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Topic: What's the difference?

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Subject: What's the difference?
Date Posted: 7/12/2007 2:02 AM ET
Member Since: 7/11/2007
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Between chick lit and romance novels?

Date Posted: 7/12/2007 4:23 AM ET
Member Since: 6/12/2007
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To me romance focuses on exactly that- romance.  The main character falling for the guy and the romance of it all.

Chick lit, yes has romance but not always and its not the only thing focused on in the book, its also about the characters journey in life, the ups and downs of everyday things.  Chick lit is also funny.  I also think chick lit is mostly young, by that I mean the heroine is usually of a younger age.  I don't read romance(ie Danielle Steels, Nora Roberts, harlequins) because I just don't feel I can relate to it.  The words, the dialogue all seem to mushy for me.  I mostly stick to the chick lit genre because I feel like I can relate more to the story, and I get to laugh while reading. 

Those are some of the  differences I see.

Date Posted: 7/12/2007 10:16 AM ET
Member Since: 2/28/2007
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It's been a loooong time since I read a romance novel, but I remember the dialogue being pretty sappy.  Those books seem to be primarily focused on the female character getting involved with the hero male character.  As I am writing this, I realize that this could also describe a lot of chick lit.  I am not sure how to explain it except that the dialogue is written in a different style.  Also, a lot of romance novels (not all, but a lot) seem to take place at some other time in history.  I haven't read a chick lit book yet that wasn't set in present day.  Also, as the above poster said, chick lit seems to focus not only on the love life of the character, but other aspects as well.  I feel that chick lit characters are more developed. 

Hope that helps.  This just represents my opinion, so I hope it didn't come across as offensive to romance novel fans.

Date Posted: 7/13/2007 2:17 AM ET
Member Since: 7/11/2007
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No not offensive, just wondering what made it different.  I love romance novels, but usually contemporary ones.  I'm a sucker for a happy ending and I'm thinking maybe chick lit doesn't really provide?

Date Posted: 7/13/2007 9:22 AM ET
Member Since: 2/28/2007
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Actually, chick lit almost always has a happy ending too!  So, if you are looking for a happy ending, you'll find it in chick lit.

Date Posted: 7/13/2007 2:24 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2006
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just thinking...I think we've been conditioned, esp with romance novels, that a 'happy ending' equates to undying love and marriage. Now I like romance and love 'happy endings' and if undying love and marriage are what makes that great! I like to sometimes read something where the woman (and guy too) end up happy, maybe together, maybe friends, maybe 'playing the field' for a change! :-) guess I'm controversial today!

I like to read something humorous sometimes (ok, often lately it seems!) and I've gotten so used to the woman ending up married or getting married at the end that it seems 'weird' when that doesn't happen...like there should be a sequel or something!

I'm trying to remember what 'chick lit' I've actually read and my mind's gone blank except for Jemima J...to me that one had a bit of romance but mostly just about the woman and some sex that maybe was romance on her part but not the focus...also ready cabot's heather wells mysteries and to me those are a mix of c hick lit as I think of it and mystery...the romance is sorta 'there' but nowhere near the focus.

I'm wanting chick lit for 40 somethings! I'm a bit tired of reading about these 20 year olds with the  young bodies and young attitudes/problems! I really enjoyed the harlequin 'next' titled 'never happened' because the character,t hough never fully developed I'd say, is 40, never married, no kids, and not seeking a serious relationship during the story..nice change of pace. just started another 'next' title that has a series by stevi mittman 'who makes up t hese rules anyway?' so hoping I like it as well..

anyone know of any 'older character' chick lit type books?

Date Posted: 7/13/2007 3:18 PM ET
Member Since: 6/12/2007
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Susanna

The "It's Never Too Late" books by Heather Estay are "older character" chick lit books.  I've never read them but they are in my reminder list, and I one is in my TBR list.  I've heard they are good.  There is Its Never Too Late To Get A LIfe, It's Never Too Late to Be A Bridesmaid, and Its Never Too Late to Look Hot.  I think they are wishlisted here, but I bought one off of Barnes and Noble in the bargain discounts for $2. 

Melissa

Date Posted: 7/13/2007 3:33 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2006
Posts: 14,634
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thanks Melissa..I have 'it's never too late to get a life' in my TBR pile..just got it when I noticed the title and thought it sounded interesting! I'll move it on up!

ETA: btw, is 'I did but I wouldn't now' pretty good? I see you have it on your shelf and it sounds interesting.



Last Edited on: 7/13/07 3:41 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 7/13/2007 4:50 PM ET
Member Since: 2/28/2006
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From Wikipedia:

Chick lit

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"Chick lit" is a term used to denote genre fiction written for and marketed to young women, especially single, working women in their twenties and thirties. The genre's creation was spurred on, if not exactly created, by Sue Townsend's Adrian Mole diaries which inspired Adele Lang's Confessions of a Sociopathic Social Climber: The Katya Livingston Chronicles in the mid-1990s. Another strong early influence can be seen in the books by M. C. Beaton about Agatha Raisin and Hamish Macbeth. The style can also be seen to be somewhat influenced by female teen angst movies like Sixteen Candles and Clueless. Later with the appearance of Helen Fielding's Bridget Jones's Diary and similar works; the genre continued to sell well in the 2000s, with chick lit titles topping bestseller lists and the creation of imprints devoted entirely to chick lit.

