Jen’s Movie Review: The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones

Loved it! Two thumbs up! High five! Gold star! Home run!

Mortal-Instruments-City-of-Bones-Movie-Logo-wide-560x282Okay, I wanted to make my opinion clear right off the bat, because I’ve been seeing a lot of negative reviews for The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, and I’m annoyed and frustrated by them. From a moviegoers standpoint, I thought City of Bones was entertaining, well paced and filled with plenty of eye candy (and I’m not just talking about Jamie Campbell Bower). And from a book nerd’s perspective, I felt the movie did a great job transporting Cassandra Clare’s Shadowhunter tale to the big screen. Even more impressively, it tempted me to go back and re-read the entire Mortal Instrument series.

MORTAL-INSTRUMENTS-GUIDE_612x380Before I go any further, let me say two things: 1) I’m not a die-hard fan of The Mortal Instruments. I enjoyed the books, but they’re not my favorite YA series out there. I much prefer Cassandra Clare’s prequel series, The Infernal Devices. And 2) I had very, very low expectations for this movie. In fact, before the the lights went down and the opening credits began rolling, I leaned over to my sister and said, “Don’t hold your breath. I think this is going to suck.”

But it didn’t. And I was SHOCKED!

-The-Mortal-Instruments-City-of-Bones-stills-shadowhunter-chronicles-34441022-2048-1365Overall, I thought the acting was superb, the plot nicely adapted and the casting near perfect. Lily Collins was beautiful, alluring and believable as Clary, and Jamie Campbell Bower was sexy, witty and, well, Jace (I’m not ashamed to admit that I totally have a goo-goo-gaga crush on him now). These two leads were wonderfully supported by Jemima West as Isabelle, Kevin Zegers as Alec, and Lena Headey as Jocelyn. And nobody could’ve played the role of Simon better than Robert Sheehan. He was funny, endearing and mundane-ishly heroic.

In my opinion, the only miscast was Godfrey Gao as Magnus Bane. Physically, he was great. Acting wise, he was stiff, dull and not at all flouncy, eccentric or magical like I imagined his character to be.

Luckily, he wasn’t in the film that much, so he didn’t ruin the whole thing for me.

As far as the actual adaption went, I thought it was well done. I know lovers of The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones are probably complaining about things that were changed, added or dropped. Personally, I was a little sad I didn’t get to see Jace’s demon flying motorcycle after the battle at Hotel Dumort. However, as a book fanatic, I’ve learned a hard lesson over the years: movies are not books. They don’t have the luxury of time to cover every single detail of a 485-page book. So as long as the adaptation captures the essence of the story, hits upon the major plot points and includes the main characters, I’m happy.

And City of Bones did all of those things.

The-Mortal-Instruments-City-of-Bones-Image-01

Now, is The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones the best movie ever? Uh, no. Will it rack up a bunch of Oscars in the spring? Nooo. BUT was it fun, engaging and witty like the books? Hell yes! In fact, my sister (clueless to most YA book series like this one, and quickly bored by movies in general) was leaning forward in her seat the whole time and constantly whispering questions at me (my favorite being, “Oh God, is Simon a demon?” Ha!). And when we walked out of the theater, she admitted she had a ridiculous crush on Jace. I believe her exact words were, “Ohhh, yeahhh.”

the-mortal-instrumentsYeah…I totally agree with her 😉

I truly hope City of Bones does well enough at the box office so that its sequel, City of Asheswill be brought to life for fans too. And I really hope people don’t listen to all the negative reviews out there. Because. They. Are. WRONG!

Look, just remember when you walk into the theater with your candy and popcorn, this movie isn’t going to be exactly like the book. They never are. So get over it, sit down and enjoy it! I mean, seriously, if you can stomach the cheesy Twilight films and the nasty adaption of Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief, then The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones is going to be like a slice of yummy, delicious, ooey gooey chocolate cake!

Jen’s Rating:

images-1images-1images-1images-1bw-1

Summer Reads – Part 1

Happy Monday! As summer slowly draws to a close (so sad!), I’ve decided to go back and reflect upon the books I read this season. Some were great, some were not so great. I suppose that’s to be expected when you’re willing to give anything a shot, right? So, without further ado, here are my Summer Reads, Part 1.

Walking Disaster by Jamie McGuire

15745950
If you’re looking for an entertaining romantic read about a dysfunctional couple, then here you go! Walking Disaster is the sequel to the New York Times bestseller, Beautiful Disaster. Well, it’s not really a sequel. It’s the same story as before, only this time it’s told from Travis’s, not Abby’s, perspective.

To be honest, I enjoyed this version of the turbulent love story a lot more. I liked living inside Travis’s head and seeing things from his POV. It also helped me understand his crazy mood swings and violent, put-a-restraining-order-on-him behavior. The only downside was I didn’t like Abby in this version. Even more than the original, she came across as a heartless you-know-what.

Jen’s Rating:

3 Star

For a fully synopsis, click here.

City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare
8755776
I finally read the fifth installment of The Mortal Instruments series after purchasing it back in October 2012. After eagerly buying it, I set it aside so I could first finish my pile of library books (because, heaven forbid, I take any of them back unread!). Well, before I knew it, six months had passed and I still hadn’t read City of Lost Souls. Oops!

Well, I’m happy to announce I read it and I liked it! Just like the first four books in The Mortal Instrument series, City of Lost Souls kept me turning pages faster than Camille Belcourt can blink. I’m still creeped out by Clary’s brother’s incestuous infatuation with her, but then, who wouldn’t be? So, if you enjoy witty banter, fast-paced action and memorable characters, this is a great book/series to pick up.

I look forward to finishing the series when City of Heavenly Fire is released on May 27th, 2014. And don’t forget! The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones hits the big screen on August 21st!

Jen’s Rating:
3 Star

For a full synopsis, click here.

Blue Bloods by Melissa de la Cruz

872333
Okay, so back in March, during the NCAA’s March Madness craze, I came across a “YA Swoon Madness” bracket. Yeah, I know. Score! My friend Kelsey and I were giggling and laughing like two high school girls, debating which YA beau should win this awesome tournament. (All of you Delirium fans should be happy to know it was Alex that took home the big prize). Anyways, I decided to use this bracket as a resource and marked down all of the books I hadn’t read, including Blue Bloods.

As luck would have it, I found Blue Bloods at a garage sale a couple of weeks later. I even bought its sequel, figuring the risk was worth the 50 cents. Unfortunately, it wasn’t. This vampire tale was…boring. I’m not sure if it’s because I’m officially over vampires, or if the story itself was a snooze, or if I felt like I needed to be a 14-year old to really enjoy it. Whatever the case, I don’t plan on continuing the Blue Bloods series. Its sequel will simply have to accept its grim, dusty fate on my bookshelf…Or, more likely, in a box at yet another garage sale.

Jen’s Rating:

1 Star

For a full synopsis, click here.

Defiance by C.J. Redwine

11410430
This YA novel came upon the trusty recommendation of a co-worker. And, as expected, her suggestion paid off. Defiance was an adventurous combination of The Hunger Games, Legend and Enclave. You have a kick-ass female protagonist, a cute boy, and a monster that bursts from the ground and scorches everything and anything in its path. It doesn’t get much better than that! My only complaint would be the ending. I know that in the genre of YA, series are practically expected. But this felt like it could’ve ended after one. Nonetheless, I’m planning on checking out Defiance’s sequel, Deception, which can be purchased on August 27th.

Jen’s Rating:

3 Star

For a full synopsis, click here.

I’ll be posting Part 2 of my Summer Reads soon! Stay tuned!