The 7 Best Chick Lit books for every chapter of a woman’s journey

I don’t know about you, but I love nothing more than escaping with a great novel. Whether snuggled in bed, lounging by the pool, or taking a hot bath — there’s something so enticing about getting lost in the pages of a good story. So today, I want to share the best Chick Lit books that every woman should read.

Now, before you roll your eyes at the thought of clichéd romances and predictable plotlines, let me assure you — the books we’re about to explore are anything but cheesy. They’re a celebration of women in all their complexities and struggles, wrapped up in riveting storylines that are as engaging as they are empowering.

So, grab your favorite cup of tea, find a cozy corner, and let’s embark on this literary adventure together.

Woman reading a book in bed

*Disclosure: I only recommend products and services that I would use myself, and all opinions expressed here are my own. As an Amazon Associate and affiliate partner of certain other brands, I earn from qualifying purchases. This post contains affiliate links, which means I may earn a small commission (at no additional cost to you) when you sign up or make a purchase through these links.  Please see the privacy policy and terms of use to learn more.

What is Chick Lit?

Simply put, Chick Lit is a literary genre of fiction written for women. The rise of these female-centric narratives gained significant popularity during the 1990’s and 2000’s, but are still relevant and beloved today amongst modern women. These endearing and engaging tales of relatable females navigating their way through life’s ups and downs provide a sense of community and commonality for the reader. Each storyline covers a variety of hot topics — from career struggles to complicated family dynamics, from self-reflection to romantic relationships — all framed from the perspective of an authentic, flawed, and oh-so-familiar female protagonist.

Book and cup of tea laying on a bed

Chick Lit isn’t cheesy

While some critics might dismiss Chick Lit as cheesy or ‘light reading,’ I’d like to set the record straight. The truth is, there is nothing light about a woman’s journey — and the best Chick Lit books capture the female journey in all its glorious messiness and heartfelt moments. 

Chick Lit novels get a bad rep for their lighthearted humor, but I’d argue that this dash of humor is a clever mechanism to touch on many of women’s greatest challenges in an approachable manner. From the body image struggles of Bridget Jones to gender inequality in the workplace of Elizabeth Zott to the complicated financial and cultural dynamics faced by Rachel Chu — each of these stories touches on multiple societal obstacles that women face every day. 

No matter if it’s 2024 or 1813, the powerful themes in each of these books are relatable and engaging, helping female readers feel seen, empowered, and — hopefully — ready to write the next chapter in their own story.

Woman sipping coffee and reading on e-reader

The 7 Best Chick Lit Books

So, without further adieu, let’s dive into the seven best Chick Lit books.

1. The lifestyles of the rich and famous, with a side of family drama

Crazy Rich Asians book cover

Crazy Rich Asians, by Kevin Kwan

The Story: This coming-into-your-own tale revolves around Rachel Chu, a first-generation Asian American woman, traveling to meet her serious boyfriend’s family for the first time in his faraway hometown of Singapore. Of course, Rachel is quickly surprised to discover that her boyfriend, Nicholas, is the heir to one of Asia’s most massive family fortunes. Finding herself thrust into the ruthless world of Asia’s ultra-rich, Rachel struggles to navigate the murky waters of unfamiliar cultural traditions and impossible-to-please family members — and stay true to herself and her relationships.

So Relatable: Touching on universal themes of love, family expectations, and cultural differences, Crazy Rich Asians will feel relatable to many readers. Rachel’s experiences as an outsider trying to find her way in a world that is completely foreign to her are particularly relatable to anyone who has ever felt out of place or struggled with cultural identity. 

Why You Won’t Want to Put It Down: This novel is the perfect blend of humor, romance, and tales of a lavish lifestyle that most of us can only dream of. This fascinating read will keep you entranced and invested in Rachel’s journey until the very end.

This book was also adapted into film in 2018.

2. A juicy summertime read with depth 

Beach Read book cover

Beach Read, by Emily Henry

The Story: This endearing contemporary novel follows the journey of January Andrews, a young bestselling romance author who is grappling with her estranged father’s death and a recent heartbreak. January escapes reality to her father’s secret lake house in Michigan to find some peace while writing her next novel —  only to discover that her college rival and fellow writer, Gus Everett, is her new neighbor.

