Authors I Love, Books I Love

The Mortal Instruments: Revisiting the Teenage Years

I just finished The Mortal Instruments series, books one through four, by Cassandra Clare. The series is based around sixteen-year old Clary Fray, who unbeknownst to her, is a shadow hunter. Shadow hunters fight the demons in the world and generally are invisible to humans. There are lots of fight scenes, angel and biblical mythology, as well as some vampires, werewolves, and warlocks. All in all, a fun read.

And, I did like it. But I’m sitting here trying to figure out exactly why. To be perfectly honest, the lead female protagonist was kind of annoying. She was always jumping into things, not thinking, putting herself and the people she cares about in danger.

But then I realize that is the essence of being a teenager. You have little to no impulse control. Every crush is the love of your life and all consuming. And you simply don’t think about the consequences of your actions. Moreover, you have fewer responsibilities than you will have in only a few short years. Looking back, it was full of angst and difficulty, but it truly the freest time in a person’s life.

And I think that’s why I liked these books. As an adult, I am always weighing the consequences of my actions and my speech. I can’t just say what I want to whomever I want. Because I know how damaging words can be. And crushes are no longer all consuming. They can’t be there are too many other possibilities to consider.

Okay, granted, I am married, so it’s been a while. But even if I were free to have an actable crush, at my age, it wouldn’t be a teenage crush – that all consuming think about one guy and nothing else. Because my life as an adult has a lot of ‘else.’ And if I lose focus, a lot of other people and things are affected.

Now granted as I read over this, it makes me sound like an automaton. Not true. I’m just a grown up. But as an adult, it’s nice to disappear into a world where you are free to make any decision you want without worry about consequences, to be completely consumed by passion and forget about everything else. To vicariously live the experience of being a teenager in its best ways, without any of the awkward hair moments.

So if you’re looking to escape back to your younger, freer, self take a stroll through the world of The Mortal Instruments. And sit back and enjoy the ride!


1 thought on “The Mortal Instruments: Revisiting the Teenage Years”

  1. I finishedthe series earlier this year and eagerly awaited the first movie. I had actually started previewing it for my 12 yr. old granddaughter. She is turning out to be quite the reader and like her grandmother likes the feel of a good book in her hands. We both have tablets, but sometmes you just have to feel a book. I agree with your assessment of the series. Clary wasn’t very endearing to begin with, but she grew on me. My granddaughter just finished with ‘City of Bones’. I took her to see the movie and she really enjoyed it.I think the movie was well cast, bringing the characters to life. She is a great fan of the ‘Hunger Games’ series also. I’d read more if the series continues. Thanks for the review. I enjoy your website. Quiltwork


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