Books, Weekly Lists

Weekly Lists #30: Favourite Chicklit

Every Wednesday, I post a list of 5 random things. This week, I’m talking about some of my favourite works (or authors) of chicklit!

Now, chicklit is basically my number one go-to genre when I want to read something relaxing, maybe even more so than YA! (and considering that I’ve already made several lists on some of my favourite types of YA-literature, that’s saying something!).
However, I do always tend to go back to the same authors – or even books – because, well, I like my chicklit a very particular way!

What exactly is that way then? Well, I need a happy ending (obviously) but I also need my characters to be likeable and relateable – now, oddly, that doesn’t necessarily mean I need them to live in similar circumstances (because 22-year-old college students can only have so many possible love plots), but mainly that I need them to have realistic ideas. For example, I physically can’t stand reading anything by Marian Keyes, who’s basically the queen of chicklit – and trust me, I’ve tried. Her characters just make me cringe, non-stop, whereas the authors and/or books I’m going to be mentioning here just have me rooting for them, and feeling along with them.

That being said, let’s get started!

This post is not sponsored in any way or form. It does, however, contain affiliate links.

1. Cathy Kelly

 


She’s my queen, okay? When I was 15, me and my family rented a holiday home where the owners left some of their books, one of which was a book by Cathy Kelly. I opened it, read it all in 2 days, and went to the library in search of more of her work as soon as I got back home.

In a way, I guess you could say she was my “gateway author”, because it was only once I read all the works I could find by her, that I started looking for similar authors.

If you haven’t read anything by her yet, I strongly advise everything, but my three all time favourites are Just Between Us, Always and Forever,and The House on Willow Street, all of which I own ànd gave 5 out of 5 stars (something I don’t actually do that often!)

2. Jill Mansell

 

If Cathy Kelly was the author that got me into Chicklit, Jill Mansell is the author who sealed the deal for me. She’s probably one of the most popular writers of chicklit in Belgium and the Netherlands (or at least, you can definitely find her books just about everywhere) and she’s also the chicklit author whose work I own most of – probably all but one of her books, but hey, I kept coming across 3 for 2 deals, can you blame me?
Her main characters tend to be slightly younger than those of Cathy Kelly, but they have that same somethingsomething that just makes me love them and root for the best all throughout the story.

Again, I do have some favourites, so although I feel like reading all of her work is pretty much something you should do if you, at all, like chicklit, I especially love To the Moon and Back (this one is probably my all-time favourite by her!), Three Amazing Things About You (this is the one that had me in tears and laughs the most, probably) and To The Moon And Back.
(this is the first of her novels I ever read, and as such it will probably always have a special place in my heart…)

3. Melissa Nathan

Although she has “only” written 5 works, I love every single one of them. I stumbled upon Acting Up (also published as Pride, Prejudice and Jasmin Field) because it’s basically a modern day-retelling of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice (and we all know how much I love Jane Austen) and loved it so much I just had to go and look for her other works.
Now that I’ve read them all, I probably love Persuading Annie the most, but I can’t give you any guarantee that it won’t have been replaced as my favourite Melissa Nathan-novel by tomorrow, by The Waitress.

What I love so much about all 3 of these novels is that their main character is so similar to me – not really a set idea on what they want to do with the rest of their lives, and so, basically, just hoping for a good (better) chance to come along, while doing whatever they’re doing.
That isn’t so much the case in The Learning Curve, which I think was the last novel she published before her death, and which, for some reason, I didn’t actually discover until about two years ago – suffice it to say, I’ve since read it definitely more than once, as well!

4. Freya North

 

Now, I have to admit that, although I really like the stories she creates, sometimes Freya North’s stories are just a bit too smutty for me (for all you none-tumblr-adherents out there: too explicit. Kinda).
The first book by her I ever read was Home Truths, a novel about 3 sisters who had a kind-of-messed-up-but-still-pretty-okay-to-great childhood and get back together after they all had gone into different directions in the three novels Freya North wrote about of each them, individually. I loved the story in this one, because it was so realistic in recreating the relationships between the sisters.

Although my library didn’t have all of her other works, I did manage to get my hands on Pip and Cat, two of the three sisters from Home Truths. Let me just repeat here that, if you’re not that keen on explicit scenes, you’d probably be better off with the other authors and/or works in this list, but otherwise, I’d also strongly recommend Pillow Talk and Secrets, both of which I really enjoyed!

5. Some other books

Of course I was going to end up making this list longer than I first intended it – it’s me, what did you expect. But here’s the thing: from the authors I mentioned thus far, I really liked all their work – quite often, though, I’ll discover one work I really love by an author, and then end up being disappointed, or just not as moved, by their other work. But: that doesn’t stop me from really, really liking that one book, and maybe one of you will love their other work as well! So here are some more books you should definitely go check out:

  • Rainbow Rowell: Landline and Attachments: although I really liked her YA-novel Fangirl, I was pretty disappointed with her other work. At the first try, I didn’t even get past the first 20 pages of Attachments! However, a lot of people were so positive about Landline that I figured I might as well go ahead and try it – long story short: I loved it, went back to Attachments, got through those first 20 pages and loved it as well!
  • Kristin Hannah, Firefly Lane: I’m not really sure to what extent you can actually say this book is chicklit in the classic sense (for one thing, it doesn’t have the happiest of endings), but I got this one from my best friend for my 16th birthday, finished it in less than a day, and have since re-read it more than once – it’s a beautiful story, although I would advise you to have some tissues on hand! (And it has a sequel, which I am fully intending to read – one day)
  • Sarra Manning: You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me, Unsticky and It Felt Like a Kiss: this is one of those great cases where 3 books are completely stand-alone, yet you still find some characters of each of them in all three, giving you (much-needed!) updates on what’s going on with them. I seriously love all of Sarra Manning’s work, but as she is more of a YA-author, I didn’t include her as a “fully-fledged-chicklit-author”. That should not, however, at all, stop you from reading any (or even all) of her books, because she has a great style, and she’s amazing at telling stories!
So, there you have it: 5 (and something) of my favourite chicklit works / collections / authors. Have you also read any of these? Do you have any other I should read (my TBR could always use the exercise 🙂 ) Be sure to let me know below!
-Saar