The story follows January and Gus as they embark on a writing challenge and, inevitably, grow close. Along the way, we witness both writers uncover the layers of emotional baggage of unspoken expectations and failed relationships, rediscovering the beauty of life and love through another’s perspective.  

So Relatable: While you might pick this book up to escape in a classic rendition of the hate-turned-love trope, the familiar themes of heartbreak, grief, and disillusionment will echo in different areas of your heart.

Why You Won’t Want to Put It Down: Beach Read is a charming and witty novel that keeps readers engaged with its heartfelt narrative and competitive dynamic between the two main characters. January and Gus’s evolving relationship and journeys to heal old wounds will have you hooked until the last page. 

3. The laugh-out-loud antics of a literary icon

Bridget Jones' Diary book cover

Bridget Jones’ Diary, by Helen Fielding

The Story: Written in the form of a personal diary, this hilarious and heartwarming story follows a year in the life of Bridget Jones, a thirty-something single working woman living in London. Bridget’s quippy musings delve into the intimate details of her life — her career, body image, vices, family, friends, and romantic relationships. 

After falling for (and ultimately, being cheated on by) her charming boss Daniel, Bridget finds comfort in the most unlikely of all people — the stuffy and arrogant Mark Darcy.

So Relatable: Every woman can relate to something Bridget spills in her diary. The heartbreak, the familial troubles, and the daily vice tally are all delivered with such authentic humor that it’s nearly impossible not to find a piece of yourself in this iconic character.

Why You Won’t Want to Put it Down: Devastatingly self-aware, this laugh-out-loud daily chronicle of Bridget’s doomed quest for self-improvement will have you invested from start to finish.  It is the epitome of classic Chick Lit in all its glory.

This book was also adapted into film in 2001.

4. Stress relief when your job is the worst

The Devil Wears Prada book cover

The Devil Wears Prada, by Lauren Weisberger

The Story: This tale of transformation and self-discovery revolves around Andrea Sachs, a small-town girl stepping into the fast-paced world of high fashion in New York City. Andrea lands a job as an assistant to the famously high-maintenance editor of an elite fashion magazine, Miranda Priestly. 

Thrust into the cutthroat world of fashion, Andrea grapples with the relentless demands of her boss, the unfamiliarity of the industry, and the challenge of maintaining her identity amidst the glitz and glamour. As her career ambitions begin to take precedence over everything else, Andrea loses perspective on what’s important in life until it’s nearly too late.

So Relatable: Touching on ambition, workplace pressures, and finding your integrity, The Devil Wears Prada resonates with many young women. Andrea’s professional struggles and overwhelm will feel familiar to anyone who has ever struggled to maintain work-life balance.

Why You Won’t Want to Put it Down: The perfect blend of wit and drama, this novel glimpses into a lush lifestyle that most of us can only imagine through the eyes of a completely relatable main character. The outlandish professional demands of Miranda and the insider’s view of the fashion industry will keep you engaged, but Andrea’s journey to self-discovery and redefinition of success are what you will carry away after you turn the last page.

This book was also adapted into film in 2006.

Looking for more female-centric reading recommendations?

Check out this list of inspirational books for women.

5. The ultimate romantic drama and story of resilience

It Ends with Us book cover

It Ends with Us, by Colleen Hoover

The Story: Our tale begins with Lily Bloom, a young woman who has recently moved to Boston looking for a fresh start after finishing her master’s degree in business. As she’s reflecting on the eulogy she delivered at her father’s funeral earlier that day, Lily meets the charming Ryle Kincaid and the two spend the evening sharing their “naked truths” and feel an immediate connection. 

As the story progresses, we learn of Lily’s upbringing in an abusive home and a young homeless boy named Atlas, who provided her solace and comfort during these trying times. These glimpses into Lily’s past reveal the longings of first love lost and her lifelong struggle to leave these patterns of violence in the past.

As Ryle and Lily’s relationship grows serious, she finds herself face-to-face again with the harsh reality of abuse. Caught between the man she loves and the man she once loved,  between her past and her future — Lily’s journey reminds us that sometimes the most challenging battles are the ones we fight within ourselves.

