Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Old Beginnings 13

Chick-Lit today
If you're not a chick, you'll have to pretend you are, just as you pretended you were 14 yesterday. Sources posted below.

1. I'm sorry, you must think I'm very rude. We've hardly even been introduced and here I am telling you all about the awful things that have happened to me.

Let me just give you the briefest outline of myself and I'll save details like, for example, my first day at school until later, if we have the time.

Let's see, what should I tell you? Well, my name is Claire and I'm twenty-nine and, as I mentioned, I've just had my first child two days ago (a little girl, seven pounds, four ounces, totally beautiful) and my husband (did I mention his name is James?) told me about twenty-four hours ago that he has been having an affair for the past six months, with -- and get this -- not even his secretary or someone glamorous from work, but with a married woman who lives in the apartment two floors below us. I mean, how suburban can you get! And not only is he having an affair but he wants a divorce.

I'm sorry if I'm being unnecessarily flippant about this. I'm all over the place. In a moment I'll be crying again. I'm still in shock, I suppose. Her name is Denise and I know her quite well.

Not quite as well as James does, obviously.

2. "Have you seen it?" asked Samantha.

I leaned close to my computer so my editor wouldn't hear me on a personal call.

"Seen what?"

"Oh, nothing. Never mind. We'll talk when you get home."

"Seen what?" I asked again.

"Nothing," Samantha repeated.

"Samantha, you have never once called me in the middle of the day about nothing. Now come on. Spill."

Samantha sighed. "Okay, but remember: Don't shoot the messenger."

Now I was getting worried.

"Moxie. The new issue. Cannie, you have to go get one right now."

"Why? What's up? Am I one of the Fashion Faux Pas?"

"Just go to the lobby and get it. I'll hold."

This was important. Samantha was, in addition to being my best friend, also an associate at Lewis, Dommel, and Fenick. Samantha put people on hold, or had her assistant tell them she was in a meeting. Samantha herself did not hold. "It's a sign of weakness," she'd told me. I felt a small twinge of anxiety work its way down my spine.

3. Bergdorf Blondes are a thing, you know, a New York craze. Absolutely everyone wants to be one, but it's actually très difficult. You wouldn't believe the dedication it takes to be a gorgeous, flaxen-haired, dermatologically perfect New York girl with a life that's fabulous beyond belief. Honestly, it all requires a level of commitment comparable to, say, learning Hebrew or quitting cigarettes.

Getting the hair color right is murder, for a start. It all began with my best friend, Julie Bergdorf. She's the ultimate New York girl, since glamorous, thin, blonde department-store heiresses are the chicest thing to be here. Someone heard she'd been going to Ariette at Bergdorf for her color since high school, because apparently she told her personal shopper at Calvin Klein who told all her clients. Anyway, it was rumored in certain circles that Julie got her blonde touched up every thirteen days exactly and suddenly everyone else wanted to be Thirteen-Day Blondes. The hair can't be yellow, it has to be very white, like Carolyn Bessette Kennedy's was. She's the icon, the hair to worship. It's beyond expensive. Ariette is like $450 a highlight, if you can get in with her, which obviously you can't.

4. The light hadn't even officially turned green at the intersection of 17th and Broadway before an army of overconfident yellow cabs roared past the tiny deathtrap I was attempting to navigate around the city streets. Clutch, gas, shift (neutral to first? Or first to second?), release clutch, I repeated over and over in my head, the mantra offering little comfort and even less direction amid the screeching midday traffic. The little car bucked wildly twice before it lurched forward through the intersection. My heart flip-flopped in my chest. Without warning, the lurching evened out and I began to pick up speed. Lots of speed. I glanced down to confirm visually that I was only in second gear, but the rear end of a cab loomed so large in the windshield that I could do nothing but jam my foot on the brake pedal so hard that my heel snapped off. Shit! Another pair of seven-hundred-dollar shoes sacrificed to my complete and utter lack of grace under pressure: this clocked in as my third such breakage this month.

