Saturday, May 4, 2013

Because we all get a little girly...International Chick Lit Month!

We at MPL like to celebrate little-known holidays (Talk Like a Pirate Day anyone?). This month, which all of you now know, is International Chick Lit Month. I swear, I can't make this stuff up! There's even a website about it. In honor of this occasion, the Reference Librarians at MPL have compiled their favorite chick lit reads (under very little duress).

My favorite chick lit is written by Christine Feehan. Feehan has a number of paranormal romance series, but my favorite is her Drake Sisters series, which begins with Magic in the Wind. In this series, seven sisters (who just happen to be witches) living in the small community of Sea Haven are prophesied to find love. Now, each woman is dead set against falling in with fate’s designs… until their man appears on the scene.

The first two stories are novellas and the last four stories are full length novels. I enjoy following each sister's story as they find their soul mate. It’s fun watching old love stories get tangled into new passion. Each book in the Drake Sisters series is an engaging paranormal romance, where you know true love with conquer all evil in the end.
   ~Mary P.
About a year ago, I picked up a book that was on a reading list from “All About Romances”, a romance reader’s website (I highly recommend you take a gander). The Hollow Kingdom by Clare B. Dunkle is the first book in the “Hollow Kingdom” trilogy. I was immersed from the start and found myself longing to get back to the book. The first book is about two sisters who move to their family estate where strange things start happening. Unbeknownst to anyone, a goblin kingdom exists underneath Hollow Hill, and the goblin king has set his sights on Kate, the eldest of the sisters. What ensues is a tale of escape and magic along with unexpected romance. This book was in a fairytale read-alike for the myth of Hades and Persephone. It is fitting.
  ~Kristin M.

I don’t read a lot of chick lit, but a few years ago I picked up The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen randomly from a book store because it had the sweetest cover I’ve ever seen (I mean that literally-there’s candy on the front). The Sugar Queen tells the story of 27 year old Josey Cirrini. Perpetually stuck in the town she grew up in, Josey is obligated to care for her bitter and overbearing mother. She spends most of her time alone reading, indulging in sweets, and watching the handsome mailman from the window in her room. I think the reason I like this book so much is that in addition to the standard girl-meets-boy romance, Josey establishes a few strong female friendships and begins to fight for a life she actually wants to live.
~Meredith T.

My favorite chick lit was Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series. It starts with One for the Money. I like it because while the heroine of the tale spends plenty of time thinking about food and rent and dating, she is funny while doing it and eventually gets her act in gear and solves some crimes.
 ~Amy W.


Sometimes I am super girly (like now) and go in bursts of reading only romance-y books. Now, I don't like the traditional "bodice-busters" or anything; I am more of a suspense-romance person. My favorite chick lit author is Jennifer Crusie, and when pressed, I'd have to say my favorite novel of hers is Agnes and the Hitman. Agnes is a chef and writes for a local paper, and she has recently bought the house of her dreams with her fiance, without knowing that she has bought the home of a former Mafia boss. Shane (the hitman) is her counterpart: dark, dangerous, and sexy. The two try to solve the mystery of the disappearance of the former owner years earlier, and encounter quite a bit of danger along the way. It is a mystery novel of sorts, with suspense, and a ton of humor thrown in. I love that Agnes is far from perfect, with anger issues, and that Shane is definitely not your traditional hero. Any of Crusie's books are great, but this is my personal favorite that I return to time and again. Plus I recommend it to just about everyone.
~Cailey W.

I spent a month reading nothing but chick lit a few years back. It was fun to be immersed in a genre, and now I feel I know what to expect from it.

*Spoiler Alert*
-The majority of the cover will be pink.
-The female protagonist will always lose her current boyfriend near the beginning of the book
-The female protagonist will always lose her job near the beginning of the book
-The female protagonist will always have one very reliable, if somewhat flaky best friend. The friend will likely provide comic relief through the aforementioned female protagonist's early struggles.
-The female protagonist will likely already know the man she will eventually fall for, she just always assumed they were best friends, and nothing more (boy will she be wrong!)
-The female protagonist will eventually use her passion to find a job that she is great at, and realize that losing her job was a blessing in disguise
-There may or may not be a scene in which several characters are dancing to music in the kitchen while doing dishes, using utensils as microphones.
-There will more than likely be a karaoke scene.

Now I by no means wish to make it sound like the chick lit genre is predictable or trite. Well written chick lit will provide the reader with a reliably cheerful, uplifting and humorous story. Who wants to dive into a story where you're expecting true love and end up with true crime? Chick lit gives the reader a little chicken soup for the soul, wrapped in a modern, witty, and often fashionable setting. 
~Amanda D.

What about you? Do you have a favorite chick-lit? How do you define chick-lit? 

For more chick lit recommendations, see our display at the Main Branch.

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