5 April 2019

10 of the Best Chick-Lit Reads

Meagan here, doing this post solo because my best friend, soulmate, and the love of my life could not be caught dead with an Emily Giffin book in tow (even though we both grew up with similar tastes). I feel I have a wide range of interests when it comes to reading. I'm down for very fact-based non-fiction, some dark true crime, but I also love a good chick-lit novel every now and again. I'd call the 'genre' a guilty pleasure but I don't feel the slightest bit guilty about it. Below are my 10 favourite chick-lit novels in no particular order.

This whole series is so good. They're about a woman with a serious shopping / spending issue, and I mean SERIOUS, who then falls in love, gets married, etc. all while juggling, hiding, and denying her shopping addiction. They are seriously so funny. I wish Meghan would read them because she is known to have a bit of a shopping addiction herself. If I had to pick a favourite, I'd say it's Shopaholic Ties the Knot. It's incredible funny as Becky (the main character) actually fully plans two weddings. I remember being SO anxious for the next book in the series to come out, and I'm a bit sad Kinsella didn't continue it. The first book, Confessions of a Shopaholic, was adapted into a movie starring Isla Fisher. I liked the movie but there is no way to recreate Becky's inner ridiculous thoughts on screen- you have to read the book. This series is the ultimate chick-lit and I could have read these well into old age... Shopaholic and Grandkids, for example.

It is a crime against humanity that the sequel to Something Borrowed was never (or perhaps just has not yet been) adapted into a film with the exact same cast because I truly believe Something Borrowed is one of the few movies that surpasses the quality of it's book. Having said that, both of these books are still such great reads. They are funny and heartwarming and incredibly easy to blitz through. Rachel and Darcy are best friends who end up sharing a love interest (or stealing, perhaps is a better choice of words) and the drama that ensues makes up the content for Something Borrowed. Something Blue is mostly focused on Darcy as she pursues single life on a new continent. Kate Hudson and Ginnifer Goodwin play Darcy and Rachel respectively in the film adaptation of Something Borrowed, with one of my favourite supporting performances by John Krasinski.

I saw this laying around at my parents one day and my mom had been going on about it for a while so I took the opportunity to read it and it was actually pretty good as far as chick-lit goes. It had all the romance elements, the tear-jerking intimate moments, and also the deep sadness we apparently all love in novels. It's about a woman who takes a job caring for a wealthy ex-athlete in a wheelchair who is sour from his accident, and how she shows him that he can still have a fulfilling life. I never watched the film adaptation starring Emilia Clarke, but Jojo Moyes wrote the screenplay for it which I think is really cool. While the first two books on this list were more comedic, this is more in the meaningful/inspirational category of chick-lit, which I like just as much, but appeals to a different crowd.

If you're an OG bibliotaphsblog fan (hi mom) you'll remember I actually included Bridget Jones's Diary on our 10 Favourite Movie Adaptations list back in 2017. Like Me Before You, Fielding assisted in writing the screenplay and the director, Sharon Maguire, is a good friend of hers, which I think makes for a really good film adaptation... but enough about the movie... This book combines the two best things: British humour and chick-lit. Bridget Jones is so funny, relatable, honest, and both this book and it's sequel, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, are must reads for women. The character Bridget Jones actually started in a 1995 column for Fielding wrote for The Independent, and she was so popular Fielding adapted her into a novel in the form of diary entries. The first book follows Jones as she navigates her single, middle-aged world. Clearly, I love the movie adaptations just as much as the books but please don't skip the books because chuckling through Jones' diary entries is a rite of passage.

I mean... how could we do this list and not include this series? This is a trilogy of pure R-rated trash-bliss and you're lying to yourself if you haven't read them OR been at least curious about them. My co-workers and I read these out loud to each other on rainy days working for the city. They can be treated as humour, but in the recent movie Book Club, a group of older women read them and the books really change their life. I think depending on the person, it could go either way. The books are about a shy journalist who meets a very wealthy businessman while working on his exposé. The businessman pursues her and they begin a relationship largely ruled by his sadomasochist fantasies. I am quite positive this can't be the first sadomasochist fiction to land on bookshelves but for some reason these blew up, were made into very fun-to-watch films starring Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan.. These are definitely in my top 10 chick-lit reads but unlike the rest of these, they aren't for prudes or the faint of heart- they say "anal fisting" a few time so...

Despite being male, Nicholas Sparks writes some amazing chick-lit. There's a few that would fit this 'genre', but my favourite for the category is The Lucky One. The story is about a marine who finds a photo of a woman in a war zone and sets out to find her when he returns home. They obviously fall in love, but because of the circumstances leading to her photo being in a war zone, there's a lot of drama as well. The story is very romantic, with a bit of mystery and a classic Nicholas Sparks plot twist. Zac Efron and Taylor Schilling play the main characters in the film adaptation, which was obviously steamy, with a shower scene right out of Colton's season of The Bachelor

This was a random book someone got me when I was still living with my parents, and I know nothing about the author but it is SUCH a fun read (and scandalous, as the title would suggest). It follows a very similar plot line to Judy Blume's Wifey, in that a very bored 1950's housewife begins to rebel when she feels trapped in her marriage and her life. It's funny, sexy, and extremely easy to read.

I reviewed this book in full here, and while I think this book is a bit more serious content-wise, I still felt like including it here because it's so perfect for women. While the book is serious in content, it's not serious in tone, and Blume pulls off a completely smart, critically thoughtful novel in a truly funny and relatable way. The book follows a few different types of adult couples (married, single, divorced, etc.) as well as discussing mature female friendships and parenting. It really makes you think about the relationships in your life, which is something I feel we don't do enough. While it involves a little more focus than most of the other books on this list, I feel like it's a super fun and interesting chick-lit novel. 

While I would have loved a bit more 'author diversity' in this list, I couldn't not post this book and the Shopaholic series, Kinsella is just so good at chick-lit. This story is about a lawyer who accidentally ends up with a job as a housekeeper, despite knowing literally nothing about how to keep a house. I remember reading this right around the time I moved out and I would tear up with laughter about all the things she didn't know how to do that I didn't either (I once called my dad to ask how to boil pasta, not even joking). There are a lot of similarities between this main character, Samantha, and Becky from the Shopaholic series, mostly in how ridiculous and destitute both are. I felt this book was underrated and super overshadowed by the Shopaholic series but this is honestly equally funny and if you enjoyed the Shopaholic books you'll love this as well. It's also just a funny play on all the things we do as women of the house that go super unnoticed, or that we (or other) take for granted. 

I debated whether or not to put a Hilderbrand novel on here because I don't like to think of her novels as chick-lit. I generally think they're more substantial than this 'genre', but I also love reading them on vacation, I devour them in a day, and I know they're meant for women, so maybe they are chick-lit? The Island in particular I feel good about putting on this list because it's so girly and easy. The story is about a woman whose daughter calls off her wedding. Together with her other daughter, and her sister, the four women head to a remote island near Nantucket for the summer to try and unwind. It's a great story about family and relationships, but also about finding yourself as a female. I also feel there's no better setting for a cchick-lit novel than summertime on Nantucket. 

1 comment:

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