5. I can't believe this. I can't believe I don't remember what he looks like! How can I not remember what he looks like? I mean, his tongue has been in my mouth. How could I forget what someone whose tongue has been in my mouth looks like? It's not like there've been that many guys who've had their tongues in my mouth. Only, like, three.

And one of those was in high school. And the other one turned out to be gay.

God, that is so depressing. Okay, I'm not going to think about that right now.

It isn't like it's been THAT long since I last saw him. It was just three months ago! You would think I'd remember what someone I've been dating for THREE MONTHS looks like.

Even if, you know, for most of those three months we've been in separate countries.

Still. I have his photo. Well, okay, you can't really see his face in it. Actually, you can't see his face at all, since it's a photo of his -- oh God -- naked ass.

Old Beginnings 13

1. Watermelon....Marian Keyes
2. Good in Bed....Jennifer Weiner
3. Bergdorf Blondes....Plum Sykes
4. The Devil Wears Prada....Lauren Weisberger
5. Queen of Babble....Meg Cabot


Anonymous said...

So I guess every piece of chick-lit out there has to use 1st-person narration. Ugh.

Beth said...

I can now safely say that chicklit is so not for me. It wouldn't have been for me even when I was twenty-something.

1. No. Too chatty. And then it's too tragic.

2. Maybe. I'd at least keep reading to find out what "it" is. But I think the cryptic conversation goes on a bit too long. And I didn't at first realize that it was a phone conversation.

3. By the time I got to the second paragraph, my eyes were glazing over. Shallow and boring. (Did I say I was not the audience for chicklit?)

4.Not sure why there's so much detail about driving in traffic--where's the actual story? And she wears $700 shoes while driving a straight? While driving anything? Does she know nothing about the care and feeding of nice shoes? Apparently not. My sympathies are not engaged, particularly toward someone who can afford to keep doing stupid things to her $700 shoes.

5. No. Not ever.

none said...

I'm not a chick, I'm a sqrl! Okay, okay, I am a chick, but (thank dog!) that doesn't mean I have to, yanno, read this stuff. Give me back my William Golding, please.

1. Good voice, and it does draw me in, but the details of what I'm being drawn into don't interest me very much. New mum. Husband having affair. That's something of an overused plot device (to put it mildly). Already I'm looking to put the book down.

2. Irritating in the way it's determined not to tell the reader anything. Then I ceased to care at Fashion Faux Pas.

3. This one managed to turn me off in the first sentence. Way to go!

4. I was enjoying this one, especially as it brought back fond memories of my own driving lessons and the way I kept putting the car into fourth instead of second, but then the seven hundred dollar shoes dropped into the narrative and I realised I don't care.

5. Engaging voice, but it rambles on a bit too much. Fun details, but do I care? Not really.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful. Another piece of great advice from the so-called "Evil Editor". So, my wife caught me pretending to be a chick so I could participate - as you instructed - and after making me give her back her underwear and heels, put my stuff in a suitcase and put said suitcase and myself out on the street. Hope you're happy now. Hope you're all happy.

Stacia said...

LOL Anonymous!

1. I have read this, and enjoyed it. I really like this particular writer.

5. I'd probably keep reading.

The rest--no. Especially not #3. Bleh! I know what book it is, and I wouldn't read it even if it wasn't so poorly written.

Anonymous said...

Since these are chick lits, they are supposed to have a chatty, intimate tone. Chick lit heroines also obsess about fashion and figures. So, taking that into consideration:

1. Yes, my favorite of the bunch. The humor is well done, tending toward understatement, which I really like. The book starts with a major life crisis, a situation that promises plenty of future complications since the "other woman" lives in the same building.

2. Yes, interesting situation, hooks me right away. Again, good use of humor.

3. No. The tone and situation here did not appeal.

4. Yes, I recognized it, although I haven't seen the Meryl Streep film yet.

5. Maybe. This also starts with a life crisis, and the author portrays the requisite confessional tone, but it's so OTT emotional I wonder where it could go from here (I couldn't read anything that wallows for too long).

HawkOwl said...

1. No. It sounds really fake. I don't think anyone who gave birth two days ago (to a baby she wanted, anyway) would tell you the name of her husband's mistress before she'd tell you her baby's name.

