Cassandra Clare writes popular YA fantasy series. I have no problem with that; in fact, I enjoy them as mind candy. I really wish she would stop quoting British literature, though. In the Infernal Devices series, a quotation from some British novel or poetry begins every single chapter for no apparent reason. Furthermore, the characters spew poetry at inopportune intervals too. Why? Why? Why?
This incessant quoting serves no purpose. The pre-chapter quotes relate, sometimes in very strained, tangential ways, to the events in the chapter, but that's it. The characters' useless quotations do nothing to further the reader's understanding of the story or the characters, unless your understanding is furthered by knowing that the protagonist likes books. There's no thematic, sustained, interesting, clever or relevant treatment of the quotes or the works they're from. They don't do anything except waste space. At best, they prove the author's prowess in Googling public domain works of literature. Must be some sort of self-congratulatory textual porn for English majors whose intellectual achievements peaked with their close reading of Dickens' Great Expectations [snore] during their sophomore year at a small New England liberal arts college.
As an English major from a small New England liberal arts college [ask me about my close reading of Emily Dickinson!], I'm real impressed. :p