I have a confession. I love chic lit. Don’t get me wrong, I cheered when Katniss stood up for her sister, I’ve reveled through all of Toni Morrison’s strong female characters, and I adore the spunk and wit of Shakespeare’s Portia. But on a warm summer evening, you’ll find me curled up on my swing with a glass of wine clutching Mansfield Park or steeping in a bathtub enjoying Jane Eyre. These are things I read over and over. They have become like old friends. I never outgrew Jane Austen. I love the tenor, the social intricacies, and the strained romance of that type of writing.
There are very few authors who will even attempt to match that brand of writing style. It takes a special skill to make simple moments noteworthy. I mean can you imagine us cheering because Edward brushed his hand against Bella’s. Would we take note? No, we wouldn’t. Edward needs to sparkle. Bella needs to skip school and run into the woods with Edward to get our attention. I don’t know about you, but I get tired of the razzle dazzle of these overworked plots.
I have finally found an author who has complex, gentle love stories with an interesting steam punk twist that matches (well not matches, but comes close to) my old friend Jane Austen. Cassandra Clare. I know I probably lost you at steam punk. Don’t be put off by steam punk. Cassandra Clare gracefully weaves a beautiful love story through the social classes of a burgeoning industrial England. The characters are smart. The plot is intricate. All this and more in Cassandra Clare’s Infernal Devices series, which you can find at your local library.