Chick Lit discussion

Done to death?

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message 1: by Lauren (new)

Lauren (laurenlipton) | 15 comments I'm curious: What do all of you consider to be the cliches of chick lit? Maybe you never want to read about another character with a job in publishing, or hear one more gratuitous mention of Manolo Blahnik shoes, or see one more cover featuring a woman from the neck down...whatever. Just wondering.

message 2: by Kelly (new)

Kelly (kellyhilde) | 4 comments I think you nailed them all....

probably one more would be the "fat" character, who is only a size 6 or 8....I wish!!!

message 3: by Keris (new)

Keris (kerisstainton) Funnily enough, although the things you mention are often trotted out as chick lit cliches, I don't think they're as common as people say.

I read absolutely tons of chick lit (I've reviewed 3+ chick lit books per week for more than a year) and I don't think I've read a single one featuring publishing or Manolo Blahniks... oh hang on, you're right about the covers!

I do think the gay best friend became a bit too common, but it's a while since I've read a book with one of those too.

message 4: by Lauren (new)

Lauren (laurenlipton) | 15 comments All right, confession time--I'm an author, and my novel has a gay best friend in it. I totally (and rightfully) got nailed for the cliche. My only excuse is that at the time I wrote the book I hadn't read as much chick lit as I have now. Still it's mortifying!

message 5: by Keris (new)

Keris (kerisstainton) LOL, Lauren! Well I like a good GBF myself. You should have said it was intentionally retro or something :)

message 6: by Jann (new)

Jann | 17 comments I might have missed part of this thread, but The Whole World Over by Julia Glass (author of 3 Junes) has a gay best friend. I thought that book was a notch up from my usual faves--all the authors mentioned here. And did you read Shoe Addicts Anonymous? I think the manolos might have been mentioned there---obviously from the title there were dozens of shoes in that book.

message 7: by Keris (new)

Keris (kerisstainton) No, I haven't read The Whole World Over, Jann. (I looked forward to Three Junes for ages and then didn't like it at all.)

I haven't read Shoe Addicts but I've heard good things - did you enjoy it? I guess you'd expect Manolos in that one :)

message 8: by Jann (new)

Jann | 17 comments I thought that The Whole World Over was much better than The Three Junes. It had a more intact plot line--still with some things that could stretch the imagination. The characters were easier to relate to. Shoe Addicts is on the "light" side, more like Sophie Kinsella than Marian Keyes, who though funny tackes some serious issues as well. But I really liked it. Just for disclosure, I really liked Kinsella's The Undomestic Goddess, but the Shopaholic series never took off with me. I don't like shopping very much, which is probably why.

message 9: by Keris (new)

Keris (kerisstainton) LOL, Jann. I don't like shopping either, but I like the Shopaholic books - although my favourite Sophie Kinsella is Can You Keep A Secret? Have you read that one?

message 10: by Joanie (new)

Joanie | 19 comments I agree on "Can you Keep a Secret." I LOVED that book, read it in a day and couldn't stop laughing. I just got the first "Shopahollic" book from the library because I've never read them but I did read (and love) "Undomestic Goddess" too.

message 11: by Denise (new)

Denise | 29 comments Mod
There's a book called See Jane Write, about writing chick lit, and they list character cliches:

The Bitchy Boss
The Jerk Ex-Boyfriend
The Gay Best Friend (!!)
The Knockout Friend (whom guys fall head over heels for, leaving your protagonist out in the cold)

This is a great book, BTW, if you're interested in writing Chick Lit. And a fun overview of the genre. It's by Sarah Mlynowski and Farrin Jacobs. Highly recommended :)

message 12: by Andrea (new)

Andrea Green (angel_andie) | 9 comments I love Sophie Kinsella, she's one of my favourite authors. I like the shopaholics series but Can You Keep a Secret is definately the best she's written. Its so funny. My copy is nearly falling apart I've read it so much :-)

message 13: by Liz (new)

Liz | 17 comments I also love Sophia Kinsella's books! The Shopaholic is being made into a movie, not sure if it will be any good as heard it's based in New York rather than London... She has a new book coming out next month Remember Me? I just picked up a free sampler of it at Barnes n Noble. I look forward to reading it and writing a review.

message 14: by Lauren (new)

Lauren (laurenlipton) | 15 comments Priceless--and dead-on! Also, someone who ends up drunk off too many cosmopolitans. Or is that a situational cliche?

message 15: by Lauren (new)

Lauren (laurenlipton) | 15 comments Oops, that was in reference to "See Jane Write."

