Parent reviews for A Court of Thorns and Roses, Book 1

Common Sense says

Dark magic, gore, hot faerie romance mark mature fantasy.
Based on our expert review

Parents say

age 16+
Based on 34 reviews

Kids say

age 14+
Based on 129 reviews
Adult Written bylolas1 November 18, 2015

Lovely

A great book. My 12 year old has read this and loves it. Does have violence, swearing a and sex - but it's the 21st century. 99% of 12 year olds are well educated about sex and are very familiar with all swear words. As for violence; the world is filled with it.

This title contains:

Educational Value
Positive Messages
Positive role models
Adult Written byZisha7 April 22, 2020

Disgusting

Let's see.
1. Protagonist who is not a good role model AT ALL. Lets everyone push her around, doesn't listen to warnings and go off to dangerous places and dangerous people for no reason other than stubbornness.
2. Sexual abuse is seen as HOT.
3. No, I repeat, NO literary value. Poor inconsistent characterizations. Incoherent writing.
4. Sorry, but not sorry. The people who love this book are either 12 year olds who don't know any better about abuse or people who love this sort of thing. And people who have little reading experience.

This whole series is a plague. And young people are catching it because of greedy marketing. This is in NO way suitable for young kids.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Sexy stuff
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adult Written bydanib83 May 13, 2019

This series is adult fantasy erotica – not YA

I’m continuing to read this series not because I’m enjoying it – truly; the writing is mediocre at best, downright dull at worst – but because I had no idea of the harm it was perpetuating in the readership, and how rapidly it has distorted youth lit categories.

Maas is writing this series for adults, but I know that kids as young as 10 are reading it – and gatekeepers doing their due-diligence would see Bloomsbury metadata and think that was okay. It’s for those “teenagers 11+” after all.

This a series of flabby writing and lumpy plotting, poor representation and damaging sexual boundaries, particularly for female characters and readers – I cannot wrap my head around anyone younger than 15 reading it, and if you’re an adult on the fence as to whether or not you should be concerned that a young person in your life has delved into this murky world … I’d suggest you be very wary indeed.

When I started sharing on that I was reading ‘A Court of Thorns and Roses’ on my Insta-stories, I had more than one person come into my DM’s to see if I was aware of a little game the Internet likes to play with Sarah J Maas books … the game is to pick a passage from any given book and have someone guess if said passage is a sex-scene, or a bear attack.

And reader, having now read this book and started the second – I can assure you … it’s not always clear. And maybe I can justify some of it as titillating on one level, because I’m a 32-year-old woman.

But I know of kids as young as 10 who are reading this. And mostly, tween girls. And they’re having it presented to them as one of the complex romantic entanglements Feyre finds herself in in this series.

That’s a problem for me that I can’t forgive. Because as others have pointed out – the consent in this series is murky as all get out.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Sexy stuff
Adult Written byMarie Gray April 7, 2020

Fifty shades of Wings

If you let your kid read this you're a bad parent. First book is kind of ok, the rest is as bad as fifty shades! I'd set a limit of 15 year for this book. If you wouldn't let your 12 year old read porn novels, then don't let them read this. It is so unnecessary. There's plenty of entertainment to chose from, it doesn't have to be this. Let them keep their innocence for a little while longer.

This title contains:

Sexy stuff
Parent Written byAmanda H. January 31, 2019

Too much sex, unfortunately...

While I loved the plotline, character development, and snappy dialogue there were a couple detailed sex scenes I absolutely don't think is appropriate for a YA novel. Most of her other books have explicit sex scenes too.

This title contains:

Sexy stuff
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adult Written byStudiousStudent August 24, 2018

Not a Young Adult Novel

I am 19 and have been hesitant to read this book because I've heard of how sexual this book was. Don't get me wrong, there are two instances of the characters actually being together in this book. But this novel is so well-written, so enjoyable, and such a good story, that it is impossible to not recommend it. The only problem is, it's quite descriptive in those scenes, so, in my opinion, this novel is best for 18+.(as in adults.) This book is actually considered New Adult, which means the characters are still young (like Feyre, the main character of this series, is 19), but the content is geared more towards an older audience. I could never recommend this to a young 13 or 14-year old teenager. The sexual scenes are more of telling than showing, but it's still pretty sensual. There are numerous uses of strong language (s-word) used, and this book is also quite heavy on the violence. But I highly, highly recommend this if you're an adult.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Sexy stuff
Language
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Parent of a 12 and 13-year-old Written byAnne S. September 4, 2016

Well...

