All member reviews for City of Bones: The Mortal Instruments, Book 1

Common Sense Media says

Exciting start to teen fantasy series in urban setting.

Users say

(out of 138 reviews)
age 12+
Review this title!
Teen, 17 years old Written bytrackgirl175 July 18, 2009

best since harry potter

i love love love LOVE this book. best ever. the characters suck you into the story and keep you guessing till the very end, and even after that. there is just enough romance to get tweens interested but not so much that they're lying awake thinking about terrible things. the blood is no big deal because THERE ISN'T THAT MUCH. great book, i highly reccommend
Teen, 13 years old Written bySky Trekker February 6, 2012

Really really good!

I thought this book and series are amazing. It is funny, interesting, and gripping. And really, why is it a big deal that there's minor swearing and gay characters? There's nothing wrong with that, is there? No. The adults who say that it is 17 and up must be way too protective as parents. I scoff at you.
What other families should know
Great role models
Parent of a 14 year old Written byTwilight Mom August 27, 2009

Great for adults, use discretion for tweens, inappropriate for children

There was a lot of minor curse words and one gd word in this book. The book would have been just as good if not better if it had left out the language. The plot was awesome, the action kept you on the edge of your seat. Could not put it down. As a parent, I edited out the curse words so my 14 yr old could read it.
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Teen, 15 years old Written byClearastheSea April 13, 2011

Definitely iffy for teens and definitely NOT for tweens.

This series, as a whole, is too sexual to be appropriate for kids 12+. There are multiple scenes implying sex, especially later in the series. A girl is described as having her shirt unbuttoned displaying her bra while kissing a boy.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Teen, 15 years old Written bybibliophile February 5, 2009

Wonderful Read!

This book was absolutely amazing! A beautiful plot, intriguing characters, and great action. There is swearing fairly often, including sh-t, p-ss, d-mn, h-ll, -ss, and the Lord's name in vain. One guy is mentioned as being gay, and another man winks at him and says 'call me'. Maybe an innuendo or two. It was truly a wonderful book that I recommend to anyone thirteen and older.
Parent of a 12 and 14 year old Written bypatriciap63 April 7, 2011

Great Series!

Great series, good adventure
Educator and Parent Written byGot_Books August 18, 2013

12? Not in my house. Great book for older teens and adults only.

This book is an exciting fantasy adventure. However, parents should be warned. The age rating given by the reviewer, Matt Berman, is way off. As a mom, I would never allow my young teen to read this book. Granted, most inuenddos will go right over their heads. But, I don't agree with exposing them so early. Within the first few chapters, you can expect to find: -Drug and alcohol use -Underage clubbing -Sexual tension and inuendos -Violence -Powerless parenting -Homosexuality ***Parents- This series is a prime example of why you should always read books first. You know your child and can judge a book's appropriateness better than anyone. This is an appropriate series for 16 and up. I would highly recommend for older teens and adults. -
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 14 years old Written byGill.ox July 27, 2009

Adored this book!

This is one of my favourite books! It's exciting and always keeps you guessing with new suprises at every turn. From the moment I picked up this book, I was addicted! Cassandra Clare keeps you hanging with every page!
Parent of a 11 and 13 year old Written bystarbox June 29, 2009

A Twilight-esque fantasy that will appeal to boys.

It's hard for me not to review this novel independantly of the second and third book in the trilogy - which reader's of the first novel will be compelled to read. They are fun books with lots of references to demonology and angels - most of which are based in Judeo-Christian mythology. The books, in my opinion, neither support nor directly contradict a reader's faith (or lack of faith) - and reader's will likely put these books down entertained and with their world-view unimpacted. There are no explicit sexual encounters, but there are numerous scenes with lots of sexual tension and kissing. Many of these scenes are between two characters that believe they are biological siblings. Two supporting characters have a homosexual relationship. Teen characters drink at parties. There are almost constant and graphic descriptions of demon-killing. The adults in this novel are almost all negligent, untrustworthy, or evil. I read these on the recommendation of a ninth-grade student. I think they will appeal to teens and will likely interest boys much more than the Twilight phenomenon has. However, due to the content and the teens behaving solidly as teens, I'd put the age limit a bit higher than the main review and reserve them for high schoolers.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Teen, 16 years old Written byJ-Yo June 30, 2011

Angels and Demons– done differently.

One of my top five favorite book series (up there with Harry Potter and the Hunger Games). While it may seem like a guilty pleasure novel at first, this story does have some intriguing allusions to angels and almost Islamic beliefs about them. It has positive messages about friendship and overcoming prejudice (One character is gay, another is a rather scary-looking warlock that's good at heart). Violence is prominent (hey, they're demon slayers) but is never overdone. Sexual references are present, but as I said, they're only references. Sex does not actually occur.
What other families should know
Educational value
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Parent of a 9 and 12 year old Written bybenya January 8, 2010
I am reading it now and I am quite surprised that the main page says there was only a mention of herbal exctasy. In the first 5 pages there was a cocaine mention (packet of white powder), herbal exctacy(ha I cant even spell it!), not to mention the mention of a hardcore makeout session.. It stinks cause gramma got it and my 12.5 y/o is done with 1&2. Oh and the smoking of Clove cigs, which just became legal again where I live. However she knows my stance on drugs and she has one of her own. The thing is those things went right over her head. She didnt know what they meant. I wonder how much of the book she even gets. Seems like a complicated storyline if you dont even get those references. We'll use it as a way to talk about things. I read Christopher Pike as a 12 y/o and recently reread one. There were refernces to coke there even then. It's funny I didn't get it as a kid. But, It also didnt cause me to became a drug addict, sexual deviant or anything else I am worried about happening to my kid.
Educator Written bycrazy for reading August 4, 2011

