Today’s topic is one of deep annoyance to me. Chick-lit. If you are unfamiliar with the term, it generally refers to literature aimed at women (the kind that have pastel coloured covers with love hearts all over them, you know the sort).
I love to read but I really don’t think I’ve found my genre yet. I have tried dabbling in romance novels and chick lit and honestly it’s just a bit shit. I know the genre gets a lot of bashing but to be honest it is just a bit meh. When I was watching Jane the Virgin (watch it if you haven’t btw it’s amazing), one bit really stood out to me when Jane is getting writing advice from her supervisor. And she says to her she needs to follow the rule of there being a conversation between two women that isn’t about a man. I thought this was actually really interesting, and generally is a great rule to follow. Who wants to read hundreds of pages of a woman pining over some man who will never notice her and telling everyone about it, only for him to notice her and for her to, get this, TELL EVERYONE ABOUT IT. GRRRRR.
I remember being about 15 and really annoyed by the whole hopelessly in love female protagonist and going to Waterstones to get some new books. I picked up one that sounded quite cool, it was about teleportation and orphaned kids being taken by the government in order to experiment with teleportation on them. And I was like yes this is safe. This sounds like it’s science fiction enough to be cool without being a bit too sci-fi for my liking. And BAM! What do you know? A tenuous and unnecessary romance story line, messily added to the plot.
Romance is great, don’t get me wrong. But sometimes I just want a story that actually stands alone as being a good story. It doesn’t need romance or a love interest to make it interesting. I just finished a book that only briefly skirted over romance and had the majority of the emphasis on the story, and honestly it was so refreshing. Why do books aimed at women always seem to have a strong romance element? Do editors and publishers think that that’s all that goes on in our brains or something? I guess the answer is that I should just read books aimed at men or a unisex audience. But it just raises the question of why can’t that niche be filled?