unsure to what he was doing, or what he looked like because of his description but it becomes clear later. It does take a while to learn what is up with him but I think that’s part of his charm as well. He doesn’t care anything about what other people think about him and he just lives his life because it’s his to live. There is something different about him and Tiffany doesn’t really pick up on it until later, but she never makes a big deal about anything. Marcus doesn’t either. He became a great friend for Tiffany and she for him. He wrote a book in the book and I actually want to read his book.
Realistic Dialogue. I definitely have to give Dana L. Davis praise, because the dialogue in this book was very realistic. Especially for the teenage characters. I always complain when I read certain young adult books because it seems like the authors don’t really understand how teenagers respond to things, or how they speak to each other. Sometimes it comes off really pretentious or childlike and just ugh, but Dana L. Davis does it so well. Tiffany sounded like a true 16-year-old teenage African-American girl. The conversations she would have with her grandmother on the phone, with her best friend, even the conversations she would have with London and her other sisters. It just really flowed well and it sounded genuine instead of generic and awkward. I mean outside of Tiffany being awkward in general.
Humorous. I laughed quite a lot reading this book. The dialogue is so funny, and the interactions between characters is always entertaining. The book is told in Tiffany’s point of view, so we get a lot of her inner thoughts and her reactions to things, her irrational fears, her though processes, or her telling us how other characters are looking at her, or reacting was very funny. Also, Marcus being so enigmatic as he was, was also pretty funny too and he did it without trying it was just part of his character. Also, Neveah is maybe where most of the humor comes from when it comes to dialogue. That little girl will say whatever it is she wants and doesn’t find the problem with it.
The Family Dynamic. Tiffany’s mother passed before the events of the book, she is still very hurt from it, but she has hope, since she is going to live with her father in California. She’s never met him so it’s a first anyway, but I think we see of the family is pretty interesting. I don’t necessarily agree with what the Stones do, or even believe in, I think it’s a little extreme, but that’s how it is for some families and I appreciate that the book really touched on that. Their family was dysfunctional and they tried to pretend like they weren’t. I always find that very interesting because there is so many options to explore. Also, when Tiffany gets added to the mix, it’s very weird and awkward at first, but as the book progresses, the women of the family, well some of them, really become a strong lifeline for her, or her for them. It was a great natural progression.
Very emotional. I cried. A lot actually. The book deals with death and grief, and loneliness and family, and abandonment and I can understand a lot of that. I’m definitely not going to get into anything, but I do think if you’ve lost a parent, or someone you were close to, this would really hit home for you. Also, Tiffany has anxiety, among other things and seeing her deal with that, or dealing with her father who doesn’t believe in that kind of stuff, it’s hard and challenging but the way it’s handled is really beautiful. I think the end, the last few chapters are what really got me, especially after the trip in Malibu. Oh man, I can imagine if you don’t cry but don’t be surprised if you do.
Thought provoking. Marcus McKinney is a fantastic character, probably my favorite in the story but he is so smart and his beliefs are truly amazing. I’ve never met anyone like him but I can imagine I’d befriend him as well. He’s a bit odd at first glance, sure, but the way he thinks about God and energy, I was like “he’s legit” and I actually feel the same way in some instances. I talked about it with my coworker the other day and we both were like “so deep”. I mean, I really thought about it while he would explain it to Tiffany. Plus, there was something special about him anyway, so he felt like a pure person.
Unfinished Plotlines. I do think there is a lot that happens in this book. We get a lot of information and while I do think the book handles a lot of it really well, I do wish it would have gone a bit deeper, particularly with Pumpkin. She apparently she’s on the spectrum and at first I thought it was just something the mom made up, or they thought because they didn’t know how to really parent her outbursts, but the mom does try but nothing else really comes of that. Not that it had to be a big part of the story, but since it was brought up and since it was something Tiffany was around, I thought we should have seen more of that. Also, with London, there is something that happens with her and it does kind of become a little big something, but it kind of just ends. It was kind of strange to be honest.
Overall, I really loved Tiffany Sly Lives Here Now because it felt like an authentic story. Tiffany was a realistic teenager, she didn’t feel like an adult’s view of a teenager which I appreciated. I loved her interactions with other characters, and how she just marched to the beat of her own drum, she didn’t care because it was who she was. She loved her music, she loved the idea of what a father would be like to her and I think that’s all beautiful and so realistic for a teenage girl whose never had a father. I thought while complicated, Anthony Stone was a great character and someone who I ended up really liking and thinking was tragic by the end. Marcus was my favorite and I just want to sit and speak with him and also read his book. It’s funny, it’s emotional, it made me go “TELL EM AGAIN GIRL” and I finished it in a day so I loved it. My only real negative was that I felt there were a few storylines that didn’t get wrapped up as easily and I thought about it afterwards. But regardless, fantastic story.
Rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars.
What I’m reading Next:
Tyler Johnson Was Here by Jay Coles
Read the other parts before part four.
I. One and Only
II. Falling Fast
III. Hello Heartache
“I met my soul mate today.”
Those were really not the words he was expecting her to say. He didn’t know why but he couldn’t react. Not at first. He just stood there. Silent. Say something. But he couldn’t, he didn’t know what to say. What should he even say? He knew this day would come, he didn’t know when and he didn’t know what it would do to her and just by looking, he could tell it was killing her inside.
What should he do?
Hearing his name snapped him out of whatever he just disappeared in. He cleared his throat and took a step back trying to regain his balance. Theo moved forward but stopped herself, her eyes darting away from him. He could see on her face that she was confused. He could see on her face that she was in pain.
This is why. This is why he never put stock in the whole “soul mark” thing because of reasons like this. She’s hurting, and he knows he can’t do anything to help her, not really. This is why he admired his parents for making it through this society full of matching soul marks because they are still in love. He never knew if they met their soul mates or not, but regardless they’re together. They’re in love. He wanted that regardless of matching soul marks. He knew Theo didn’t care either, she always wanted to make her own way. So why was this so hard? Especially for her?
