This post is about books and reading and stuff so I must be a librarian in training after all? Is that how it works?
(Jokes. Never a good start to a post.)
At the recommendation of @rachwray I’ve been reading some Freya North. I didn’t really know where to start so I was guided by the Amazon star ratings and went with Pip, then Cat, then Fen. I couldn’t actually remember if I’d ever read any “chick lit” before. I guessed if I couldn’t remember then I probably hadn’t.
Just to check, in the interests of research, I Googled chick lit and found this list from Goodreads.
It seems, unwittingly, I have dabbled in chick lit.
Out of everything on that list I’ve read the two Bridget Jones books (first one funny, second one bit stupid. Same verdict on films.) And I’ve watched the movie of In her shoes (which I quite enjoyed. Shirley Maclaine excellent.) and the movie of The Notebook (which I thought was atrocious although Ryan Gosling is very pretty). I have watched The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (first one fun, second one stupid but watchable) and Austenland (HORRENDOUS NEVER WATCH IT EVER THAT’S AN ORDER). I got bored with the book of The Devil Wears Prada but have suffered through the movie (twice) if only for Stanley Tucci. I have not read any 50 Shades and don’t think I ever will. I read The Time Traveler’s Wife but thought it was stupid even though now I can’t remember really what happens so obviously tremendously impactful writing. I liked the film of The Help better than the book but both were okay. And to my immense shame I read Eat, Pray Love and hated the whole thing. I have not watched the film.
What is chick lit exactly? Well, using my impressive research skills again (that’s a phd for ya) I went to Wikipedia to find out.
I don’t know if that’s right but it’s on the internet so it must be true. It seemed to describe Freya North’s books although I would have thought they were heavier on the romance than Wikipedia says chick lit should be.
Anyway, I liked that these three Freya North books each focused on a sister in the same family over the same period of time and told their respective stories. I liked how in each book certain moments in the common narrative were depicted from their respective perspectives. The one I enjoyed least was Cat. Not because I’m not a fan of the Tour de France, but the extensive research into professional cycling that the author undertook really intruded into the story too greatly. For me anyway. It was all a bit laboured. I didn’t mind Pip. A professional clown is an interesting main character, especially one that works in a children’s hospital. But the one I enjoyed most was Fen as it was set against a background of art history and archives. I also felt the main character was a little rounded than Pip and Cat and I liked her romantic dilemma and how it was resolved. Also, Fen had less of the endless sex scenes of the other two books and focused a little more realistically on Fen’s inner life and her journey.
So long story short, I’m not sure if I’m a chick lit kind of chick but if you want to start somewhere I would recommend Fen.
I am more sure that Googling and Wikipedia are both excellent.