Monday, March 12, 2007

I've Over Chick Lit

Admittedly, I loved this genre when it debuted. Bridget Jones's Diary is an all-time favorite of mine. I still reach for it about once a year. It's great for a snowy night in or a long Saturday by the pool. Escapism at it's best. Bridget said and thought the things I was saying and thinking (although as a college senior I was a few years shy of the demographic and I chose to think of Bridget as more of an older sister rather than a happy hour buddy). However, by the time Bridget made it to the edge of reason, I started to regard her as the silly older sister I could only deal with at large family gatherings. Sure, she was great to have around when I needed a pep talk about living the single life, she was always super fun and would make me feel better about myself, but as matured, I began to look for something deeper.

What was worse, there started to be a lot of Bridget twins popping up and the covers of these books really drew me in. Some notables in my library are the set of books from Jennifer Weiner (which although heavy on overweight Jewish girls with low self-esteem at least had some heft to the themes) and Anne Maxted books (while still London based these featured longer reads and more meaty topics than the Bridget Jones duo). There were also a string of non-notable books with some variation of girl-meets-boy and then another boy and then learns a lesson about love and friendship while sipping cosmos and strutting around the city in Mahnolos (pretty much anything by Jane Green would qualify here). I read a slew of these.

This is all background to prove that I did give chick lit a chance, in fact, several chances and while I do respect the genre for reaching a new audience of women who might otherwise not read, I am over it. Here's why, like a bad Lifetime movie, these things suck you in and you can't get out. I was up until 12:30 last night reading Something Blue by Emily Giffin. I don't like the characters, it's not believable and the writing is somewhat loose and unstructured. Yet, there I was, exhausted, at 12:30 reading it. What's worse for me (other than feeling like I'm hung over from the lack of sleep), is that I'm not getting anything out of this book. It's not forcing me to think or challenging my thought structure, it's just entertainment (and conversely which while it is addictive, it isn't really all that entertaining). So I am bidding chick lit goodbye (when I'm finished with this book and at least until this summer). Like any good chick lit heroine, I've learned my lesson: I'm not the same girl I used to be and it is time to leave chick lit behind me.

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