“Just…” He waved his hand asking her to stop. Just don’t. He wasn’t angry, not really. Steve didn’t really know what he felt. It was confusing. He turned his back on her and gripped the back of her navy-blue couch trying to stable himself. What does this mean for them? He wanted to move in together. He loves Theo. He doesn’t want to lose her to… “What is his name?”
“What?” Her voice was shaky, almost a whisper. He didn’t want to see the look on her face because who know what he’d see.
“What is his name?”
Silence. Steve turned to look at his girlfriend. She stood there, her head lowered, her arms crossed, like she was trying to close herself in. Theo had walls up before, he worked hard to get through them, but it was like she was trying to pull them back up.
“Theodora… what is his name?”
Michael. He wanted to know what he was like. She was gone for a long time, perhaps they got better acquainted. That burned him up inside, it felt like something red-hot was trying to claw its way out of his chest. Jealousy maybe? He never thought he would feel this way. Theo looked at him, her brown eyes wet. Was she crying? Oh god, he can’t handle a crying Theo. She is always so strong so tears were a rarity.
“Tell me about him.”
“There’s nothing to tell Steve. He doesn’t… I mean, we didn’t… it wasn’t like a full conversation. We just talked.”
She stepped towards him again and he would have moved away but he forced himself to stay. He could smell her perfume as she moved closer. The honey lavender scent wafted into his nose and it centered him. He always loved the way she smelt. The smoothness of her hands, touched his arms that tightly gripped the back of the couch behind him. He watched as her hands moved up his arms, rising to his shoulders…his heart beat so painfully in his chest but he couldn’t help himself. He wanted to kiss her. Her hands moved to his neck, they rested on his face and she stood on her toes. Her full lips touched his and he didn’t know if the sharp intake of breath was his or hers.
Steve released the couch and pulled her closer to him. Her body touching his…but something was wrong. Something was off. There was an alarm going off somewhere in his mind. When they pulled away, his breath was heavy, her eyes stared into his eyes and he knew something was wrong.
“Something’s wrong Steve.” She pulled away completely, her movements frantic as she began to pace back and forth. She touched her fingers to her lips, her brow furrowed as it did when she was in thought.
“It’s the soul mark.” His voice was quiet. It was the only explanation. But why would they feel different just because Theo met her soul mate. Nothing changed when he met Ebony. Why has it changed now?
“No. Why would it be different for the both of us and not just me? I don’t understand any of this. It’s so annoying and I hate it. I love you Steve. I know I do but I just feel… so confused that I don’t know what to do.” He watched as her pacing picked up speed. Her face was full of agony and she occasionally stopped to look at him her brown eyes wide.
“No one truly understands how soul marks work Theo.”
“Maybe not but I don’t… I hate this. I hate it. When I heard my words…” No. I don’t want to hear this. “…I, I wanted to fight it. I did fight it, but it wasn’t good enough. I’m so sorry Steve. I never want to hurt you.”
“You know I never wanted to meet my soul mate. I just… I want to be with you. I just can’t decide what’s going on inside of me. If you meet your soul mate you’ll know exactly…”
“I’ve already met her.”
Theo stopped moving, her body rigid. She turned to look at Steve even more confused then she already was. Steve looked away. Today has been ruined. He shouldn’t have said anything, he should have kept everything to himself. He shouldn’t have asked in the first place.
“What? You have? When?”
“About six months ago.”
Theo’s eyes grew large. Steve wasn’t sure what that expression was, but he knew her mind was going through all kinds of scenarios. She stood still. She was so silent. He felt like he should have moved forward, maybe he should reach for her, maybe he should reassure her that it meant nothing. Yeah, he thought about Ebony, but not like constantly. It just happens every now and then.
What? It was so quiet that he almost didn’t hear what she said. He asked her to repeat what she said, but she finally looked at him. Her brown eyes watery once more but soft.
“Is she pretty?”
“Tha- that doesn’t… that doesn’t matter Theo.”
“Is she pretty Steve?”
He sighed. This is so painful, and he didn’t want to make it worse. Why should it matter if his “soulmate” was pretty? It didn’t matter.
The woman of his dreams stood there in front of him. Her eyes a beautiful light brown, seeming brighter because of her tears. Her beautiful brown skin always glowed from the light she carried inside her body. Her large curly hair styled in one of her favorite “go-to” styles of a fro-hawk. Her dark jeans and blue tank top. Everything about her was what he wanted. She was perfect.
But… there were times when he thought of Ebony James. It happened randomly. Not often but randomly. He remembered how she looked when he stopped her dog from running too far.
Ebony had her hair pulled back into a ponytail, it was black and straight with wisps escaping and curling around her forehead. Her skin was dark, he imagined it was beautiful in the moonlight. She had almond eyes, dark as well and a beautiful smile with full lips. She was beautiful and sometimes her face appeared, and he always pushed it away.
Sometimes it lingered for too long though.
Ebony doesn’t look a thing like Theo. But he couldn’t deny his own confusion, but he could push it away a lot easier than Theo apparently could. He didn’t know Ebony. She seemed nice, but he didn’t know her.
Shit. He’s been quiet for too long.
“Yeah, she was pretty.”
There was a sharp intake of breath, but he didn’t see anything accusing or hurt in her eyes. There was understanding, and he hated that. She was perfect and he’s sitting here upset that she met her soulmate, like she planned it.
He sighed and moved towards her.
She wrapped her arms around him and they just stood there entwined. He could feel her heartbeat against his chest, and he really wished everything before this moment could be erased but he knew it was going to be different.
At the end of the day, it’s Theo’s choice.
