Chick lit. Women’s literature. Beach reads. What is it about books by, for, and about women, that is met with derision? Why is Stephanie Evanovich scorned, while James Patterson is embraced? If you’re hoping for an answer, this isn’t the place you’ll find it.
I’ll be the first to admit that “chick lit” as a genre is not something I generally lean towards. That isn’t to say I don’t love to read books by, for, and about women. I’m not sure where the line is that separates say, Bridget Jones’s Diary from Woman on the Edge of Time. I think maybe it’s about romance. “Heavy” or “serious” literature may feature romance subplots, but they aren’t the prime focus of the story, whereas in chick lit, it’s more about Girl Meets Boy.
All of this is to say, when I picked up Cure for the Common Breakup at the library, I wasn’t expecting much. The cover is what grabbed my attention, and then I read the first few pages while standing among the bookshelves, and I immediately wanted to know what happened next.
Cure for the Common Breakup has all the markings of a typical chick lit story. Girl suffers heartbreak, wallows, meets new boy, all while balancing life and love and a side dish of drama in the form of a small-town bully. When Summer Benson first arrives in Black Dog Bay, she’s just survived a plane crash and been dumped by her pilot boyfriend, all in one day. She’s welcomed by the locals, and finds herself drawn to the mayor of Black Dog Bay, a rugged, solemn man, who is “not her type”. Which of course means that he’s perfect for her!
I loved it. I stayed up past my bedtime to find out what happened next. It was a story that demanded very little from me, and gave me a sweet sugary feeling right down to my toes. I might even see if the library has any other books in the series. Kendrick’s writing features all the trope characters you might expect from a chick lit book, but she gives them new life. They’re fleshed out characters, for the most part. There are *some* characters who are less three-dimensional, but one is able to look past them to the larger story.
All in all, 4 icecream scoops out of a possible 5.