This IS Chick Lit…thank goodness!

I really hadn’t thought about purchasing this book, even though I’d heard a lot about it. Lauren Baratz-Logsted put this collection of short stories together in response to seeing another book was being published called “This is NOT Chick Lit.” Feeling that Chick Lit as a genre should not be bashed as inferior writing or just about fluffy silly girls in designer shoes, Lauren asked 17 other successful authors (one who doesn’t even normally write chick lit) to contribute to this anthology showing that chick lit is not all the same.

When I spotted it on the table during a recent Borders binge, I couldn’t resist though. I LOVE Chick Lit. Do I love EVERY Chick Lit book I’ve ever read? Of course not. Just like I haven’t loved every romance novel I’ve read or every YA or every mystery or every nonfiction book or literary novel (and YES, I have read a few of those!).

I was actually not expecting short stories when I bought THIS IS CHICK LIT. I actually thought it was a book of essays. And, upon discovering they were short stories, I was a little worried…I’m not much of a short story/novella person. (But do I BASH people who write short stories or novellas ?! Do I consider them to be inferior in some way because they are not full length books?! NO WAY! Unlike some NOT Chick Lit-type folks.)

But, boy was I surprised! I liked almost every one of the stories. I’m not going to tell you which ones didn’t float my boat, because unlike some NOT Chick Lit-type folks, I have an open mind and realize that just because I didn’t like something doesn’t mean that no one else should like it or be given the option of liking it.

Most of the stories were delightful! The characters made me laugh, and a couple made me cry. There was mystery, suspense, heartache, and romance. None of the stories are “the same” in any way other than that they are written by women, about women, for women. The stories cannot be all clumped into one group to be dismissed.

I thoroughly enjoyed this collection. If you like Chick Lit, read it. You’ll do a lot of smiling. I know I did. I feel honored to be part of this genre. If you’ve never read Chick Lit, read it. Read it with an open mind. I don’t promise you’ll love every story, but I promise that you will relate to at least a few of the stories.

Will I be buying the book that set this all off, THIS IS NOT CHICK LIT? No. My reasoning? I have no desire to support a group of women who feel that the only way to promote their own writing (some of which I imagine is probably quite good) is by bashing OTHER writers’ writing as poorly written, silly, fluffy, “all the same,” or whatever other descriptions they have assigned to Chick Lit.

As a writer, your writing should shine on its own. It should not shine only because someone else’s is supposedly inferior. Do I expect everyone to like my book? No way. I hope lots of readers do, but I accept that not everyone will like it. I hope they do find other books that they enjoy, because the important thing is that they are reading.

Would I say you should read VENUS ENVY because “X Book” is a pompous windbag of a book? No. I say you should read VENUS ENVY because I think it’s a dang good book. One that stands on its own merit.

And I don’t need to tear anyone else down to prove it.

Shannon