 

The genre

Chick lit features hip, stylish female protagonists, usually in their twenties and thirties, in urban settings (usually London or Manhattan), and follows their love lives and struggles in business (often in the publishing, advertising, public relations or fashion industry). The books usually feature an airy, irreverent tone and frank sexual themes. The genre spawned Candace Bushnell's Sex and the City and its accompanying television series. Popular Chick lit novelists include Ireland's Marian Keyes, and Sophie Kinsella author of the Shopaholic series. Variations have developed to appeal to specific audiences, such as Christian Chick Lit, Mom Lit (aka Hen Lit), Young Adult Chick Lit (also Teen Lit), and the novels of Emmy-winning author Lori Bryant-Woolridge, known for her chick lit novels (Read Between the Lies, Hitts and Mrs., Mourning Glo) written specifically with women of color in mind.

Date Posted: 7/13/2007 4:58 PM ET
Member Since: 6/12/2007
Posts: 1,905
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Susanna

I did but I wouldn't now is really good.  The book was funny, and I could not put it down.  The main character is in her twenties, but I think the situations she finds herself in pertain to any age.  I would recommend reading it, and also I do but I don't if you haven't.

Melissa

Date Posted: 7/16/2007 9:47 AM ET
Member Since: 2/28/2007
Posts: 2,164
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Susanna - check out anything by Anne Tyler or Sue Miller.  It's a bit heavier than fluffy chick lit, but the characters are all older, women...all books by these authors are very well written in my opinion.

Date Posted: 7/16/2007 11:36 AM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2006
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Thanks Lisa! I've heard of Anne Tyler but not Sue Miller so I'll check them out!

Date Posted: 7/20/2007 7:35 PM ET
Member Since: 7/14/2007
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Haywood Smith has some Chic Lit with older characters - 40's and 50's I think.

Date Posted: 7/21/2007 9:22 PM ET
Member Since: 6/13/2007
Posts: 8
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I recently read and completely enjoyed True Love and Homegrown Tomatoes by Julie Cannon

The main character is 64 and recently widowed. It is sad, then funny and has very enjoyable characters.

There's a lot about her life and her garden.

She ends up trying to find a new man, but there isn't a lot of typical romance, so....

 

I am wondering what genre this type of book would be in - for those of you more up to date on the genres & books.

 

(Thanks in advance)

 



Last Edited on: 7/21/07 9:35 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 7/22/2007 2:00 PM ET
Member Since: 7/14/2007
Posts: 8,942
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I think there's an evolving genre that I'd loosely categorize as "Red Hat".  What I've seen of it, I'd equate to Chic Lit for the older chic.  Same sort of story & dilemmas, older characters.

Haywood Smith has a couple of these out (on my bookshelf - BTW ;-) ), and I've seen other titles with "Red Hat" in them,or captioned as "A Red Hat novel".

 

Date Posted: 7/24/2007 3:34 PM ET
Member Since: 4/27/2007
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Here's another one for you, Susanna -

Mine Are Spectacular!
Author:
Lynn Schnurnberger, Janice Kaplan

I just finished this one not long ago. There's one person wishing for it right now, so the wait shouldn't be that long.

Date Posted: 8/18/2007 11:20 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2006
Posts: 14,634
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thanks for the recommendations about 'older chick lit'! I think I've gotten most that were recommended and found a few others while browsing that seem like they might fit the bill! I now have Haywood Smith's books, I do but I don't and the sequel, have one of the 'it's never too late' books and on the wishlists for the others and some mentioned on the previous page! I finished the harlequin Next series by stevi mittman(life on long island can be murder) and it's been fun. Just started a bombshell title about a woman who's around 40-ish trying to start over after her hubby of a long time was arrested for porn(actuallysoldfilms of her and him along with neighbors) and now the mob is after her, the ex is after her, and the FBI or w hoever thinks she's helping the ex...it's called 'sophie's last stand'..found this author (nancy bartholomew) when someone recommended her mystery series about a stripper n the mystery forum then searched the name and found several bombshell titles as well! also found 'mine are spectacular' at a super bargain price,well almost-it was a quarter and a super bargain is free LOL! looked like a fun read and the cover is cute! :-)

would rebecca wells' books be considered chick lit? the ones about the yayas? I enjoyed those a lot along with the red het society. I did find another book that is part of a red hat series someone mentioned but haven'tread it yet(latey been in my harlequin duets/flipside easy/lght/funny phase!)

anyways, thanks for all the recommendations! Also took advantage of a deal in the  book bazaar and got some more reads that sounded sorta romance/chick-lit-ish..dating big bird was one that I think I saw mentioned here once. my TBR pile is WAY too huge-mongous!



Last Edited on: 8/18/07 11:21 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/19/2007 9:48 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2006
Posts: 14,634
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I just finished Sophie's Last Stand by Nancy Bartholomew and am now reading 'It's Never too Late to get a Life' by Estay. Hope it's good! I enjoyed 'sophie's last stand' and want to start the stripper mysteries by her tomorrow when I go on night shift...

Date Posted: 8/21/2007 6:40 PM ET
Member Since: 7/23/2007
Posts: 16
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ok, I have a book in question, and I'm actually cringing at what I fear the answer might be *laughing*

I have NEVER read romance, never hoped to, etc. Then awhile ago I was somewhere and needed something to read, and the only thing I could find anywhere was Jennifer Crusie's Bet Me.. and, (curses) I loved it. I read it in an hour, laughed through it, yada.. So, tell me.. was it *cough* purely romance fiction...?

Oh crap, it was, wasn't it...?

  ...russa

 

Date Posted: 8/21/2007 8:43 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2006
Posts: 14,634
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hmm...maybe it was purely fiction with a touch of romance?? I read a lot of romance and this one was recommended by several on the love/romance forum so it's in my TBR pile.  I think a lot of authors/books crossover to different genres..I seem to prefer chick lit with a bit of a mystery and the same with the romance books...

plus I've read books outside of 'romance' and was surprised I enjoyed them when there was absolutely no romance in them at all!