I took a long hiatus from reading while I was in medical training, and when I returned, I discovered chick lit. I devoured books by Sophie Kinsella, Emily Giffin, and Jane Green, to name a few. I found a top 100 list of chick lit novels and eventually discovered something important:
Most chick lit sucks.
As I made my way down the top 100 list, I realized how many of these books are complete and utter crap. They were so cliched and uncreative. And the protagonists are often vapid and unlikeable.
This entry was inspired by reading a book by a chick lit novelist named Laura Zigman. Her first novel was called Animal Husbandry. It's about this woman who gets dumped by her boyfriend in a really cliched way, and the woman develops this really innovative theory about men that nobody has ever heard before. Get ready for it....
Men prefer having sex with a new woman to having sex with a woman they've already had sex with.
You're blown away, right? I mean, nobody's ever thought of that before. Moreover, the character doesn't change or grow. She just continues to be bitter until you're like, "Get the hell over it."
I was given a copy of her other book, Dating Big Bird, so I decided to give it another chance. I hated it slightly less, but the writing still irritated me and none of the characters were likeable. It was so pseudo-deep. Take the following exchange between the protagonist and her boyfriend:
"I could help you," I said.
He shook his head.
"I could," I said. "I could bring you back."
He shook his head again. "People don't come back from where I've been."
This is why I love Sophie Kinsella. She's genuinely funny, she doesn't take herself too seriously, her storylines are bizarre but at least they're not cliched, and she makes you really adore the male love interest. That's how every chick lit writer should write.
But clearly everyone doesn't agree with me, or else those terrible Laura Zigman books wouldn't get such great reviews.