She was suddenly very aware, not just of the hard strength in the arms that held her, but that she was leaning back against his chest and that he smelled of, for some reason, black pepper. […]
Clary pulled her coat closer around her. The wind blowing across the level grass wasn’t
that brisk, but there was ice in her bones nevertheless. “It looks like something out of a fairy tale.”
“Are you cold?” Sebastian put an arm around her. Immediately the smoke curling from
the chimney stopped forming itself into question marks and began puɽng out in the shape of lopsided hearts. Clary ducked away from him, feeling both embarrassed and somehow guilty, as if she’d done something wrong. She hurried toward the front walk of the house, Sebastian just behind her. They were halfway up the front path when the door flew open. […]
City of Glass by Cassandra Clare
Chapter 7: Where Angels Fear to Tread
I have a lot of feelings about this, but before I start talking about those feelings, I want to give you some background. During my senior year of high school, I stumbled upon the wonderful and sometimes bizarre world of Harlequin romance novels. I spent my late teens and most of my twenties reading every trashy heterosexual romance I could get my hands on.
Now, well into my thirties, I have outgrown reading them. I actually rarely read heterosexual romances period, but I sometimes read Queer and Trans romance novels as well. These days I mostly read non-fiction books and fanfiction.
So it goes without saying I can spot a potential romantic plot in my fucking sleep. And the whole Clary and Sebastian subplot is apparently a romantic plot. It has all romantic red flags, the way she checks him out, the way they banter, the always cliche: “Oops, let me fall into your arms so our bodies can be pressed close together. Or the are you cold? Let me put my arms around you bullshit.
And this would be cute, or hell even tolerable if I didn’t already know that SEBASTIAN IS CLARY’S BROTHER!!!! For fuck sakes, I am always here for people moving on from unhealthy relationships and finding a healthy relationship. However, not from the guy that she thinks is her brother to the guy who is actually her FUCKING BROTHER.
And again, I have nothing against taboo or problematic fiction. I’m not purity wanker by any stretch of the imagination. I am very much against censorship of any kind when it comes to books. However, I fucking take an extreme offensive for Clare to be peddling this to kids who don’t know any better. You want to write incest taboo story? Then write it under a pseudonym and sell that shit on Amazon Kindle like every other taboo writer.
Or you know what, I would take Clare writing this shit and then in a blog post discussing why she decided to write this subject or denouncing it as wrong in real life to her young readers. Clare is clearly setting this up as just a typical teenage romance, and that is fucking disgusting.