Book to Film: City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones

WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD FOR CITY OF BONES

To say that I have been anxiously awaiting this movie would be an understatement. I’m a huge Cassandra Clare fan and I love every book she has written so far. I was really excited when I found out a few years ago that City of Bones was going to be made into a film, and after such a long time of just being “in the works”, the movie is finally here! So, how does it compare to the book?

There is a very small percentage of movies that are better than the books they are based on, at least in my opinion. I definitely was not expecting the movie to be better than the book because things are always changed/cut out for one reason or another. While the movie wasn’t amazing, it was still a pretty good adaptation in my opinion.

I had been very nervous when I heard that Jamie Campbell Bower had been cast as Jace because for some reason I just could not see it at all. However, after seeing the movie, I think he actually did a really good job! He brought Jace’s wry humor and arrogant attitude to the screen very well, and he did a good job of acting more vulnerable and sensitive when he was alone with Clary. Lily Collins did an excellent job as Clary, and there was definitely some great chemistry between Jace and Clary on screen. As for the supporting cast, I would have to say my favorite was Simon–he did a really great job and he was exactly how I had pictured Simon in the books.

There were, of course, some changes from book to film. Now I haven’t read City of Bones in a few years so correct me if I’m wrong here, but I seem to remember the whole Simon becoming a vampire thing happening in the first book. While Simon’s abduction by vampires happened in the movie, it was only hinted at that he would later become one. I could’ve sworn this happened in the first book but I could be wrong. Also, in the book the final scene with Valentine and Jace and Clary occurs at some abandoned house somewhere, while in the movie it happens at the Institute. I would imagine this change served budget purposes–they wouldn’t have to build another set/find another off site place to film–but the only thing that bothered me about this is that the Institute is supposed to be their safe house and suddenly it was so easy for all of these people to break in? Kind of defeats the purpose a bit.

Overall, The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones was a good film with great casting and really well done action scenes. While it is not the best book to film adaptation, it is most certainly nowhere near the worst. I really enjoyed this one and I look forward to seeing the next film!

The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones was released in theaters on August 21, 2013 and is based on City of Bones by Cassandra Clare, which was released on March 27, 2007.

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2 thoughts on “Book to Film: City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

  1. Great review, Jen!! I really liked this movie too!! I haven’t read this book in forever, so I wasn’t sure how accurate things were either. Now we have Catching Fire to anxiously await!

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