Embarrassing confession: I like Chick-Lit novels. I know I’m not the only one, but I still feel ashamed about liking them. Don’t ask me why. I guess it’s because I used to consider myself something of an intellectual, and Chick-Lit novels are the moral equivalent of cotton-candy for the brain; enjoyable, but not much substance. Plus, they all have the same plot. No, seriously, they do. Don’t believe me? Here it is:
To begin, we meet Female Protagonist (FP). FP is usually in her mid-to-late 20’s. She has horrible self-esteem, but good girlfriends. In the course of a couple chapters, her entire life falls apart. Over the course of the rest of the book, she (quite often) gets a makeover, starts doing work she enjoys (but that her family often is condescending of), and meets a man that she initially loathes but comes to love. At the end of the book, she is making lots of money, is in love and soon to be married, and has self-respect. Most books also contain at least one breakup, and a family-confrontation scene where the heroine tells her un-supportive family to go jump in a lake.
I suppose the allure of Chick-Lit novels is that, despite the chaos, the heroines come out happy on the end. I think that everyone wants to believe that everything can come out okay in the end, especially when they have a lot of uncertainty in their lives. It’s normal to want reassurance. Given the state of the economy, I guess it makes sense that CL novels are selling well, and are a growing genre of books. Maybe there’s nothing to be embarrassed about after all!