So, I watched this show when it first came out. Well, I watched like maybe the first two episodes lol but I watched it because of the movie. I thought the movie sucked donkey balls and I only watched the movie because of Aidan Turner (I love him lol) but I thought maybe the show would be better. It was, at least better than the movie. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not perfect but it’s a lot of fun and I think everyone is likable. So, why did I start watching it officially now? Well, I always told myself that someday I would go back and binge it since it’s kind of up my alley but it’s because of The New Legends of Monkey show that I decided to watch it. So I have this thing where if I liked an actor or actress, I’ll look to see what else they were in and generally watch their entire filmography if I can. So I liked Chai Hansen enough in The New Legends of Monkey that I wanted to watch other things he’s in which includes Shadowhunters. He’s in season three, so I was like *sighs* I wonder if I’ll be able to keep with the show just for him in season three and well… here we are lol.
Disclaimer: I have not read the books so this based solely on the TV show. This is a review of the show and not the books or the movie (I might review that snoozefest another time).
I’m also going to try to not spoil things but some things I can’t talk about without spoiling so I’ll let you know if there’s a spoiler in that section.
Summary: After her mother disappears, Clary must venture into the dark world of demon hunting, and embrace her new role among the Shadowhunters.
Cast and Characters. So we have a lot of characters in this show. I’m going to highlight the main cast and a few of the recurring characters, the ones that made the most impact on me and the show.
Katherine McNamara as Clarissa “Clary Fray” Fairchild
Backstory: So in the beginning Clary Fray has been accepted in the Brooklyn Academy of Arts and her life is going swell. While with her friends Simon and Maureen she gets bumped into by a mysterious blonde boy, who seems surprised that she can see him. She of course wants to prove to Simon and Maureen that there was indeed a boy there, so she goes into the club to find him thus beginning our adventure as she witnesses a fight between a group of young adults and some creatures. The three people tell her who they are, they are “Shadowhunters”, humans born with angelic blood who protects humans (mundanes) from demons. Later that night, Clary’s mother, Jocelyn, is abducted by a group of rogue Shadowhunters called the Circle. Their leader is Jocelyn’s ex-husband, Valentine Morgenstern. With her mother missing, Clary turns to Luke, a person she trusted, only to seemingly be betrayed. Clary joins up with a band of Shadowhunters to save her mother and discovers powers she never knew she possessed.
Character: So Clary is pretty much the typical “YA” female lead, the girl who doesn’t know about the supernatural but gets thrust in that world. The thing I do like about her though is that while she is learning about all of this, she still tries to be an active participant by actually doing things. She can be a bit narrow-minded in that she really wants to save her mother, so she does whatever she can to do it. Everyone else helps her and I think she just a bit, selfishly expects everyone to just help her. With that said, Clary also does what she can to help others as well, she doesn’t necessarily always make the smart decisions but she’ll try to do what she thinks is right. She is very headstrong and determined. I love the fact that we see she’s not a natural at being a Shadowhunter, she has to actually work at it, even with some of her other natural talents. As the series progresses, we see her evolve a bit, she matures and I think she becomes a stronger, less annoying character after the first season.
Acting: I think Katherine McNamara does well in the role. She does have some really annoying tics that she does and sometimes her emotional begging/pleading feels over the top but it works in the long run for the character. She has great chemistry with her cast mates, and I think as the series progressed, she got more into her character and she felt more like a human than a young adult “heroine”. She does really well in the season 3 mid-season finale and I think the moments where she gets that determined smirky look on her face is probably my favorite because it’s funny you know she’s about to do something interesting either way. Oh, and I’m glad they seemed to slightly darken her hair. I know McNamara is a natural redhead and from the research I did, Clary’s hair is kind of “carotty” but that’s not really appealing on-screen, personally. It was really kind of jarring in the first season, so while I like that her hair isn’t the typical red, I like the fact that they made it look more natural.
Dominic Sherwood as Jace Wayland
Backstory: Jace Wayland is a Shadowhunter living at the New York Institute with his adopted family. Jace’s legal name changes throughout the series, the poor kid has a hard time trying to even figure out who he is due to the fact he learns about his ancestry constantly and most times it’s lies. Jace has a lot of history that is learned, and a lot of things happen and I don’t want to spoil everything but I will have to spoil some things. So, one of the biggest things is that Jace spent his preteen and teenage years with the Lightwoods after his father, Michael Wayland died. So he became really close with Alec and Izzy, he even becomes Alec’s parabatai (it’s like this kind of intimate brotherly bond that allows their souls to be linked). Valentine tells Jace, that Jace is his son, which crushes him (since Valentine is also Clary’s father) but we end up learning a lot of other things as well.
Character: Jace is obviously the male lead of the show, since he and Clary kind of have a “meet-cute”, and he is immediately drawn to her, just as she is to him. He apparently is the best Shadowhunter, or at least the one with the best record. He is a little impulsive, and selfish in ways, but he really tries to help people. A lot of times, he does things for Clary, it’s what she wants, and he loves her, so obviously he’ll do it for her. He marches to the beat of his own drum, not always following the rules and he loves doing what he does. Being that he is a Shadowhunter, he doesn’t really understand human things, so whenever Simon or Clary make a pop culture reference or some kind of “mundane” thing, he doesn’t understand or he makes fun of it. Now, I do think Jace can be kind of mean and intimidating. It doesn’t work on everyone but he does come off that way and I believe there is something scary about him. I think he’s a very interesting and layered character, a lot has happened to him in this show, especially the first half of season 3, I hope nothing gets pushed to the side but is talked about and conquered.
