Chick-Lit Isn’t Dead – Why We Should Still Be Talking About It

Chick-lit is a genre that I read a lot and one that I’ve spoken about a lot. At university, I even did a project on it, which gave me an excuse to look more into it. Chick-lit isn’t a term that I see used by others as often anymore, and when it is, it’s often used negatively. Jokes about what the male version is, about how the term is ridiculous etc.

While the genre name isn’t the best, what it represents is. Chick-lit isn’t just another term for romance. Even if I do see books I’d consider chick-lit being labelled as romances by others. Chick-lit often does focus on romance, but it isn’t the only thing. Chick-lit is essentially adult contemporary with a lighter edge. There may be some incredibly emotional stories and circumstances, and they may make you sob. But the book is underpinned by a sense of humour. It’s a funny look into women’s lives – or men if you want to get into lad-lit – and that is entirely enjoyable.

I’ve been getting more into romance recently and I’ve realised that one thing I like about chick-lit is that even when the book is focused on multiple protagonists, those characters aren’t the only stories you see. You get glimpses into their family, friends, rivals…whatever. You see extra bits of the story as the main character learns these characters problems and try to help them. In most romance novels, it seems like other characters stories are only there if they can affect the protagonists. It makes the story feel a little more insular, and though that isn’t a bad thing. It’s why I think chick-lit should still be shouted about more.

Women still have to deal with many issues, and though there are plenty of books and stories still out there for them. It seems like the contemporary stories are either being separated into issues books or romances. Chick-lit often deals with both things, and that’s something we need more of.

I’m not bitching about romance novels. I like them more than I did when I started this blog. Hell, more than I did this time last year. I’m going to keep picking them up, but because of the romance. I don’t just pick chick-lit up for romance. I usually pick them up because the protagonist’s story sounds fun and interesting.

There is definitely still chick-lit out here. Lindsey Kelk and Anna Bell are great examples of chick-lit authors. Plus there’s plenty of older stuff out there that’s still good as well. There are so many sub-genres too, so there’s definitely something out there for everyone. Chick-lit mysteries, chick-lit about older women, chick-lit with a fantastical edge etc.

Sometimes it feels like chick-lit is slowly getting forgotten, and that makes me sad. As there are still so many stories out there that could be told. I love seeing people talk about romance novels, shouting them out and enjoying them. And I’d like to see more of that for chick-lit too. Let’s face it, a lot of those older rom-coms we all love were based on chick-lit rather than romance novels… We have room in our hearts for both.

Do you like chick-lit? Wanna talk about it with me? Let me know in the comments.

7 thoughts on “Chick-Lit Isn’t Dead – Why We Should Still Be Talking About It

  1. Hallo, Hallo Rosina,

    For me, its been an issue with the term and its defintions. It used to be limited to a quick romp of romance and causal relationships – which is why I opted for reading relationship-based romances in lieu of Chick-Lit and was more drawn into Women’s Fiction. I’ve never counted WF as CL though – however, by your definitions of the genre, I felt you might be describing Women’s Fiction instead!? I wonder if the terms/definitions differ per country and region of reading? I’m stateside and so my observations and interactions with genre might differ from someone overseas. I’m a BIG Romance reader and Women’s Fiction appreciator – hence, why I developed my chat @SatBookChat which focuses on both as well as Feminist driven lit. If you want to pop in on the chats, our next one is this Saturday (17th APR) starting @ 4p UK 11a NYC. However, back round to your topic – all genres are actively being published from what I can tell, as like you said, there is a different option for all readers who are in search of a story they want to be reading.

    I personally never use the term Chick-Lit, but again, its due to my own experiences as an American reader. I think it has a healthier outlook in the UK than here and as said, I think because the definitions are different and/or perhaps have expounded since I last read or saw a CL release.

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    1. Chick-lit has definitely always more been a popular thing in the UK compared to the US but I have a how to write chick-lit book written by an American author. Said author now writes more romance but I have an older chick-lit book by her. For me those limitations I can still think of older books that aren’t just romance. The Devil Wears Prada and In Her Shoes both by the same author as an example. An American example at that.

      Women’s Fiction I’d say is any fiction focused on and about women. So romance and chick-lit both count as part of it. But so so sagas and the like too. And according to Netgalley that seems to be it. Chick-lit isn’t a term used much anymore anywhere but there are books that fit it still and i still think people should shout about it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ooh, I hadn’t meant to imply it was absent in American culture/literature – I just meant, I think for some of us stateside, our impressions about Chick-Lit are uniquely different compared to our counterparts in te UK/Europe. I do see differences in genre and the impressions of genre country to country; something I’ve observed and noted over the past eight years I’ve blogged. There is nothing wrong with that either – I’m glad there is Chick-Lit out there for those who seek it as much as I’m wicked happy we still have Romance & Women’s Fiction.

        Technically Women’s Fiction is an evolving story which emotionally and pyschologically enters a woman’s life at a particular point in her life and explores that moment with her and through the life she’s living at the time we meet her – it tends to focus on things a Romance won’t focus on or generally wouldn’t but there are exceptions of course.

        I find the Harlequin Heartwarming series of Romances the best hybrid of Romance & Women’s Fiction because of how their structured to include more than just the romance and there is a lot of real life happening behind the relationships.

        I enjoyed both stories you’ve mentioned but not in the book form they originated out of but through their adapted films.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I have added one of Jennifer Weiner’s books to my reading list recently, “That Summer”. Super excited to read it. I recently got into women’s lit/chick lit and I am loving it. Another one I would recommend is “The Spanish Love Deception” by Elena Armas.

    Liked by 1 person

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