From Page to Screen: City of Bones (2013)

From Page to Screen: City of Bones (2013)City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
Published by Simon and Schuster on 2013-07-09
Pages: 485

Don’t miss The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, now a major motion picture. Discover this first installment of the internationally bestselling Mortal Instruments series and “prepare to be hooked” (Entertainment Weekly).Enter the world of the Shadowhunters in this special edition of the New York Times bestselling City of Bones, complete with gorgeous cover art from the movie. When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder—much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. And she’s more than a little startled when the body disappears into thin air. Soon Clary is introduced to the world of the Shadowhunters, a secret cadre of warriors dedicated to driving demons out of our world and back to their own. And Clary is introduced with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is almost killed by a grotesque monster. How could a mere human survive such an attack and kill a demon? The Shadowhunters would like to know…

It occurred to me that book lovers are often the best (and most critical) audience for movie adaptations of our favorite books so I thought I’d create a semi-regular feature called “From Page to Screen”. I want to bring you my honest impressions of movies based on the books that I’ve read.

With that being said, I recently rented “City of Bones” and was mildly surprised at how much I liked it. It definitely wasn’t the best movie I’ve ever seen but I think it was a pretty decent adaptation. Jace looks EXACTLY as I pictured him. In fact, all of the characters lived up to my visual expectations (especially Magnus Bane). I did find that Isabelle’s whip was more dramatic than she was, but overall I’m pretty happy with how they were portrayed.

I was also pleasantly surprised to find that they stuck pretty close to the book’s story line. I saw the dreadful adaptation of “Beautiful Creatures” and was SO disappointed in the way the story changed. If I can gather the gumption to revisit that movie, I’ll be sure to post another “From Page to Screen” post. Basically, it was awful and I was angry that I paid $6.99 to rent it On Demand. Ugh.

What’s interesting to me about the “City of Bones” though is that the book was utterly addictive and the movie was entirely forgettable. I remember sitting through the movie and liking it but there wasn’t anything that really stood out to me that would seal it as a high quality, unforgettable adaptation like “The Hunger Games”.

Book vs. Movie: Book wins, read my review here.


© 2014, Jessica Workman Holland. All rights reserved.

  • I liked this movie too. I don’t think we will see a second one though. But I didn’t think it was that bad. It has been many years since I read the book so I didn’t remember a whole lot from the book so I didn’t get to compare this one as much as I wanted to. Great feature.

    • Jessica

      Yeah, I got the impression that there wouldn’t be another one either. That’s the problem with a lot of YA movie adaptations, they never seem to do well enough to warrant making the other books. It’s disappointing. Thanks for stopping by!