Wednesday, February 5, 2014

What is Chick Lit?

One of my friends asked me to describe First Sight, and she seemed confused when I called it Chick Lit.  The beginning of our conversation went something like this:

"What type of book is it?"
"Chick Lit."
"Is it a Romance?"
"Not really, it's Chick Lit."

When I think of Romance Novels, I think of something like Harlequin.  The story focuses solely on the relationship between the hero and heroine.  The main point of the book is love and sex. 

Chick Lit focuses more broadly on the life of the heroine.  Although there is usually a romance in Chick Lit novels, the story also focuses on the heroine's relationships with her friends, family, coworkers, etc.  It's lighter than women's fiction and usually has humor sprinkled throughout the story.

I checked out a couple of books at the library several months ago, Wedding Night by Sophie Kinsella and Last Night at Chateau Marmont by Lauren Weisberger.  I thought it was interesting that one was categorized as Fiction while the other was categorized as Romance.

I would love it if the library, bookstores, and Amazon had Chick Lit as its own genre or subcategory.  It would make finding books in that genre easier for everyone.  Amazon does have a new subcategory called "Romantic Comedy" in the Kindle store, so for now that is the closest match to Chick Lit itself.

How do you define Chick Lit?


  1. I pretty much agree with you. My take is at

  2. Thanks for sharing the link. Great post! I really wish bookstores, etc. would use the term "Chick Lit" when categorizing books so everyone would be on the same page.

  3. Interesting question! It's one I've argued about with a couple of people. To me, it's light, comedy orientated fiction, usually with romantic association, about women in their 20s and early 30s, and includes lots of references to shoes, bags and cupcakes. To sum up - the book version of a romcom.

    I came across one male writer who thought it was any novel written by a woman - he got a virtual slap around the head, as you can imagine....!

    1. I agree! Chick Lit definitely feels like the book version of a romantic comedy. I'm surprised people have so many different takes on it. I guess the people who don't know what it is aren't Chick Lit fans!

      And no, no, no--definitely not any book written by a woman. (!)

  4. Hmm, I have to disagree with Terry about having to include shoes, bags and cupcakes and about it being restricted to heroines in their 20s/30s, but I know where she is coming from. I don't think Amazon yet has the possibility for the authors when they are uploading their books to choose Romantic Comedy as a genre yet - which kind of beggars belief. Annoying! I agree that chicklit is usually full of humour and much more light-hearted than many types of general women's fiction. Great post