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.