2. Depends on the back copy. It's being overly dramatic but if the plot synopsis amuses me, I'd carry on.

3. Hell's yes! I love New York satire, unlike books that are simply set in New York because the author genuinely thinks something especially deep and meaningful will happen as a result.

4. I read that. I don't think this beginning is very good, I didn't think the middle was very good, and I thought the end was very, very lame. There seems to be an expectation throughout that we're rooting for the protagonist, when really she's just a dirty, passive-aggressive, self-absorbed little quasi-teen who doesn't understand what her job is.

5. No. I really don't care what he looks like or whose tongue has been in whose mouth. And like a lot of minions, I get tired of reading about "he" and "she" for pages.

Anonymous said...

This isn't a genre I read, but I'll take a stab.

Would I read on?

1. Maybe. There's humour here, but the conflict is a bit melodramatic.

2. Yes. I'm curious as to what's up, although I do think the way the phone call started - "Do you know?" "Know what?" "Never mind; we'll talk later" - was annoying.

3. No. Absolutely nothing of interest has happened. You can make me care about people wanting to be Bergdorf blondes, but you don't accomplish it by discussing the details of dying hair.

4. Probably not. I was with the protagonist right up until she admitted wrecking $2100 worth of shoes in a month. Then I couldn't relate anymore. Why the f didn't she throw a pair of sneakers into the car before she left?

5. Uh...I really don't know. Probably yes, at least for a few more paragraphs. I am intrigued, but in a horrified kind of way.

Anonymous said...

Dear God in Heaven. Not only would I have to pretend to be a "chick," I'd have to pretend to be materialistic, shallow, and breathlessly chatty. I just don't have the strength.

Anonymous said...

I guess I just discovered today that I am NOT a chick lit fan. None of it seems real enough. The only one I recognized was #4 because my supervisor has a copy sitting on her desk and I flipped open the front page this morning to see what all the fuss was about.
If these are prime examples of chick lit, I'm outa the game. They're all a buncha spoiled little shits.

RainSplats said...

Ugh...I had to pretend I was reading mystery novels just to get through those openings. I imagined a dark, deviant criminal mastermind was about to put each of those chicks out of her misery. Each opening became more exciting and more readable--some deserving their fate more than others.

1. Main char is definitely the murderer--sounds like she's confessing to the crime.

2. Love the way Samantha lures the main char down to the lobby while retaining her phone-alibi.

3. Serial killer. I wonder if the culprit is an evil man with a fetish or a woman who's gone crazy trying to get a hair appointment. I’d look closely at anyone with a menial job at Bergdorf—sweeping up hair; washing towels; restocking shelves.

4. ...needs to get smashed by a semi-truck....SOON! I foresee her ending up like the Wicked Witch of the East—nothing but those pretty shoes sticking out from under the truck.

5. Didn't love this one. Stalking a guy and taking pictures of his naked butt through the window isn't nearly exciting enough. Maybe he'll do something that threatens her fantasy like get a real girlfriend. The author should've started with that.

Anonymous said...

Let's get this straight, I am not a chick, if I had to be any animal I'd be a tiger. I refuse to pretend to be a chick, not even for EE. That said, my feminist side is bothered by the fact that only one of these openings seemed written well. OK - maybe two. Although I don't tend to read chick lit, I know there's gotta be better ones out there, right? right? (hearing crickets...)

The first one was not bad, I would have read on to see if she gets her revenge. The second one was kind of boring for me. I can't even tell you how much I despised the third one, blech, was that a POD or did a real publisher print that? The fourth one was meh, I was surprised to realize that I had read it(cause of the movie). I didn't remember this opening at all, which is pretty much how I felt about the book (didn't see the movie though). The fifth one was kind of ok, I think. But did I get riveted by any of these openings? Absolutely not. I know that there is good chick-lit out there but I don't think these (with the exception of the first one) were it, or if they are representative of all that is out there, then that explains why I don't read chicken scratch, I mean chick lit.

Anonymous said...

Clearly there's a reason why I don't read chick lit.

1. At least her husband's affair is a valid thing to get upset about. Poor, brave girl! I'm so depressed for her. But I wouldn't read on.