Acting: I definitely thought that Jamie Campbell Bower in the film was a good Jace, very different, but a good one. However, I think Dominic Sherwood really shines as this character and I think he’s a standout in the show. Jace goes through an emotional roller coaster on this show, I mean this dude goes through a lot of things emotionally and I think Dominic does a great job. I very much enjoy him. I think Jace would easily be just a plain jerk, because he has his moments but I like the fact that Dominic plays him very subdued, you can see the makings of an unlikable character but Dominic prevents that even while still showing that Jace isn’t this perfect person. When he’s being sassy and snarky, I love it because he just smirks (and I love his lips) or he does a big smile like it’s nothing. I really do enjoy watching him. I also think Season 3 is some of his best acting so far, there is this scene with him, Alec and Izzy in a mental realm and it’s so heartbreaking and he does such a good job that I really felt for him.
Alberto Rosende as Simon Lewis
Backstory: Simon and Clary have been friends since they were young, they are best friends and pretty much inseparable. Simon has an obvious crush on Clary but he never actually got around to telling her. Simon has a love and passion for music but he feels pressure to become a CPA because that’s what his mom wants, since he’s her only son. When Clary disappeared on her 18th birthday, he is frantic with worry and manages to find her using a phone app and thus begins his introduction to the Shadow World. At first, he keeps being distracted by Isabelle, in order for Clary and Jace to try to discover some secrets, but he ends up being kidnapped by Raphael (a vampire) who would exchange him for the Mortal Cup. While captive, the leader of the Vampires Camille put Simon under her encanto charm to get him to tell her where the cup was, while doing this, she fed on him and offered him blood to drink until the others rescued him. So, long story short, he got all angsty and emotional (more than usual) and he eventually went back to Camille who killed him. Raphael gave him to Clary and the others, and ultimately Clary decided to bring him back as a vampire. He pretty much is around after that, living as a vampire. He and Clary get to have their chance, then he meets Maia who obviously likes him. He also is now a Daylighter because when he was kidnapped by Valentine, he slit his throat to make Clary come faster, so a disguised Jace, allowed Simon to feed on him in order to heal and I’m sure the angel blood, which they kind of talk about, allows Simon to be a Daylighter. Anyways, the Seelie Queen has a weird obsession with him and brands him with a mark, that pretty much harms anyone who tries to attack him.
Character: I like Simon for the most part, he’s sweet, kind and loyal to a fault but there are also times when he can be annoying. He is a nerd, he loves music, movies, very much into pop culture, or “vintage movies”. He’s someone who I would probably hang out with considering his positive energy but it would have to be in doses because he would probably drain me too. He is the first one to find humor in any situation, he’ll tell jokes to lighten the mood, or make a reference or something and I usually always chuckle or laugh at whatever he says. I like how he’s willing to stick by Clary’s side, I like that he tries to help in whatever way he can. Simon has morals, part of him hates being a vampire because he hates the idea of hurting or killing humans (mundanes), but he is also pretty resourceful when he needs to be. Now, I do think Simon is naive most times, he’s like a little lost puppy.
Acting: Alberto is really good in the role. I think Simon could very much be unlikable, I didn’t really care for him in the movie, but that might have been the actor, but Alberto keeps Simon grounded and human. I like how he plays Simon’s fast talking when he’s excited, nervous or pretty much anything lol. The way he looks at Clary or later looks at Maia is so sweet. Season 3 was also a lot of acting highlights for him, especially when it came to dealing with his family, it was so sad and I really think that was some of Alberto’s best acting on the show so far.
Matthew Daddario as Alec Lightwood
Backstory: Alec is the eldest child of Maryse and Robert Lightwood. He is the older brother of Isabelle and Max. Their mother is very distant and cold, so Alec grew up with a strong desire to prove himself worthy, to make his parents proud and bring honor to the family. He very much follows the rules and orders to the letter. When Jace was brought to live with them, they immediately hit it off and became parabatai. Alec realized he developed romantic feelings for Jace didn’t want to go through with the ceremony but Isabelle convinced to go through with the ceremony. While his parents are gone, he is often appointed the acting head of the Institute. When Clary becomes involved, Alec doesn’t like or trust her and he hates that Jace just goes along with her ideas on a whim. Plus, he was jealous. They meet Magnus Bane at a party, and Magnus immediately starts flirting with Alec every chance they meet. Long story short, a lot happens and Alec goes through a lot, emotionally, Isabelle is very good with being supportive and for him to just be himself. He and Magnus finally get together, Alec in ways, gets along with Clary, and he and Jace are still close, but without any romantic feelings. He is also currently the Head of the Institute.
Character: I like Alec a lot, in the beginning, I thought he was being a bit harsh but at the same time I understood. I mean, who does this girl think she is coming in here and just trying to change this good thing we’ve had going here. I definitely get that and a lot of times, I was on his side. Alec has a very cautious and by the book demeanor, which can also make it hard to get things done that require a little rule breaking since he’s so against it. Even when he lightens up, he still can be like NO. But even so, he’s very protective of his friends and family, and extremely loyal. He is actually the only one who really ever thanks Magnus when he helps them. He is also the one they usually send to ask for help in the first place. Even though he cares deeply for those he loves, he can be very harsh and mean. which crack me up. Alec is very self-deprecating, when things go wrong, he blames himself a lot of the time. He’s very interesting and most times I just want to give him a hug because I feel like he needs it most of the time.
Acting: In the beginning, I was a little unsure, but he grew on me. I think Matthew Daddario has this innocence about him, or at least with the way he plays Alec. When he first meets Magnus, his shock and nervousness whenever they had an encounter was super cute. Alec is the strong silent type, and I like that he’ll stand in the back and be very observant of what’s going on. He doesn’t get a ton of emotional scenes but when he does, I think Matthew handles it very well.
