I began reading this as students at school showed increasing interest in the works of Sarah Maas. (Not a strong fantasy fan, but I love this “Beauty and the Beast” B&B variation.)
Initially, I connected this with how I felt reading Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater (review here) – writing which appeals to primal senses as the story evolves. Mix in B&B, faeries, and worlds in crisis, and you have an inkling of what ‘A Court of Thorns and Roses’ is all about.
A strong female lead (like Katniss), romance and a world where things aren’t always as they seem – even when you think you have it figured out. What a great mix!
That said, however, there are elements of the story which readers and their parents may wish to consider. This is not your average faerie world, and certainly not a Disney version of B&B. There is quite horrific violence at times, as well as evil beings and lustful scenes; so not for a young or immature YA reader. Indeed, some of the reviews on Commonsense Media reflect this – the kids love it, parents are cautious about the age group appropriateness: https://www.commonsensemedia.org/book-reviews/a-court-of-thorns-and-roses-book-1
[Note to self: this may make this more appealing to YA readers…]
Beyond that, there is also the consideration of what the next books have to offer – Sarah J. Maas fans love this series! Like Harry Potter, the characters and the issues they face ‘mature’. The development of series: that’s another story (touched upon in the above link).
Fantasy takes us to another world. Should our personal morals apply/judge as we read fantasy? or does fantasy allow us to ‘accept’ things we would otherwise abhor? e.g. violence.
Should our moral filters simply make us choose to read something different, or help to gloss over the ‘bad’ parts?