2. Okay, I loved "Samantha herself did not hold." This sensitivity to these nuances of modern behavior really capivate me -- it's like reading a Regency novel. I definitely would read it.

3. I can't relate to this extreme an obsession over hair. It's so trivial. Are people really like this? On the other hand, it's very clever. Tres amusant.

4. Bah. I read this book, and it's no sensitive observation of the modern scene. It was crude and heavy-handed description of the kinds of obsessions that are more elegantly limned in #s 2 and 3.

(Hey, how about that "limned?" I wonder if I get extra points for that.)

5. Funny voice. A bit overwrought, but I'd read on.

Now to find out who they are.


Anonymous said...

I like rainsplats!

Anyway, each and every one of these made me roll my eyes. Probably each LINE made me roll my eyes. No wonder I have a headache and no wonder I never read "chick lit". Holy crap. Literally.

Anonymous said...

I am not a chick-lit reader (who could possibly care so much about shoes and designer labels?), but here goes:

1 and 5 are terrible. Just terrible. What a lot of words to say nothing much! I'm astonished that these are from published books.

2 isn't the greatest opening, but I recognize the source and know that the rest of the book is much better than this excerpt indicates.

3? Meh. Amusing voice, but the subject matter is clearly nothnig that I would want to read about.

4. Hmm. This one isn't bad... I'd read on and give it a chance to impress me by page two.

EE, thanks for justifying my avoidance of all things Chick-Lit.

Anonymous said...


2. Anything in a magazine that is that vital turns me off in a huge way.

3. Ugh. Hair dye in New York. Two things I cannot relate to whatsoever. However, that's because I'm in the high plains badly needing a dye job back to black.

4. Yawn. She's having trouble driving a stick shift in big city traffic. And she's destroying shoes worth more than my salary when I was working. Yawn. Now, if she was wrecking her car on her birthday four days after getting married by fumbling the footfeet while doing 70mph down the interstate in Missouri...that might be interesting. Not that I would know anything about that...nope, not a thing... /denial

5. OK. The magic words appeared... "naked ass." I'm there.

Anonymous said...

Seriously? Sci-fi, fantasy, mystery, YA... but NOT ONE minion reads chick-lit? Who the hell is buying this stuff, then?

Anonymous said...

One minion reads almost everything - certainly almost anything.

3 & 4 - Bergdorf Blondes (Plum Sykes) and The Devil Wears Prada (Lauren Weisberger) are practically lit icons of the empty fashion world. You really want to read these in order to get a great worm's eye view of a piece of the publishing world you may not know a great deal about, namely, fashion magazines, the place where so many of those Seven Sister grads get jr. editor jobs before moving on to the big name houses.

One thing I have to say about successful chick lit is that it's *funny* - if you can't write clever, you can't write chick lit.

I don't know if I would have continued with 1 & 2 - I think reading 2 out of 4 is quite enough.

Anonymous said...

OMG - five - there were five, not four. Okay, that's how impressed I was!

Anonymous said...

Umm, Bewildered - I've read one by Mary Janice Davidson - I can't remember the title but it was fun, a great light read. Something about a bar-hopping, fashionista who'd been saved from death and made into the Bionic Woman essentially. She fell in love with the guy they'd first perfected the technique on.

I wished she'd been a bit more kick-ass and I thought there were a couple holes in the plot but I didn't dig deeply. That's not what these books are for.

I'd read chick lit again and, for the record, I liked one and two.

Beth said...



HawkOwl said...

Rainsplats - you rock! LOL

Kathleen said...

I liked #1-3 a lot. I would definitely keep reading those. Good voices, clear writing, topic/conflict laid out neatly.
#4, with the traffic and the broken heel, was just a boring beginning. #5 - The tone didn't appeal to me at all. It seemed very juvenile, and not appropriate for "Chick Lit".

Anonymous said...

Rainsplats, I think I'm in love with you.