Emeraude Toubia as Isabelle Lightwood
Backstory: Isabelle is the only girl in the Lightwood children, she does not have a good relationship with her mother. She often feels judged by her mother, or not looked at with the same pride that is shown to Alec and Max, even Jace. When she learns that their family is under scrutiny (thanks to them going off to help Clary without having their mission sanctioned), she decides to stop her old lifestyle and be more like her mother. While she was willing to do what she had to in order to help her family, she didn’t want Alec doing the same and forfeiting his happiness. She encourages Alec to be himself, to accept what he wants and she invites Magnus to Alec’s wedding, which helps Alec make the right choice. Valentine sent a demon to attack the Institute, causing Izzy to be harmed, Aldertree gives her Yin Fen (a serum made from Vampire venom) to help ease the pain and she gets addicted to it. She eventually goes straight to the source, to Raphael, and they begin a romance of sorts. That goes badly, because they get addicted to each other, since Shadowhunter blood is like part angel blood. She eventually tells Alec, who is supportive about her quitting her addiction. She ends up meeting Sebastian Verlac who helps her quit Yin Fen completely and she’s stronger for it.
Character: She is definitely a favorite character because she’s just so sweet and badass at the same time. She is apologetically beautiful and will use that to her advantage if she can. Now, I do think Isabelle can be a little naive in certain instances because she has gotten herself into some situations that I feel like she should have known better. She is loyal, and gives great advice, everyone generally goes to her whenever they need a confidence booster. Being the only girl of the Lightwood children, including Jace, she is often the one who keeps both Alec and Jace in check during tense situations. She is not afraid to speak her mind and can be very defiant and argue her points when necessary. Being that she is comfortable in her body, she has no problem wearing revealing outfits, or standing up to her mother’s strict rules. I think she is the moral compass of the show in a lot of ways and the backbone. I think without Isabelle a lot of stuff would not have happened or worked out the way they should. I
Acting: I think Emeraude is one of the consistently good actors on the show. I never have a moment where I doubt her abilities, or where I cringe during an emotional moment. She has this kind of high, sweet voice so whenever she’s being in charge, I’m like yasss, y’all better listen to her. When she was addicted to the vampire venom and Yin Fen, she did such a great job battling that, that while I was upset she was addicted and couldn’t shake it for a while, I really felt for her too. My favorite though, is probably when she confronted Raphael about what he was doing to this new vampire girl and when she saved Jace in his mind.
Isaiah Mustafa as Luke Garroway
Backstory: Luke used to be a Shadowhunter, he was Valentine’s parabatai when they were younger but drama ensued and that ended. Valentine is also the reason why Luke was bitten and turned into a werewolf. He was disowned by his family after he turned, and pretty much had to do things on his own, he kept in contact with Jocelyn Fairchild, as he was in love with her as a young man, and it remained so into adulthood. When all of the stuff hit the fan, he lost contact with Clary for a little while since she overheard him saying he didn’t care about her or her mother, but of course it wasn’t sure, it was just a ruse to get them off his back. They finally get back into contact and it’s a good thing since Clary really needed him. He’s been dealing with a lot on his own, having to be an Alpha to his pack, while also trying to keep Clary and Simon out of danger puts him in an awkward place. Right now, I think he’s lost the pack because they made him choose between them or Clary and Luke left, choosing Clary. I also think there will be a romance in the future for him, and I like it.
Character: I just want the best for Luke because he is such a nice guy. He likes to help whenever he can, he prefers to resolve issues by talking them through instead of conflict because he does not want to risk bloodshed. He also likes to thoroughly investigate before making rash decisions. However, piss him off by messing with his kids (he considers Clary his daughter and Simon is basically his son) and he’ll get you, he will not hesitate to punish those who cross a line. He is the Alpha of his pack, so he has an air of authority and control, and he has paternal instincts towards younger Downworlders, he tries to help them navigate their new lives. I find it hard sometimes, because he obviously loves Clary and he wants to help her whenever he can, but his pack gives him crap because of that. I think he’s in a hard place and it really affects him though he doesn’t always show it. He’s their father but he’s also the Alpha, so it’s like a rock and a hard place. His loyalty is unshakable though and he is fierce in his determination which are things I love about him.
Acting: I’ve only ever seen Isaiah Mustafa in the old spice commercials which cracks me up whenever I think about them. I also saw him in a Tyler Perry movie but this would technically be my first time seeing him in something where he is a lead role. I think he’s great though, whenever he’s angry and is about to turn into a wolf, I very much enjoy those moments. When he was in mourning, he couldn’t control his emotions and while he wasn’t really speaking, it was all over his face, which is a great ability if I do say so myself. He’s also great with being a leader, being authoritative and protective. I think this is a great role for him. I know in the book Luke is a bit different from how they portray him here, but I think him being an officer works for him and the show.
Harry Shum Jr. as Magnus Bane
Backstory: Magnus has a long history since he’s hundreds of years old, so I’ll try to be brief. When he was a child, his mother discovered his cat eyes were the mark of a demon, making him a warlock. She couldn’t handle it so she committed suicide. His stepfather blamed him for his mother’s death, so Magnus killed him with fire. Jocelyn Fairchild often went to him to have Clary’s memories wiped as she didn’t want her daughter to know about the Shadow World until she was older. So they go back to him so he could restore her memories, and he basically ends up being heavily involved with the Shadowhunters and their shenanigans. He is immediately taken with Alec and he really tries to get Alec to open up and be true to himself, especially once Magnus found out that Alec was in love in Jace. They FINALLY get together and Magnus always tells Alec to not push him away when things get tough and they often lean on each other when things happen. When things got tough in the Shadow World, he took the side of the Seelie Queen which resulted in him losing his position as High Warlock of Brooklyn, so right now he’s been doing small jobs for a fee, but he definitely misses that role, especially since the guy who is now the High Warlock is a douche nozzle. When Jace was in serious trouble, he took the risk of going to someone for help and he makes a great sacrifice to help.
