After reading some cutting reviews about TMI...
Well, I liked it.
It probably helps that I'd never heard of the writer, nor the books before.
It also helps that I was not constantly comparing this work to others - no one has dibs on hero dynamics, plot turns, family-related surprises, vampires-werewolves etc, betrayals, 'magic' etc etc... I find it much more rewarding to come to a book without too many expectations, and especially without a Genre Encyclopedia-chip on my shoulder. It becomes a conundrum for many readers; they love the genre (magic, fantasy, urban fantasy...), so they want to read more such books, and then obviously they complain because it reminds them of previous ones.
Guys, EVERYTHING has already been written. If you want to keep reading (or watching movies), you're going to have to suck it up.
So.... off the top of my head, this book was MUCH better than the Percy Jacksons, or the Beautiful Creatures, or the Summon the Keeper (of which I only read one, so I may not be completely equanimous). Alright, so there was some awkward exposition, I still haven't figured out how that universe works (I wonder why I'm more interested in this than almost anything else when I read fantasy/uf...). Yes, the heroes are angst-ridden teenagers (you like YA? That's what you get), yes there is an awkward love triangle, no, I don't understand the appeal of the heroine... Alright.
But overall, it was a pretty tight plot, things moved along, the dialogue was unexpectedly funny, there were some interesting twists, Jace is very enjoyably arrogant (I actually like arrogant characters), AND not everyone is good. The heroes' parents were not 'the good guys', they messed up quite spectacularly.
There are interesting references - finally no more 'talking down' to teenagers; Bosch, Diego Rivera, Blake... There are nice settings - the Downworld diner springs to mind.
Also some more subtle things; Clary keeps saying Isabelle is a bitch, but Isabelle never actually does anything bitchy to her - prejudice and insecurity from the main character, not the writer. Also, on the subject of prejudice, those kids are going to have to examine their own racism - which is perceived by other characters but not by them.
Characters' gestures and movements were consistent with their state of mind (a pet peeve of mine 'she glared at him, sighing' - impossible). Also, they grew. Also, domestic violence, abuse, homosexuality and again, racism are addressed in the book.
Yep, I like it. On to number 2