(Sorry, goblin, wherever you are)

I can't even force down my own natural disdain for the kind of person who would 1) wear $700 shoes while driving a stick, or 2) drive a stick in NY traffic when she obviously has no freaking idea how. If she's driving a manual, it's either because she's too stupid to realize automatics are no more expensive these days, or because she's bought into the whole "standards are cool" thing, which is the biggest load of crap ever.

Fashion magazines? $450 hair appointments? I read newspapers and my haircuts cost me ten--yes, ten--dollars. I might struggle through #1 and #5, if someone was paying me, or if it was a school assignment or something. But that isn't really an endorsement, is it? The other three, well my body is trying to reject them.

As to who's buying these, well, there are 8 million people (is it more now?)in NY. Stands to reason that with 4 million women, 1 million of them under thirty, probably half of those are self-absorbed mannequins, and the other half aspire to be. There's your market, right there.

Anonymous said... it just me, or are all these samples comparatively *bad* when compared to the other Old Beginnings (and especially to the YA ones)? No wonder they say it's tough to break into children's writing. Based on this evidence it must be really, really easy to break into Chick-lit. Definitely visiting the YA section of my local bookstore.

Anonymous said...


It isn't just you.

pacatrue said...

Since everyone else has spent their time destroying an intensely popular sub-genre, I will jump in to say that I generally liked these openings, though they weren't as good as the YA ones. It was a bit hard to believe the emotion in #1 in that it would be hard to be quite so chatty if one gives birth and loses a husband in 48 hours, but the writing seemed fun and I have a feeling the novel would be a fun light read. I'd keep reading, not expecting Tolstoy, and enjoying myself just fine, I bet. #2 was a nice bit of tension. I love dialogue myself and this was decent. The first couple lines weren't quite right, but it hit it's stride. Whether or not I made it out of the first chapter would probably depend on what she discovered in the magazine. #3. OK, I didn't like this one either. Oddly, I bet it has the most "meat", meaning the greatest transformation of character, but I have such a hard time relating now that I wouldn't make it to that point.

Anonymous said...

1. Way OTT for cliche'd romantic trauma.

2. Good suspense. I'd give it another page or two to get the flavour of the crisis that has a 'no-hold' woman willing to put herself on hold for a friend. Good 'show' there.

3. Being a sucker for stories about rich ditzes behaving badly (but I draw the line at Paris, unless she's ever found face down with an ice sculpture sticking up from her back), I'd give this another half-page to get beyond the hair and tell me why I should care about any of these expensive wives & daughters who spend my month's rent getting their roots painted.

4. Anybody can have trouble learning to drive a standard. Anyone dumb enough to try that in NY traffic isn't high on my list of desirable protagonists. Anyone dumb enough to wreck a THIRD pair of expensive shoes doing the same stupid thing is SO not on my list of bathtub-heroines.

5. Yawn.

Anonymous said...

Well, although I am a chick, I'm not big on chick-lit -- however, one sounds interesting. I tried #2 after seeing the watered-down version on TV, but couldn't get into it. #3 didn't come close to interesting me (who cares about hair??). I also tried #4 after seeing the movie, but couldn't make it through it (and ended up selling it on Amazon). #5? Can't even remember it, and I just started these comments moments ago. Now I'll have to check the titles....

Talia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Goblin forgives you, KIS. Goblin snorfed mightily over Rainsplats' commentary also.

*plants a big revolting goblin-smooch on your KISser*

McKoala said...

I do like some chick lit, but not most of these.

1. No. A monologue approach has to be done really well and this one is clumsy both in content and style.

2. No. So many chick lit novels start with an irritating conversation - look, here's another one!

3. Yes. I love the tone and the details.

4. No, cliche, cliche 'tiny deathtrap' and oh there we go the $700 shoes that every girl in a chick lit novel seems to be able to afford. If she put the three of them together she would be able to afford a better car.

5. No. See 1. Also too ditzy. Ditzy has been done to death. Bored now.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm. I think it's possible to give an opinion on the openings without dissing the entire genre and the people who read it. If chick lit ain't your thing, it ain't your thing, but why the need to convince us all that you are so far above it? Methinks thou dost protest too much. I'm not a chick-lit reader either - I didn't recognize any of these openings - but I am saavy enough to recognize that chicklit is (though it's on the decline) a huge portion of the market. Not all the readers are mindless, nor are they all New Yorkers, nor do they necessarily read strictly chick lit. We would do well not to elevate ourselves right out of a huge potential market.

