In defense of chick-lit

I recently finished reading One Day in December by Josie Silver. I can honestly say it was a very funny and heartwarming read — I even stayed up until 3.00 am one night cuz I just had to finish it. It is, however, not the kind of book people feel “proud” to have read, it’s the kind of book I wouldn’t have admitted to like back when I wanted to sound cultured and pedantic in college because, well, it’s chick lit.

I find that most people who use the tag “chick lit” do so dismissively, especially so in academic circles—one thing I definitely do not miss about college—. While most “chick lit” is actually terrible, the truth is that with around 1 million books being published every year, there’s bound to be terrible ones in every genre. All this to say, I really enjoy chick-lit! I love it when it’s well written and has round characters and makes you smile while reading it. Let’s not forget Jane Austen was the chick lit queen of her day (not that anyone past or present can compare to her tho). Anyway, One Day in December was a nice change amidst nonfiction and tragic reads. So, here are four chick lit titles you might need in your life:

Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding

What if Elizabeth Benett lived in modern London and swore like a sailor? I love the movie and can quote the dialogues entirely, and the book is just as funny. The book is written as a diary, and it’s the kind of writing that has you laughing out loud in public. Humor is the most important part of the book, and it has so many different kinds of it: obscene, circumstancial, ironic.

Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple

This one is composed of narrative parts, letters, emails, phone receipts, etc. A family in crisis goes in a cruise to Antarctica and Bernadette, the mom, disappears. I guess you could call this book a funny thriller. Although it’s a very light read, Semple manages to convey the pressure that communities have on women by depicting the life of a well-to-do family in suburban Seattle.

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

Boy did I enjoy this. I think I read it in two days. Highlight of the book: Lou! Now that’s an awesome character. It saddens me to say, however, that I couldn’t even finish After You, I didn’t like it at all. (I bought Paris for One also by Jojo Moyes but haven’t got to read it, is it any good?)

One Day in December by Josie Silver

This book is actually very problematic: Laurie, 23, falls in love with a stranger at a bustop and spends a year looking for him. She finds him when her best friend, Sarah, introduces him as her boyfriend, Jack. There’s no possible good outcome for this story, but you still read it through because the characters (especially Laurie and Sarah) are well built and keep the story interesting. It’s a very funny book about friendships and missing chances.

Now I am reading Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry, because who can resist western sagas of 800+ pages, am I right? Very exciting so far! But the complete opposite of the books in this list. Do you have any chick lit favourites? (Recommendations, please!)

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