It's got a lot of sexual scenes but most 12 year olds learn about sex at 12 years old. I believe that kids shouldn't be sheltered but I wouldn't give this to a 8 year old. You have to consider your child's maturity, a 14 year old could be as mature as a 8 year old or a 19 year old. Also it's a good book to practise 'straight-face-reading'!
Gosh! You can tell I'm exhausted can't you?
Adult Written byEricaLB January 23, 2019

Not for Kids!!

The book is well written and I enjoyed it for the most part. Some plot holes and run-of-the-mill devices used but overall fun and creative. If you are a parent looking to see if this book (and the rest of the series) is suitable for your child, be aware that there are multiple scenes in the book that are nothing short of soft core pornography. Oral sex, descriptions of private parts to include “the proud thick length of him,” (Court of Mist and Fury book 2), are just a few of the adult topics you will find. My opinion is that these books do not belong in the young adult section but the adult fantasy section!

This title contains:

Sexy stuff
Adult Written bykeyzlime May 7, 2021

Consent Issues

I am not against children reading about sex, intimacy and romance. The issue with this novel is the lack of differentiation between love and lust. The relationship in this novel has a weak foundation between the characters. It is defined by their physical attraction to each other and an element of stockholm syndrome. It's not built on healthy connections, such as friendship, communication, shared values or trust/honesty. Some scenes could be considered abusive, and there are some major consent issues. It's not the sex that is concerning for young readers, but the idea of what a healthy relationship means.
Adult Written byCRMpip28 July 29, 2018

A GREAT series....for adults; Parents: read it first and then make a decision based on your child's maturity.

Ive read the whole series and, as a 22 year old, it is GREAT! However, this should not be read by anyone under the age of 18. There are quite a few sex scenes and they can get graphic...especially in the second book (A Court of Mist and Fury). This book requires a mature audience/reader. Many of the other reviews say 12 year olds are mature enough and know about all of the sexual details discussed in this book, and I would disagree. This content can be considered mildly pornographic and erotic. This is not for young minds/readers. Parents, Do your part and read this series first before handing it to your kids.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Sexy stuff
Adult Written byhello_there_dea February 25, 2021

Really Good book

This title contains:

Educational Value
Positive Messages
Positive role models
Adult Written byDiana White November 7, 2020

Questionable for younger audiences, great for older ones.

This book is a marvelous work of fantasy, however there are multiple points in which this book is not suitable for children. From the worst to least:
1. Sexual content. This book has detailed scenes of vivid imagery. Sentences include ‘taking in the thick, proud length of him’ and ‘his hips rolled forward, jutting it in farther.’
2. Violence. This book contains notable violence, in some instances under the influence, which brings us to my next point.
3. Drinking, smoking, and drugs. This book contains questionable choices when it comes to being responsible. However, for most people this is not disturbing.
3. Cussing, and other profanity. This book contains many, many cuss words, ranging to the f word to the simple h word.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Sexy stuff
Language
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adult Written byAshley C. May 8, 2018

Excellent Story - Amazing Fantasy!! BUT TOO mature for YA

I love fantasy! I love YA! I will pretty much read a novel if the story is intriguing and the writing is good. Sarah J Maas is a new favorite of mine. I cannot get enough. However, I still do not understand how this is marketed as YA. I would not want my 13, 14, 15 to read this. Just because our society ups the violence, language, and sex does not mean I want my child reading or watching at an inappropriate age. I guess I have a bigger problem with a preteen up to about middle school reading some of the more erotic passages in this novel and the sequels. I love Feyre's story, I just feel like this should be found in the Adult fantasy section.