Anonymous said...

I've read Bridget Jones Diary, that's sums up my experience with chick lit. But I liked #2. I thought the writing was good, and as an opening, it was clever because it intrigued.

But the ruining of 700 dollar shoes? That hurt.

Stacia said...

Rachel's Holiday was my favorite Keyes, and Watermelon my least favorite also Talia! I agree, I'm not much into chick lit but I do really like Marian Keyes.

Anonymous said...

I grabbed the book on my co-worker's desk again and flipped ahead a few pages. Apparently the uber expensive standard car belongs to the protagonist's boss and the protagonist had been ordered to pick it up from the garage and bring it back to the office. Ya gotta do what the boss tells ya!

I read Bridget Jones. Luurrrrved it.

HawkOwl said...

Not only that, but all the expensive clothes she ruins come from the magazine's gigantic stock of products given them by manufacturers for their photo shoots, reviews, articles, etc. The protagonist actually has no interest in fashion. She's just spontaneously bitchy.

I have to agree with 8:40 PM that all the dumping on chick lit seems like... sour grapes, maybe? Chick lit isn't even as shallow as, say, fantasy, but even if it was, so what? Not all fiction has to be "literature." A lot of it is just plain entertainment, and chick lit can be pretty darn entertaining, so why is it less worthy than what you're writing at home?

I'm gonna buy Bergdorf Blondes.

Anonymous said...

1. I wouldn't read this one. The whole new baby/divorce thing was too sad a beginning. I kept wondering where they baby was, too. Sounded like mom was in a bar talking to strangers.

2. I've read this one, but I wish I hadn't. The last portion of the book was too emotionally dark for me, and she lost my sympathy. The opening appealed, however.

3. I'd probably read this one. Sometimes perfect shallowness is fun to read. I liked the line about the level of commitment required.

4. I'd try this one too. Although someone above has a good point about why hasn't she learned to put her tennis shoes on to drive yet? If she is hopelessly ditzy throughout the book, I'd give up on it.

5. I was interested until she mentioned the naked ass picture. I don't care that she has it, just that she seems to expect to recognize his face from it. That and she seems surprised that it's a picture of his ass. Surely a picture she's had for three months would have lost the ability to surprise by now.

I wonder, EE, if knowing the genre of these excerpts is prejudicing our opinion. Just a thought.

Anonymous said...

Hawkowl said: "Chick lit isn't even as shallow as, say, fantasy..."

Eh? Fantasy deals with good and evil, war, death, honour, betrayal, suffering, religion, the boundaries between reality and madness, and the human soul. Chick-lit deals with shoes, handbags, how much you hate your boss, why your boyfriend won't give you a key to his flat and (most important of all) cellulite. *Which* one of these genres is shallow? I actually enjoy 'female' fiction quite a lot (when it's done well), but I could never argue that it's a more serious genre than fantasy. At least not with a straight face.

Anonymous said...

Wow. I know that chick lit protagonists have to be femme, but they can't all have to be shallow and irritating, right? Right?

1. I wouldn't kick her off the phone (assuming I actually knew her), but why would I pay money to listen to this?

2. The only one where I'd read on, even a bit. And if the crisis in the fashion magazine wasn't really interesting and non-shallow, I'd throw the book across the room.

3. Are there actually people like this? If so, how have I been fortunate enough to never speak to one of them, and how can I continue?

4. Clunky prose--I had to read the first sentence twice. Seven-hundred-dollar shoes? Even if they're not yours--buy a pair of sneakers, already.

5. I wouldn't kick her off the phone, but I would reassure her and try to change the topic. *Checks title* My god, you mean she does this for the entire book?

Lyvvie said...

I've read number one - it was great! The ending had me in tears and that doesn't happen often for me.

And uhm...I can't remember who wrote it. But it's upstairs on my bookshelf right now!

HawkOwl said...

Zee - You're funny.