Character: He is my favorite character on the show. He is fierce, intelligent, cunning and wise. He also cares deeply and is very compassionate, and he understands people since he’s immortal and has lived for hundreds of years. He is very protective of his people and takes his role as high warlock very seriously, it takes priority over his own happiness most times. Magnus is usually distrusting of Shadowhunters due to their history with Downworlders but he is not against being friendly with them. He has helped other Downworlders navigate as well, he was a mentor figure to Raphael when he first turned. He is also very powerful. Magnus is known for his eccentric style and exquisite taste, which I love. His entire wardrobe is amazing and Harry Shum Jr. wears it so well. I think it’s easy to tell that Magnus is lonely, or has been for a long time, but he tries to fill it by helping others whenever they ask. In terms of romance, Magnus is openly bisexual, he’s been with men and women, and does not discriminate between kinds, since he’s been with Downworlders and mundanes. He’s currently with Alec, who is a Shadowhunter. He’s my favorite because he will do what he can to help people, they never really say thank you and he doesn’t wallow in that. Obviously, I want him to be thanked, or acknowledged for EVERYTHING HE DOES but it’s not like really needs it. The sacrifice he made in the season 3 mid finale… just wow.
Acting: Harry Shum Jr. is amazing in this role. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him in anything before but he’s great. His sarcastic responses are always on point, the facial expressions he makes and the way he carries himself in the role is just fantastic. His interactions with Alec are always so sweet, and you can tell that it’s really bothering him whenever they have a disagreement or an argument. I could really watch a TV series that details Magnus’ life before the timeline of the show because I think Harry Shum Jr. is amazing and I love Magnus to pieces.
Alisha Wainwright as Maia Roberts
Backstory: We learn that Maia grew up with a brother, who was clearly the favorite. When he died, her relationship with her parents got worse, so she ran away. She ended up meeting Jordan, and they hit it off and started to date. Later, he got weird and then it was learned that he was a werewolf and that he scratched her which turned her into a werewolf. There was no one to guide her through her transitions so she had no idea what was going on, until Luke found her and helped her into controlling her transitions. Jace was a target after one of her friends was abducted by The Circle, and Maia, along with other wolves, actively pursued Jace. Luke made them stop though, since Jace wasn’t responsible. Maia and Simon ended up hitting it off and became fast friends, it was obvious that she liked him and he liked her, but his feelings for Clary were too important that they were put on a back burner. They are currently dating now and they’re super cute. Also, Jordan has entered the picture again and they had a great scene in a church.
Character: At first, I didn’t really like her, she grew on me. We first meet her because Jace wanders into her bar and she’s a little sassy and sarcastic, which I usually like, and I didn’t mind that she thought he was responsible for her friend, I got all of that. What annoyed me in the beginning was how she kept arguing with Luke about helping the Shadowhunters and trying to make him choose between the pack and his children. It was really annoying. However, seeing her with Simon and how she was with him, she grew on me and I felt bad for her in ways as well, due to her past. She’s strong, determined and stubborn, but it works for her because she fights for what she thinks is right. It’s clear she has trust issues but I think being with Simon and being around Luke has really helped that.
Acting: I don’t know why but the actress reminds me of Zoe Kravitz, or maybe in my mind, Zoe Kravitz would be a good choice to play this role if they did a better movie. Anyway, I think she’s good in her role, I love her voice, and I like how when she’s emotional, it comes from a real place, or at least she can just cry very well lol. I love when she’s kicking butt because she’s enjoying it and I think watching her get angry and almost turning, and reacting to the pain of the beginning transitions is really cool too. Also, I love her chemistry with Alberto.
Alan van Sprang as Valentine Morgenstern
I don’t really want to go into his backstory, so I’m not gonna lol.
Character: He is obviously very intelligent, cunning, manipulative and charming, sometimes. It’s because of these traits that he’s able to gain so many followers and people who believe in his cause. He will kill anyone who gets in his way without even thinking twice about it. I do believe that he cares about his children in a weird way, but ultimately it’s because of whatever his goals are. He really manipulated Jace, being that he’s a vulnerable person, Valentine was really able to get his poisoned claws in him. It was great to watch though.
Acting: In terms of him being a giant dick, and horrible father, I think Alan van Sprang was great because boy did I hate this guy. He was very manipulative and kind of charming, I think the main missing was the charm, Jonathan Rhys Meyers played him in the movie, and I don’t know in terms of physicality, but I thought he had the manic charm that seemed to fit this character. I don’t think van Sprang really has that. When he’s trying to get his kids on his side, I don’t think they actually believe him, they only go along with him or whatever because the script said so. I definitely have to give him props though, there was an episode where Valentine and Magnus switched bodies and he did SUCH a good job portraying Magnus.
Will Tudor as Sebastian Verlac
Character: So in the beginning, he helped Izzy kick her Yin Fen addiction which made her trust him and bring him into the Institute. He told her this story about how he left his Institute since he was addicted for a time as well. When he gets in there, he gets close to everyone, but we also learn that this is not actually the real Sebastian Verlac, it’s someone else using a rune to make themselves look like Sebastian. I didn’t trust him regardless because he has beady little eyes that look shifty and I knew he was up to something.
Acting: I knew the actor looked familiar so I googled it and it turns out he was in Game of Thrones lol, everybody be in GOT. Anyway, he’s fine, I do think he overacts a little when he’s being all yelly and stuff, I know his character is perpetually angry but I can’t help but wonder during those scenes if Will Tudor ever hurt himself doing all of that, his face turns red, his veins become pronounced, I mean yesh. Otherwise, I very much enjoy him being quietly angry, I think that’s better because he kind of has an innocent face so it works in his favor.
