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

City of Bones: The Mortal Instruments, Book 1 Poster Image

Common Sense says

age 12+

Based on our expert review

Parents say

age 13+

Based on 32 reviews

Kids say

age 12+

Based on 217 reviews

age 13+

Read something else

This book is not great. Not because it's too inappropriate or anything (though there is an odd romance dynamic between characters who think they are cousins), but it is a boring and unremarkable book. It isn't worth spending the time to read. By all means, let your kids read it if they want, but just know that there are so many better YA books than this. There is some swearing, sex, and violence, but not much more than is typical for books in this category.
1 person found this helpful.
age 13+

It was boring.

I, as a 13 year old, really didn't like this book. Even though my peers recomended this, I didn't really get into it. Relationships between the characters were too unrealistic. You don't ignore you best friend for a random dude who kills things. It has some good ideas, but, most of the time I could barely read it because it was so boring. Ps. Werewolves cannot just become a person or a wolf whenever they want to, and vampires don't turn into rats. Pps. Too much in common with Twilight and I hated Twilight

This title has:

Too much violence
Too much swearing
1 person found this helpful.
age 18+

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.

This title has:

Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
1 person found this helpful.
age 12+
Don't even try reading this..... Don't pick it up. Just don't. spare yourself from this...... book.... I'm sorry but this book was just plain awful. This was one of the only books i could not even finish
age 2+

who would win in a fight simon (city of bones) or meredith (bratz the movie)

city of bones. oh my my my, what a book this novel was. it met my expectations, and i expected it to be pretty bad, so the best thing i can say about it is that I knew what i was getting into. It wasn't funky and fabulous, and CERTAINLY wasn't rowdy or real. i couldn't stand the two leads, clay and jacey boy, and none of the side characters had bratitude (although Isabelle did have that attitude, so she was my favorite). however i did like simon turning into a rat that was pretty funny. whenever im sad i like to reread that scene. "My best friend is a RAT!" will never fail to make me smile. also the incest reveal was gross and unnecessary, and i was planning to rate this book 2 stars but it got demoted to 1 simply because of that part. however, the one redeeming quality was the similarites it had to Bratz: The Movie (2007). Both of these stories explore the ideas of found family (the best trope i will not be taking criticism) and family not ending with blood. Some of the Bratz in Bratz: The Movie (2007) have dysfunctional or stressful home lives (like how Cloe's mother is struggling financially and how Sasha is being forced to work as a mediator between her 2 parents) but it is mentioned often how the rest of the girls are always there to support them. This is mirrored in City of Bones, when Valentine is using the fact that he is clarys father to manipulate her, but clary comes to the conclusion that luke is her real father, because he was in her life and actually supported her. These stories both explore chosen famliy and family not ending with blood beautifully (actually thats not true none of them do a great job at it but at least they do it so im saying it counts). Overall, City of Bones is kind of a mess and all the characters are annoying and jace is a nasty little btich boy and i hate him and the incest reveal is super weird but for some people id say give it a shot!
age 12+

wouldn’t recommend— incestttt, world is cool tho

Incestttt wtffffff. The world building is cool tho, but the plot is really predictable and the writing is pretty bland. And the only reason I marked it is having too much sex is because the only romantic part (a couple kisses) is between BROTHER AND SISTER, just no. Aslloo, I thought it was really insensitive how Clary treated Alec about his clearly ashamed of sexuality. Seriously not cool, I mean she kinda apologized for it at the end but still. And I know I’ll probably end up starting the next book because I already have it, but I wish I hadn’t started the series because seriously you guys the incest part is soo gross I can’t even—

This title has:

Too much sex
age 11+

Really not that bad as people make it!!!