Fantasy doesn't "deal" with issues, it uses big clunky concepts like "war" and "evil" as devices for plots where psychological finesse is the last thing anyone cares about.

Chick lit may not "deal with" war but at least it talks about human beings doing things that actually a lot of human beings care about, not wars betweens imaginary species using magic to win magic Talismans of Power. The topics are way more relevant, and the treatment is no more vapid.

A. M. said...

Jesus, do I have to apologize or duck or post anonymous? Hey, I read more than literary fiction, more genres than just thrillers, crime mysteries and whatever seems to be deemed acceptable around here.

1.Sorry, but it's debatable if this is page one. Should we completely ignore the 2-page "Preface" that ends with something like:
"This was the story why he was present at childbirth. The story why and how he left me is a bit longer".

1. Yes. B/c she's not focusing on the baby, otherwise it would be a definite No. No Mommy-Lit, please.

It's now in my house, waiting to be read.

2. She's holding for her friend even though she'd not do that for other people. Cool. Plus, I now need to know WTF is in the mag.

BUT they could've shortened it. Shoot the messenger, second nothing, could def. go.

It's on my Must-check-out list anyhow.

3. I don't read what's mistakenly called "Women's mags" - you know, ads with filler sound bites written around them as an excuse to charge you for their advertising.

This sounds like a hell of a good time. Plus, no ads! Never have read Sykes, btw.

4. Must see movie, will def. read book. At first, beginning sounded blah until I got to the shoes. Why three ruined shoes? What's with that chick? Can relate to someone trying (learning) to do something while the world around doesn't give a f*** and pressures you and - in her case - makes you nervous. Shoes too "big", car too small. And she's not used to driving.

I can't believe they didn't edit out "visually". What a redundancy.

5. Painful. Is this YA?

Anonymous said...


Don't take Hawkowl's vile slandering of the fantasy genre to heart. She's just mad at me for implying she has a bad relationship with her mother, and taking it out on the thing I most love. ;)

Anonymous said...

Oh, and Goblin, after that big, wet slimy goblin-smooch, I've forgotten all about Rainblatts. I mean Rhinepats. Whatever. I'm yours.

Anonymous said...

From what I'm hearing from Romance Writers of America conference attendees, from the mouths of agents and editors, chick lit has died a quick death over the last six months or so. Harlequin just dumped their chick lit line (Bombshell). So for those who didn't like these openings, you won't have to suffer much longer.

Talia said...

i'm going to come out in support of chick lit. i agree that the chick lit bashing does smack of "intellectual superiority" and arrogance

the truth is that the people who are bashing it HAVE NOT read chick lit and are not in any position to comment.

what is this about the books not dealing with serious issues? marian keyes' books deal with depression, alcoholism, drug rehab, solo parenting among other things. (repeating myself here...)

before you comment i suggest you read rachel's holiday.

Anonymous said...

Hawkowl said: "Zee - You're funny.

Fantasy doesn't "deal" with issues, it uses big clunky concepts like "war" and "evil" as devices for plots where psychological finesse is the last thing anyone cares about.

Chick lit may not "deal with" war but at least it talks about human beings doing things that actually a lot of human beings care about, not wars betweens imaginary species using magic to win magic Talismans of Power. The topics are way more relevant, and the treatment is no more vapid."

Based on that, I'd guess you haven't read any fantasy for a long, long time (if ever) - and that when (if) you did read it, it wasn't the good stuff. Not all fantasy or SF books are Lord of the Rings or Lord of the Rings knock-offs. Do some research before you make sweeping generalisations. Go out and buy a copy of 'His Dark Materials' or something. If you're not prepared to do that, then at least stop pretending you know something about the genre. You plainly don't.

Anonymous said...

Talia Mana: I don't think chick-lit is necessarily more shallow than any other genre. My point was that you can MAKE any genre sound like rubbish if you describe it in bald terms (such as Hawkowl's throwaway condemnation of the entire fantasy genre) which take no account of writing quality, emotional sincerity and, dammit, entertainment value. So I WILL go out and read 'Rachel's Holiday' and thank you for the recommendation.