Good chicklit?
October 27, 2009 12:09 PM   Subscribe

Need recommendations of quality chick lit books.

I'm an unapologetic fan of the "chick flick" and had an idea for a script that I think might work better as a novel, but I want to understand the structure of these books better before I begin. I'd like some recommendations for good chick lit books from those who don't think that's an oxymoron. What I mean by good is something with a plot that has a little more depth than just shopping and sex while still following the basic tropes of the genre. Something along the lines of "27 Dresses" or "Because I Said So" but in book form.
posted by mikoroshi to Writing & Language (19 answers total) 23 users marked this as a favorite
Marian Keyes is the best, hands down.
posted by something something at 12:19 PM on October 27, 2009 [1 favorite]

Seconding Marian Keyes.
posted by elsietheeel at 12:19 PM on October 27, 2009

Where The Heart Is by Billie Letts. It was made into a movie, too.
posted by torquemaniac at 12:24 PM on October 27, 2009

Why Girls Are Weird, by blogger Pamela Ribon.
posted by toastedbeagle at 12:30 PM on October 27, 2009

The Time Traveler's Wife is, despite the thematic element of time travel, far more of a chick lit book than a sci-fi one. Also made into a movie.
posted by zoomorphic at 12:40 PM on October 27, 2009

I am a fan of Jennifer Weiner, in general. And she's actually written some interesting things about how "chick lit" and women's writing in general are often trivialized and maligned.
posted by kimdog at 12:44 PM on October 27, 2009

I really love Elinor Lipman's novels. They are well-written, funny, and observant. I think her best ones are The Ladies' Man, The Inn At Lake Devine (deals with bereavement and anti-Semitism--yeah, not your usual chick lit book, but it does fit the genre otherwise), and The Pursuit of Alice Thrift.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 12:58 PM on October 27, 2009

I really enjoyed Melissa Banks' The Girl's Guide to Hunting and Fishing, which is sort of a connected series of vignettes in the life of the main character.
posted by thebrokedown at 1:00 PM on October 27, 2009

Thirding Marion Keyes.

A few others--worth mentioning is that most of these authors have a ton of stuff, and I'm only speaking to the goodness of the ones listed.

Jennifer Wiener (Good in Bed, Little Earthquakes)
Jennifer Cruisie (Bet Me, which is fantastic)
Stephanie Bond (Body Movers, 2 Bodies for the Price of 1)
Laurie Notaro (The Idiot Girls' Action-Adventure Club)
Meg Cabot (Her adult stuff: Boy Meets Girl, Boy Next Door)
posted by MeghanC at 1:05 PM on October 27, 2009 [1 favorite]

Anna Maxted is another one I've just remembered. The first couple (Getting Over It, Running in Heels) are the best.
posted by something something at 1:27 PM on October 27, 2009

Seconding old Anna Maxted books. I also liked Here Kitty Kitty by Jardine Libaire.
posted by loulou718 at 1:58 PM on October 27, 2009

Sarah Mlynowski (a chick lit and YA author) wrote a book not too long ago called See Jane Write, which is an actual guide to writing chick lit. It might be useful. I'm sort of down on how-to-write-a-novel books, but this one is a fun read.

Meg Cabot's work (Boy Meets Girl and Boy Next Door mentioned above, as well as Every Boy's Got One) shows the ideal texture of chick lit novels really well. The books are full of e-mail exchanges, IM conversations, voicemail messages, notes and even airline tickets.

And the classic example of chick lit, the book that got us all started, was of course Bridget Jones's Diary by Helen Fielding.

For some more on the Brit Chick Lit scale, check out Sophie Kinsella's Can You Keep a Secret and The Little Lady Agency by Hester Browne.

I used to review chick lit, and I've kept quite a few of the better books I read. Let me go take a look at my book shelves and see if I can come up with further recommendations for you, but those titles should get you started.
posted by brina at 2:01 PM on October 27, 2009

Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood by Rebecca Wells.
posted by greensalsa at 2:37 PM on October 27, 2009

Pride and Prejudice, while dated, is like the original chick-lit novel, no?
posted by phrontist at 2:52 PM on October 27, 2009 [1 favorite]

Katie Fforde.
posted by paduasoy at 4:30 PM on October 27, 2009

I totally agree about Jennifer Weiner. Her blog is definitely worth checking out, as well, especially since you have a professional interest in writing, chick lit, and publishing.

I recently discovered Marisa de los Santos, and loved both of her books. She does an amazing job of creating fully realized, interesting characters.

I would also recommend Charlaine Harris. Yes, there are some supernatural and/or mystery elements to her books, but I think she crosses over into the chick lit genre and is a very engaging read.

I could go on forever (I read a lot, all sorts of books), but my last two suggestions would be Elin Hildebrand and Jodi Picoult. Before I actually read Picoult, I had come across a lot of snarky comments about her, but I have now read several of her books, and while she is not perfect, I think she is incredibly entertaining and is obviously quite successful. Happy reading and good luck with your own project!
posted by katemcd at 6:08 PM on October 27, 2009

This is on the young-adult side of chick lit (protagonist makes her first appearance as a teen & the fifth & final installment ends with her in her mid-twenties), but Megan McCafferty's Jessica Darling series are some of my favourite books. To be fair, I think they get worse as the series goes on, but the voice in the first couple novels is charismatic & enjoyable.
posted by opossumnus at 8:13 PM on October 27, 2009

These are all best answers, how awesome! I brought back an armload from the library today, and I feel I'll be back.
posted by mikoroshi at 11:22 PM on October 27, 2009

Lisa Jewell is aces.
posted by low_horrible_immoral at 6:07 AM on October 28, 2009

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