Just Say NO

I teach English to 7th, 8th, and 9th grades, and I won't have this book in my classroom. I read only the first chapter or two and had to put it down. I read LOTS of young adult fiction, especially fantasy, but this was too much for me.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 13 years old Written byBloody Gorgeous February 1, 2009

Beyond my Expectations

Considering this book sloshes together witches, warlocks, werewolves, vampires, and even demons, I was a little scared of how it would turn out. I was suprised. This book was really entertaining. It has some good twists, although you can probably compare some parts to other books and movies. Besides that, It's a great book. I absoulutely fell in love with Jace. But hey, is there many teen books where you don't fall in love with a character? I can't wait to read City of Ashes!! I only said 12 years old because i want kids to actually understand ans soak up all the great stuff theyre reading!
Adult Written bypatriciao May 11, 2011

Caution, not for young teens.

I bought this book on the advice of a friend's 12 year old daughter for my 13 year old son. He was reading another book so I read it. I was a little shocked to be truthful. The kids go to all age clubs and are out at midnight or after on Sunday night. There is reference to drinking, drugging and smoking at the club although the types of drinks and drugs are not of our world. There is mention of Herbal Estacy use. One kid drinks a cocktail he shouldn't have and turns into a mouse. The cocktails are very attractively described in the book. There is clove cigarette smoking but not by the main characters. There is tons of bloody violence with lots of graphic detail. In the book they are killing demons and other creatures not of our world but there is still blood and gore and vivid descriptions of the violent killings. I think it's definitely a book for older teens and not appropriate for 13 and under. I have enjoyed reading the book and am now reading the next one (City of Ashes) but I am not going to offer them to my son just yet.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Parent of a 13 year old Written byrkskymuffin February 27, 2011
this book was really good if you like the whole wearwolfs and vampire thing!!!!
Teen, 16 years old Written byKaylitchka March 19, 2010

Perfect for older kids, but not for tweens

Ok, First of all, PArents if your kids are not 16 and up DO NOT let them read this book. It is a terrifically written book if you are old enough to understnad these things. Language is HORRIBLE in this book. And there are several references to sexual situations but none that are graphic or display any thig inapporpriate, just refernces. It is fantasy so there are lots of demons and dark features. If your child is under the age of 16, its not for them. This is coming from a teen, so trust me... 16+ will enjoy this book alot but other wise, wait til they are older
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Adult Written byLaurenG 1 June 6, 2015

?

I have read some of the reviews and I highly disagree. What is it with all this gays and lesbian things? So you're saying if there was just straight people it would be appropriate for age 13? Are you people all homosexual or something I have no problem with gays or lesbians and I dont agree with people saying this stuff. This book is a great story and it kept me intrigued and excited all the way through. I definatley recommend this book.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Teen, 15 years old Written byFhelan February 19, 2012

Meh...

I read half of chapter one and couldn't bring myself to finish the chapter. In the little that I read, a 15-year old girl and her friend went to an all ages club with drugs, drinking, herbal ecstasy, and make out sessions in the back. Pretty vulgar stuff for the first few pages of a book. I tried my hardest to finish the chapter, but the book didn't interest me at all. I'd find something a little less risqué to read than this.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Kid, 12 years old January 3, 2014

Great, but some mature scenes

I am not quite a teen yet and I heard of this book through one of my BFF's. Knowing her, I was not expecting to read the book because she does not have an issue with swearing/inaproprietness where as I do. I started the beginning and thought "I am SO not gonna read this book" for it took place in a club. A month or two later this book came up again so I figured I'd try again. I DO NOT REGRET IT. This series along with the Divergent trilogy are my favourites. I am a faithful Harry Potter fan but I must say, it was very thrilling and had many twists. In terms of mature content, there was some swearing but I am around those words every day at school so it didn't bother me ,much though I know not to repeat them. I do not enjoy/ take pleasure in…sexual scenes. In this first book out of 5 and soon to be 6 hardly had anything serious in it, some kissing… however I found especially towards the end of the series there were some paragraphs i simply skipped for as I said, I do not take pleasure in those scenes nor do I feel the urge to read them. They hardly mention it but I would suggest the reader knew about the creation of a baby. In terms of homosexuality, AKA gayness, there is a gay couple in this series. I know that the way gay people live is a bit different then a "straight" person but they are just as kind or fun as the next person, therefore I personally (nor my parents) do not have a problem with some gayness but of course, not TO much…:) Violence? Yes, there is quite a bit of violence ( they are demon hunters) but generally comparable to Harry Potter. Gorryiness? Not much, there was a very minimal level of gorrr, just enough to get the message through. I am a Christian, Catholic to be exact so hearing that it was about demons and angels fighting, I thought it would be offensive to my religion but it was not. To sum it up, if your child knows what he/she should not read or what to skip through, don't worry. If not…wait till at least 13-14
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Educator and Parent Written bychattamyers January 24, 2013

Exciting adventure for older kids

The first few chapters include violence, rude comments and profanity that are not necessary or helpful for the story line. Once past that, the characters and plot takes you on an adventure both exciting and gripping. While I personally look forward to reading the next in the series, I would only recommend this book for high school children, not younger.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

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