‘Chick Lit’ is often described as a genre filled with superficial women who are without depth and impact. Worse still, their glittery and pink covers aren’t much of a help either.
According to popular ‘chick lit’ author Jojo Moyes, the stereotypes attached to the genre are holding back female authors and discouraging a potential readership from discovering the brilliant writing beneath a misleading book cover.
Although some are undeniably frothy, many tackle hard hitting topics regarding women. But what’s more disappointing is when it is merely seen as a ‘chick lit’ book and dismissed as fluff writing.
To prove that the ‘chick lit’ genre is more than just fluff, check out these nine books compiled by stylist.co.uk that will give you a long-lasting impression.
1) The Rosie Project by Graeme Simson
The Rosie Project is one of those books that you could read cover-to-cover that didn’t really upset or challenge your moral stance or understanding of the world. It was indulgent in the way easy literature is, but well-written enough to keep the reader hooked throughout.
Ultimately, it’s about how we behave in relationships, how we shape-shift and move to fit with our partners, but it’s also about the importance of maintaining your own authenticity.
2) Eat Pray Love
Reading the words of Gilbert turning a lens on herself as she traveled, ate and prayed away from her home in New York City, in turn caused other women to pursue similar experiences.
3) The Girls’ Guide to Hunting and Fishing
Melissa Bank takes you on one woman’s journey. She muddles her way through the world, from sarcastic teenager to wisened, and somewhat weary, adult.
While the primary focus is on romance, and the various unsuitable suitors Jane gets involved with, it’s her quick wit, inner sardonic commentary and general attitude to her life and the people in it.
4) Bridget Jones’s Diary
This book makes us feel human and maybe even interesting for being; single, occasionally failing, hungover, annoyed by our families, confused by expectations or in the wrong job. The book has a strong “you’re not alone” message, delivered with a hysterically relatable overtone.
5) Valley of the Dolls
This book refers to the arcane showbiz slang for tranquillisers, uppers and sleeping pills that help the three young heroines navigate ageism, body-shaming, maternity leave, abortion, female friendship and sexuality. The dialogue sizzles. Wigs are flushed, friendships are shattered, hearts are broken. Nobody is nice. Everybody is a mess. And the male characters who pass fleetingly through the pages do their best to dictate women’s relationships, appearances, careers and lives. This book will make you think.
6) Sisterhood Everlasting
While the earlier instalments are riddled with teenage angst, the last book shows an accurate portrayal of just how hard it can be to figure out life in your twenties.
At the heart of the book is the unbreakable bond between these four friends. It’ll make you laugh, cry, and want to call up your girlfriends for a catch up by the end.
7) Circle of Friends
The book, which tells the story of three childhood friends desperately trying to forge a new life in the big city, will reach your soul and scoop out your innermost, unspoken hopes and dreams, aspirations for beautiful boys and career success and a sprawling life beyond the confines of the place where you grew up.
8) The Sea Sister
The story pivots around the relationship between two sisters, and from the mermaid-esque cover, you’d be forgiven for imagining a fantasy narrative where the family are secret mer-people or something.
But this incredible story delves so much deeper than a stereotypical portrayal of a female sibling dynamic. Both of the women in this book embark on a journey of discovery, not only physically of the world around them, but emotionally in themselves.
9) The Secret Dreamworld of a Shopaholic
This light, funny and carefree novel shouldn’t be considered a ‘guilty pleasure’. There is nothing to feel guilty about, our brain deserves a break and Sophie Kinsella’s books are a great option.