This title contains:

Educational Value
Positive role models
Adult Written byUnknown 1234566 June 25, 2020

GREAT FOR CHILDREN 13 AND UP

it is a great book and surely recommend it to everyone....for children 13 and up

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Adult Written byamrengirl992 November 17, 2019

Amazing

I love this book as it is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast but it does contain some gore, sex scenes and swearing but children at the age of ten are mostly well educated on these topics. I've read this book as well as my ten year old daughter and she enjoyed it without finding it disturbing but it depends on the child.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Sexy stuff
Language
Adult Written byColineisconne567 July 29, 2019

Awesome book

This book was amazing, my 13 year really enjoyed the book. He told me that the scenes that a lot of parents have reported aren’t that bad. So than I personally read the book and it really does depend on the maturity of your child and when you think he or she should be introduced to all of that. I very much enjoyed the book the plot was amazing and the story was great
Adult Written byApril R. October 20, 2015

recommend older age level

I really loved the book, but as a parent and a library specialist, I would not recommend this book for the 15 year old. At the very youngest a 16 yr old, but more likely 17. The overall book is fine, but there are very descriptive sexual content scenes. There are a few swear words, but what i would consider minor in the great sheme of things.

This title contains:

Sexy stuff
Adult Written bybearbaity December 30, 2021

Some considerations

I think it wise to read this yourself first, and if you are unwilling to do so, or it's not your style - err on the side of caution and delay a year longer before recommending this to your child. I've just finished it and am happy to let my 15 year old read it. When I was much younger, 12 -13 I discovered much more sexually explicit books and delighted in them, which is all part of growing up. Chances are, if you're questioning if your teenager can handle sexual content - you're too late anyway due to what they've undoubtedly already consumed.

Having said that, all children are different and only you know your child. I wouldn't let my 12 year old read this - and not only because of the sexual content. The relationship between the two main characters, and consensual sex that occurs as the result of a loving connection that's described (not in explicit detail) isn't the issue. The graphic and heart wrenching graphic torture scenes that crop up frequently, especially towards the end, are.

This book should make a parent wary not because sex occurs. It's vague enough the deeper meaning is lost on younger readers without the experience to draw on, and the implications in print are, for the most part, wrapped up in themes of love and mutual respect. This book requires special consideration when suggesting or buying it for a younger reader because the implications of, and psychological effects of the explanations of physical pain being inflicted on others for sadistic pleasure, and exploring those themes requires some consideration as to whether you believe your child is ready to tackle such ideas.

Whilst some sexual content focusing on the objectification of women is touched on at the end, much of the deeper connotations are lost to the less experienced - and pretending these elements aren't an intrinsic part of the very fabric of society is naïve and you do your teenage daughter a disservice by pretending otherwise.

Do I wish my daughter's never had to know or experience the most unpleasant side of of sexism and objectification? Of course. Will it serve them to pretend it doesn't exist and censor any material that alludes to it? Absolutely not. Children are corrupted not by the content they consume so much as by the repeated actions of society that doesn't fail to reach their notice.
Creative material like this serves to unify female experiences and acknowledge the existence of injustices that are undoubtedly already aware of, and provide an avenue for which to relate their building collective experiences in a way that is meaningful and important for women's voices to be heard finally.

Does your 12 year old need to be aware of these issues, no not yet probably. Is it terrible if they are, also no. If they weren't ready for the material - they wouldn't be able to proceed.

Do I think a level headed 14 or 15 year old can handle this? Absolutely.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Adult Written byRiver Chalmet November 6, 2021

The Truth About A Court of Thorns and Roses

Overall, the book was delightful! While there is some more mature content, the story retained all the beauty a fantasy novel is supposed to possess. I very much enjoyed reading this novel, and it’s sequels.
I appreciate how the characters are all of a younger adult age range (18-late 20s), which makes the characters relatable to both older teens and adults alike.
The writing style of this book is 1st person, which differs vastly from the writing in Maas’s first series, “Throne of Glass”. The style fits the story well. Maas writes with a finesse most YA and NA authors do not possess. I recommend her books highly, as they are quality tales: very complex, written well, and the characters are well developed.
My only hesitation to recommend is the sex scenes. While I put that bluntly, they are not too graphic. But they are still in the novel, so you should keep that in mind. But the plot is so good that it doesn’t even need to rely on the sex scenes, so that is it’s redeeming quality.
Fall in love with this book, it’s world, and the characters.
Enjoy!
Adult Written bynicole04 October 21, 2021
Love the series! Just wanted to make sure readers are aware that it is an erotic romance, with very detailed sex scenes (first book is not that explicit, but as the books progress the explicitness increases).

This title contains:

Sexy stuff

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