Anna Hopkins as Lilith
Character: She is soft-spoken and eerily calm. Lilith carries herself with an air of supreme authority and power, but she also couples that with innocence so no one thinks she’s a threat until it’s too late. She hardly shows great emotion unless she’s talking about her “son” or her hatred for his killers. She also has a fixation on children since she cannot have children. It’s funny because she does actually care for her “subjects” because they serve a purpose but she won’t hesitate to get rid of them if they’re no longer useful. She only really cares for her son. She is the reason why Jace struggles a lot during the first half of the third season. Lilith does, or orchestrates stuff to happen so she can get what she wants, which is to revive her son, which might have been successful, don’t know yet.
Acting: So ever since I saw her in After the Ball I get excited whenever I see her because I thoroughly enjoyed her in that movie. I like her and I really liked her here. She is able to keep up this creepy calm personality she has going on and I love it. She never raises her voice, unless something happened to her subjects, or unless someone talks or threatens her son. She’ll get personally offended and the faces Anna Hopkins makes are just pure gold. I very much enjoyed watching her whenever she was on screen.
Chai Hansen as Jordan Kyle
And here we are to the reason I started watching this show. Well, gave me an extra push to finally catch up. He’s so cute lol.
Character: So we meet him when he runs into Simon on the street as Simon is looking for a new apartment. He’s going by Kyle, and he just so happens to have a nice apartment, where his roommate just moved out. So he and Simon hit it off, and turns out that he is actually Maia’s ex-boyfriend, the one who turned her, we get some backstory about them. He’s very remorseful at what he did, I don’t think he knew what he was doing exactly, but he did know what he was doing when he left her there. So it’s hard to get a true read on his personality, because I don’t think he’s a mean guy, at least where he is now. He is a werewolf, and he’s working for this organization who sent him to protect Simon, after the whole Seelie Queen thing. He’s still in love with Maia and I hope he doesn’t try to get in there and split Simon and her up because that will make me upset, no matter how cute I think he is. He really wants to help and while Simon seems wary of him since he knows what happened in the past, they get along pretty well. I hope for positive things in the future.
Acting: I never doubted Chai Hansen’s ability in this show, I was curious to see what he would be doing. We don’t know a ton about his character yet, nor have we seen a lot of him, but what we have seen is enough for me to talk about lol. He’s wonderful at being a nice guy, a clumsy and slightly awkward nice guy but he’s also great at playing angry since the first time we see him change it’s because he’s angry.
The Friendships. So I like the fact that even though they’re family, Alec, Izzy and Jace are so close. They’re friends too. Alec and Jace have a slightly different bond because of the whole parabatai thing, which I do think is interesting. I also love the friendship between Simon and Clary, I do think she asks a lot of him, but he loves her. I also love that they’ve all become friends in their own right. Jace and Simon don’t really get along, but there are some moments between them that are pretty great.
The Romances. So obviously there are a lot of them. The Alec/Magnus stuff is adorable and I think the two actors have great chemistry. There are only a few times where I don’t think it always work and I think that’s more on Matthew Daddario in that I think his acting isn’t always the best. But regardless, I love Alec/Magnus because it took a moment to happen, we saw the slow burn and it was satisfying when it finally happened. Same with Clary and Jace. It was clear in the beginning that they were instantly into each other, but it was thwarted when they thought they were siblings thanks to Valentine’s lies but even after they found out they weren’t, they didn’t jump right into it right away. I liked that as well because Katherine McNamara and Dominic Sherwood have really good chemistry, probably some of the best on the show and the tension that builds up between Clary and Jace is just so annoying sometimes that I’m like JUST KISS. Simon and Maia are also a great couple, I very much enjoy watching them because they are just sincere with each other and she challenges him in ways that he’s never been challenged.
The Action/Fights. The choreography for the fight scenes are handled very well. Izzy is supposed to be one of their best and I think it shows with how she fights, same with Jace, since I think he’s supposed to be one of the best too. The choreography in the mid-season finale was fantastic, probably some of the best action in the entire show.
Mature Themes/Storylines. I actually thought the show was surprisingly mature. Sure, a lot of these “teen shows” do have mature themes and storylines. The whole thing with Izzy’s addiction and how that was handled, I thought that was mature and real. Also Maia’s backstory was also handled really well, it’s sad, but it was a good one and her scene with Jordan in the church was pretty great. Also all of the stuff with Jace and his identity crisis and the stuff with Valentine. I think the show handles it all well, it doesn’t seem to trivialize anything.
Emotionally Fueled. I think one of the strongest aspects of this show is the ability to be emotional. I don’t necessarily mean that I’ll cry while watching it, but the characters really get into some stick situations, that while I know most of them will come out at least alive, you don’t really know what the consequences might be, or even what they should be. Season 2 especially dealt with a lot of that as we got to see Jace deal with his identity crisis and the others having to deal with traitors, and their livelihood changing, the whole story with the Lightwoods, Clary and dealing with what she learns about her family and her mother’s death… there’s a lot that happens in season 2 that it’s kind of amazing how these people have not lost their minds in the long run.
Inconsistent Acting. While I did praise everyone in the “pros” section, it’s not always consistent. I think Katherine McNamara has some moments, mostly in the first season, where she does some annoying ticks, or that she’s trying too hard, especially in emotional scenes. I think by the third season, she has gotten into Clary’s skin a lot better. Matthew Daddario also is a culprit of this, I like him overall, but when he has to be emotional, I don’t always believe him because I don’t think he’s that good consistently. Season 3 seems to be particularly hard on him, I don’t know why but it does, maybe he’s over it? lol, who knows, we’ll see what happens in the second half of season 3. I also didn’t think that Alan van Sprang was that good at being charming and his character was supposed to be, he tried it sometimes but I was like meh, you have to work on that.