Can I just say that a lot people (quite a few haven’t even read the books) are making these books sound bad. Honestly, I have read it all the way through at the age of 13 and I say they are over exaggerating the “bad” stuff. (Some of the side series and spin offs have a little more though. But you don’t have to read them of course!!) First of all, I started reading this series when I was 12 and I absolutely loved it. When I turned 13 I got the rest of the series and decided to recommend some of my friends to read it. Every single one of my friends have started reading it so they have a fresher memory than me for what happens in the earlier books. So I have used more than one source (my age) for this review which makes it more reliable in my opinion. Since when does making out mean sex? Yes there are some making out sessions and one might slide their hands over another’s body, but I see this every week out in public!! It’s not that bad!! There are drugs in the first few chapters of the first book but it is SO subtle that I completely forgot about it until I read some of the reviews by parents who have probably only read the bit of the book. As long as whoever is reading this knows that you shouldn’t do drugs, it’s fine! And the main characters didn’t even do it!! Violence… in my opinion, anyone who has read quite a few fantasy books (like Harry Potter) will get over it! Most of it is stabbing demons and I’m fairly sure that are no demons out there for your child to “stab”. Obviously if your child is not ok with violence (there is a little bit of violence on people) then don’t let them read it. It’s up to you and their limits to make a decision. LGBTQIA+ references. I do not understand why people are still homophobic! I mean it’s 2022! So yes one of the characters is gay and on other bisexual and also there are two lesbians but the author was FORCED to make their moments (kissing and what not) small. If not the books would be banned from even more libraries! I mean just get over it! Swearing. Oh my word. These books, like Harry Potter, just say “they swore under their breath” or stuff like that. Ok yes the B WORD is said- I’d say around 4 times around the WHOLE series. They’ve probably heard worse. It isn’t actually considered a swear word. That’s why a lot of movies and tv shows are only rated pg even when it is said. Songs on Spotify aren’t usually explicit if they only contain it either. It’s not like they are going to go around and say it over and over again just because it’s said in a book!! In conclusion, I highly recommend this series for any fantasy lover or even just someone who likes quirky romances! It was really good and the characters are AMAZING! I hope this wasn’t too long and this has convinced some people that it really isn’t that bad!

This title has:

Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
age 14+

Really good, but it gets a tad spicier in later books

I read this series when I was about 12, I'd recommend for maturity reasons 14+ but it really just depends on your kid. There is a spicy scene in either the last or second to last book (they have sex in a cave). It doesnt go into crazy detail but if your kid isnt ready mentally for spicy scenes then I'd skip on letting them read this. It also has incestuous undertones here and there so there is that. I enjoyed the series but those undertones made it awkward to read at times. Outside the cave scene, there are sexually intense scenes littered throughout but nothing past an intense make out/lose a garment or two and skip to the end of it all. Happy reading!!
age 9+

Undeveloped Writing Style Mars Otherwise Exciting Teen Fantasy

Parents need to know that City of Bones is the first book in the wildly successful Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare. The Writing in this book is only okay, and at times poor. The plot is exciting and the characters are great, but the drawback of the writing makes this novel not as good as some better YA novels such as Hunger Games or Divergent. As for iffy stuff, some violence against demons. The sequels and spinoff series to this novel are much better, but still, you'll have to get through this one first.

This title has:

Too much violence
age 13+

The BEST Book You Will EVER Read

This book (and every single other book by Cassandra Clare, actually) is AMAZING, the characters are complex and well developed. There's a lot of sarcasm and perfectly timed humor, especially most interactions between Simon and Jace, I have several favourite passages between them. Two of the characters are gay, and I love the relationship between them. There is some violence in this book, however it's not anywhere NEAR as gruesome as the reviews sound, just a lot of demons and killing them with seraph blades and they explode but it's very mild. I rate this book for 13 and up because it's appropriate for 11-12 year olds, but I think older kids might actually get the message better and find this book more interesting. I can't remember where I got this first, but I got to sucked into it so fast, and recommended it to all my friends who have all also read these books. Since reading this book, I have made a promise to myself to read every single book by Cassandra Clare that ever comes out, and so far I have read 17/19 current books and NO disappointment at all. If you're looking for a high-fantasy, fiction, romance, slightly mystery and comedic book, you will LOVE this book.

This title has:

Great role models