message 16: by Jann (new)

Jann | 17 comments I just looked at it in the library yesterday and didn't check it out. But I have read the Undomestic Goddess and loved it, so on my next library trip I will check out Can You Keep a Secret as well.

message 17: by Andrea (new)

Andrea Green (angel_andie) | 9 comments Y do they do that? Set movies in locations that are different to where they're set in the books. I heard they did that with ps i love you! I cant wait for Sophie's new book, i have it pre-ordered!!!

message 18: by Lauren (new)

Lauren (laurenlipton) | 15 comments Andrea--my guess is it at least partly has to do with the exchange rate. Much cheaper to set the movie in the US than in the UK!

message 19: by Jen B (new)

Jen B (jennybee618) I know this thread is pretty old, but I'm fairly new here, so I thought I'd chime in anyway. :)

Maybe these aren't cliches yet, but they still seem verrry common in chick lit:

Living in a big city - New York or London

A heroine that's unmarried, and either a) dating the perfect guy but finds him boring and so she's unhappy, or, b) she's single, begging for a boyfriend and having one dating mishap after another; in either case, she ends up with the perfect guy at the end of the book

She has a crazy/eccentric/overly doting/meddlesome mother, or an absentee/dejected/mid-life crisis/younger woman-dating father (or both)

And by the way, Lauren, the gay best friend in your book was one of my favorite characters - cliched or not! :)

message 20: by Ashley (new)

Ashley  (angelashly) | 30 comments That is what I was thinking too Jen. The dating scene and the big city are in just about every chick lit I have read lately.

message 21: by Kourtney (new)

Kourtney (familywithbooks) | 53 comments I agree with Jen and Ashley about the big cities - I was so excited to read Confessions of a True Drama Queen by Lee Nichols - a book with Santa Barbara as the city! I used to live there so it was a nice change of pace from New York and London

message 22: by Lauren (last edited Sep 21, 2008 11:27AM) (new)

Lauren (laurenlipton) | 15 comments Aw. Thank you, Jen. Oddly enough people did mention liking Simon (the GBF) and Rocky (the feisty dog--also a cliche, I'm afraid).

message 23: by Yolibear (new)

Yolibear (queendiva0331) | 6 comments I would say the thing I am most tired of in chick lit is the oversexed BF. I think that why for once there be a nerdy BF that is just sitting around her house watching soap operas or a married best friend who doesn't have it together. I wish there was a book or sitcom like my BF and I. She is single and struggling and I am married. I have been where she's at and I offer her advice. She has some of the WORST dates EVER!!
I wish i had time to complete what I'm working on. I think maybe people would like to hear from a character who is a size 18. Works in a crap job (not in publishing but maybe in software design). And who's best friend isn't sleeping with the entire of New York/London/LA...

Even if you did write a cookie cutter chick lit book I have a feeling it still would be above the grain. You develop the characters, you don't let them run a muck in uncertainty. They are clear and crisp and you can imagine them as though they live next door or work in the cubicle next to you. And I agree with Jen (again) GBF was done in a way that I enjoyed. Anyone who read your book saw he wasn't the typical GBF cliche. At least from my opinion.

message 24: by Ashley (new)

Ashley  (angelashly) | 30 comments I am reading Love @ First site right now and guess what there is a GBF, she is single looking for dates, the overbearing mother, the married sister, the oversexed BF, and the London city, with her working in production for a major show.

Guess what I love it though.

message 25: by Jen B (new)

Jen B (jennybee618) You know, Ashley, I think that's the best thing -- they all have many similarities, but they're still great books and I still love them! So bring on the big cities, wacky moms, and horny boyfriends! :)

And it's funny how I call them cliches, but at some point in my life, most of them have been true for me - crazy mother, screwing up on the dating scene, crappy boyfriends, had a GBF at one point...I even worked in publishing! :) I guess I'm a walking chick lit cliche...

message 26: by Lauren (last edited Sep 24, 2008 02:58PM) (new)

Lauren (laurenlipton) | 15 comments Yolanda: tu know, you might like "Conversations With the Fat Girl" by Liza Palmer. I think it's a cut above.

message 27: by Andrew (new)

Andrew (drewgrigaliunas) | 4 comments Hello group! I am fairly new to this group so I have a couple of questions. First, is "Love @ First Site" good enough to buy or should I go to my local library? How is "Conversations With the Fat Girl"? I am just finishing up "Beach Girls" by LuAnne Rice and I loved it!! It is very nice to find a group of people who are as much into chick lit as I am!! Have a great day!!! ;>)

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