Saturday, May 12, 2012

All Hail the Queens of Chick Lit!

The unofficial chick lit crown
Quick - name a chick lit author!

*hums Jeopardy theme song*

I bet you either thought of Sophie Kinsella or Emily Giffin. Am I right? If I'm not, just humour me and nod at your computer screen, ok? My point is that these two are usually the first to be named in the list of chick lit authors and my own list is no exception.

I find that when chick lit lovers are trying to describe what kinds of books they like but either aren't familiar with the term "chick lit" or don't like using it, they'll usually say, "You know, books like Confessions of a Shopaholic." I do it too, mainly because naming some of the other chick lit authors I've read would be met with blank stares. It's also because that book, and Kinsella's others, seems to have become synonymous with the genre. Everyone knows what you mean when you talk about Shopaholic.

I'm sure part of the reason Giffin and Kinsella are among the chick lit royals is because they've been around for so long. Their novels have had staying power even when the future of the genre is unknown. Personally I don't think we'll ever see the death of chick lit but that's a whole other discussion. :) Anyway, these ladies have built up a loyal fan base and have helped pave the way for many other authors in the genre.

I've read all of Giffin's books (CANNOT WAIT for her new one) and all of Kinsella's, and even some of her books written under Madeleine Wickham. I thoroughly enjoy both authors but for slightly different reasons.

When I read Kinsella I know I'm going to encounter seemingly flighty and unintelligent but very fun characters. I may not particularly like or understand them at the beginning but by the end of the book I want to be their friend.

Giffin's novels tend to be a touch heavier and often deal with infidelity. I know that some scenes will be tough to read but the story gets me (in a good way) almost every time.

Speaking of Sophie Kinsella/Madeleine Wickham - I am one who definitely enjoys Kinsella's novels more. I have no idea why as they're written by the same author but something about the Wickham books just doesn't do it for me. I know other people who are the opposite, others who don't have a preference, and still others who have no idea Wickham and Kinsella are the same author. What camp do you fall into?

Of course there are many other authors who write novels that can be considered chick lit and many of them should be included in the genre's royal family. Here are some of my other favourites: Meg Cabot, Carole Matthews, Sheila O'Flanagan, Jennifer Weiner, Beth Kendrick, and Cecelia Ahern. These are just the well known authors. A few of my newer (to me) chick lit-esque favourites are: Heather Wardell, Samantha March, Kathleen Kole, Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke, Anne McAneny, and J.F. Kristin.

Obviously there are a lot of amazing chick lit authors out there. They all bring something different to the genre which keeps things interesting. The formula may be similar but great genre writers know how to work it so the story is fresh and gives something amazing to their readers.

I'd love to hear who your favourite chick lit authors are. What makes them great to you?

And, just as a refresher, here are the lovely blogs that are associate with International Chick Lit Month, which is what inspired this post.

Official site
Chick Lit Club
Chick Lit is Not Dead
Chick Lit Central

Happy reading! :)

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