Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Favorite Chick Lit

I actually had to look up definitions and lists of examples of chick lit in order to answer this week's favorite. It's typically defined as literature that addresses issues of modern womanhood, typically in a humorous or light-hearted way. It usually contains romance elements, but doesn't have to (so it isn't a subset of the romance genre, although they often go hand-in-hand).

I don't read chick lit. On the rare occasion that I do, I usually don't like it. It is not my genre, and because I understand that and accept it, I avoid it. But we try to diversify our selections here at Review Me Twice, so I'm trying some of it.

I found a list that told me that Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson counts as chick lit. And while I think that's pushing the boundaries of the genre a little, it does - technically - fit.

Melinda is a modern (1990s) woman (teenage female) who has issues (like being raped and losing all her friends) that are being dealt with (sometimes in a surprisingly humorous way, considering the circumstances). That fits our definition above for "chick lit."

I've addressed Speak before, when talking about the theme of "belonging" in YA fiction.

I like Melinda. I like the way she thinks, I like the way she sees things (for the most part) and I like the way her story ends. I like how realistic her world is (without being too real... reading about how someone sat through math class, then history class, then science class, then got on the bus, and went home, and did homework... etc., that would be really boring). Her parents aren't perfect, but they aren't evil. Her friends aren't evil, but they aren't perfect. It's all feasible, without being mundane.

I probably also like this example of "chick lit" because it doesn't revolve around a romance, but still deals directly with issues relevant to today's females. Surprise! You can have a real story, about a teenage girl, without a love interest!

I, unlike Alex, do enjoy Chick Lit.  MAINLY because it allows me to take a relaxed view of a book.  When I pick it up, I'm not expecting it to be a wonderfully written read that's going to astound me.  I'm expecting it to be fun, lighthearted and for my main characters to get together in the end.

I really liked Confessions of a Shopaholic.  Kinsella gives us a GREAT main character, Becky Bloomwood, whose life is, essentially, a mess.  Her finances are in ruin because she can't seem to stop buying, well, really expensive designer things.  But the even more humorous part of it is that she gives financial advice to others!

Her ridiculous spending habits, actually force a run in with our male love interest, Luke Brandon.  Their interactions are comical and ridiculous and really, the whole book is just light-hearted and fun.  Would I consider it ground breaking literature?  No, of course not.  But I like the main characters, the writing is good and, at the end of the book, you just get a warm fuzzy feeling.

I liked it enough to read the sequel, anyway.

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