Selfish Characters. I mean human nature is human nature but literally everyone in this show is selfish except for Magnus Bane. There are definitely levels to the selfishness, and sometimes they have great speeches that kind of mask just how selfish they are, which is fine but whenever I’m watching, I’m like “Does no one say THANK YOU!? around here?” the amount of times people ask Magnus to help them, they just expect him too and NO ONE THANKS HIM. I think Clary is the most guilty of this but unfortunately this is how it is when it comes to YA heroes, they’re usually selfish in some forms, but it’s really noticeable in this show. Like IT’S NOT ALWAYS ABOUT YOU!!
The Fantasy Aspect. So this show is technically a fantasy show with all of the fantasy elements it has, but my main thing is, they don’t really focus on that aspect of the show. It’s mostly drama. I like it don’t get me wrong, but in the first episode, we get introduced to so much stuff, not only is it overwhelming but it’s also underwhelming. We meet vampires, but we don’t really see them do anything but wear suits and talk, we’ve seen the werewolves but we’ve never really seen them do anything, unless one of them gets mad and loses control over personal reasons. We don’t really get to see anyone be a vampire or be a werewolf, or anything else. We learn things that Shadowhunters can do, and now that Jace and Clary have extra abilities due to their pure angel blood, we should see more of that. I think for a fantasy show, it misses a lot of that. Shadowhunters should relish in the world they’ve set up.
Stupid Decisions. The amount of stupidity in this show is crazy. Characters make really naive and stupid choices, I mean you HAVE to know that’s not going to work. One of the more notorious is when Clary and Jace were going to visit the Seelie Queen and Clary lets Simon come along. I knew that wasn’t going to end well (great scene though) but if she would have just told him NO! and then even left his ass somewhere, none of that would have happened. I mean, for drama and story sake it had to but it was so dumb. Also, whenever people act impulsively, and it turns out badly, I’m like “well what did you think was going to happen?” it happens so much that I just want to double slap everyone, literally everyone. Even Magnus who is my favorite makes dumb decisions but usually at the behest of someone else or the biggest thing I thought was ridiculous, was when Lilith went to him for a potion, I think it was clear he kind of doubted it but he still made it for her. I thought it was a little careless of him and stupid. It happens a lot with people being careless and stupid.
So Dramatic/Cheesy. THIS SHOW IS SO DRAMATIC AND CHEESY it hurts. I don’t know what else to say about it but it is lol and I love it.
Overall, look this show is so cheesy and a lot of times it just bad, however, I very much enjoy it. I like all of the characters, there is no main character that I don’t like. I think they’re all interesting, the actors play them well and I think they’re acting is good for the most part. Emeraude Toubia and Dominic Sherwood I think are standouts, especially in season two, they both did such a good job and Sherwood has been doing really well in season three. I think the show has a lot of emotional moments for the characters and that it handles those moment and the mature storylines pretty well. You get invested. I think the action and fight scenes are well choreographed and look pretty realistic, especially after the first season. All of the relationships, the friendships and romances happen in a slow burn way, I don’t feel that any of them were rushed into, or forced or unrealistic, this is the first time in a show like this, that I don’t hate at least one character, or that I don’t hate one romantic relationship in the show, it’s very surprising to me. On the other hand, the show is very cheesy and dramatic that it can get a little ridiculous but that’s part of the charm in ways. I do think some of the acting is very inconsistent and that it’s not always believable. Also, characters can be really selfish and dumb to the point where I curse them (But not hate them), there needs to be a lot of people saying “thank you” going forward in this show because some people go out of their way to help our main heroes and no one thanks them. That’s so selfish that it drives me insane. Also, people are so dumb sometimes, UGH!! I want to slap everyone but I still like them lol. I also think the fantasy aspect of the show is very lacking, I think it’s very underwhelming when it should feel like a gigantic part of the story but it really just feels like conventional additions. But listen, I very much enjoyed the show, I binged way faster than I thought would. I started watching the show to really watch an actor I enjoyed who shows up in season three but I ended up falling into the characters and the story, I even kind of want to read the books because I enjoy the show but I’m still iffy on that because I feel like the show improves on mediocre books since apparently the movie was closer to the book and the movie was terrible… but we’ll see. I can’t really comment on the books… yet. I can’t wait for the rest of season three.
Rating: 3.8 out of 5 stars.
P.S. I also just have to say, I was on Tumblr (which is dangerous) and I saw a lot of negativity towards Jace’s character. I haven’t read the books, so I don’t know how he is written but in the show, I think he’s likable, not always, but he is. I just started watching the show so I haven’t followed everything the actor has done, but I have read some things and while I don’t condone it, I don’t think that really should affect how people view the character. Jace is a tragic figure, and I do think the show focuses a lot on him but I don’t think it does it in a way that is detrimental to the other characters. I think Alec and Jace do have a strong brothership and the parabatai thing allows their relationship to be a bit more intimate but not in any other way than brothers. Alec and Magnus are sweet together and I don’t think that Alec would ever think negatively about Jace in a way that’s just mean. I’m sure they get on each other’s nerves and say things they don’t really mean but I don’t think Alec would make any choices that would cause the death of Jace or Magnus, or anyone he loves. He would rather die himself. At least that’s what I see from the show. I also don’t think that Jace would be offended if Alec did choose Magnus over him because he understands the pain Alec has gone through trying to be true to himself, plus Jace can take care of himself. In terms of the end of the finale, when Jace says “I’m going to get Clary”, I don’t think that was him completely ignoring what he did to Alec while under the influence of Lilith. He knew that Alec was good hands with Magnus and he trusts Magnus and in that moment, he was just thrown back into his body after being trapped in it for a long time, and Clary needed help. What was he going to do? Not help? Plus, I’m sure he was angry at what happened to him. I don’t think that constitutes being selfish. Anyway, I just had a lot to say about that and I wanted to get it off my chest because I think it’s a little ridiculous.
Have you seen Shadowhunters? What do you think about the show? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!
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