So Relatable: Lily’s inspiring and heart-wrenching journey touches on themes of love, resilience, and survival. As a woman caught in the cycle of domestic violence, her experiences are particularly relatable to anyone who has ever felt trapped or struggled with their past. The raw and honest look at the complexities of relationships strikes a chord.

Why You Won’t Want to Put it Down: A compelling blend of romance, trauma, and redemption, this novel will keep you entranced and invested in Lily’s journey until the very end. It’s a story that dives into the complexities of love, the power of resilience, and the courage it requires to stand up for yourself.

A film adaptation of this book is currently in the works. (Yay! 🥰)

6. An entertaining read with a healthy dash of girl power

Lessons in Chemistry book cover

Lessons in Chemistry, by Bonnie Garmus

The Story: Our tale centers around Elizabeth Zott,  a brilliant chemist with a fiery spirit and a mind that refuses to be boxed in. After a series of unfortunate events, Elizabeth finds herself broke and unemployed as a young, unmarried mother in the late 50s and early 60s. 

Forced to get creative in professional endeavors, Elizabeth transitions from the world of science to the world of television to make ends meet for her young family. In her new show, “Supper at Six,” Elizabeth inspires a nation of women with her passion for chemistry and an extra splash of female empowerment. 

So Relatable: Elizabeth’s experiences as a woman trying to carve out her path in a male-dominated field are particularly relatable to any woman who has felt underestimated or struggled with proving herself in a man’s world. Her journey is a testament to the power of perseverance and the courage it takes to stay true to yourself.

Why You Won’t Want to Put it Down: You can’t help but immediately fall in love with this extraordinary character — so ahead of her time — navigating the challenges of her life with grace, wit, and an unwavering spirit. Lessons in Chemistry is a captivating blend of humor, heartbreak, and empowerment that will keep you entranced and invested in Elizabeth’s story until the very end.

This book was also adapted into a TV mini-series in 2022.

7. The Classic that every woman should read at least once

Pride and Prejudice book cover

Pride & Prejudice, by Jane Austen 

The Story: The OG of modern-day Chick Lit, Austen’s infamous tale centers around Elizabeth Bennet, a spirited and clever young woman residing in the early 19th century English countryside. 

Elizabeth is one of five unmarried daughters in the Bennet household, and her mother’s sole mission is to see them all well-married. The arrival of the wealthy Mr. Bingley and his seemingly aloof friend Mr. Darcy stirs excitement in their small town — resulting in a flurry of festivities, courtships, and (of course) heartbreak.

As the story unfolds, Elizabeth and Darcy find themselves navigating a whirlwind of misunderstandings and revelations. This charming classic stands the test of time, serving as a reminder that love blossoms when you least expect it and everyone deserves a second chance.

So Relatable: Two centuries since its original publish date, modern-day readers still connect to Elizabeth’s challenges in balancing societal expectations and personal desires. It’s a tale of personal growth and self-discovery, exploring love, class, and the consequences of first impressions.

Why You Won’t Want to Put it Down: A strong-willed female protagonist. A love-hate relationship with a dashing and wealthy man. A peek back in history to the balls and lavish manors of 19th-century England. Need I say more?

There’s a reason this infamous tale has been retold on the page and the screen countless times over the years. If you haven’t read Pride and Prejudice yet, give it a chance — this uplifting and irresistible tale of love and authenticity is sure to capture your heart.

This book was also adapted to numerous TV mini-series and films, most notably the 1995 BBC mini-series and the 2005 film rendition.

Did you know?

Did you know Bridget Jones’ Diary is a modern-day retelling of the classic Pride and Prejudice? The prestigious actor Colin Firth embodies that proud Darcy vibe so well, he’s played both the Regency-era Mr. Darcy and the 2001 Mark Darcy on screen.

Woman holding a stack of books in front of her face

Chick Lit: Guiding and supporting women in every chapter

As amazing as each of these books is in its right, the true beauty of any great Chick Lit novel is about much more than just a good storyline. It’s about the journeys they take us on — the familiar journeys of love, self-discovery, friendship, and the many layers of womanhood. They are each a celebration of our strengths, our vulnerabilities, and the beautiful messiness of life. 

I hope you find all the comfort and non-cheesy enjoyment within the pages of one (or many!) of these 7 best Chick Lit books that you seek. But more importantly, I hope that these literary works inspire you, empower you, and remind you of the incredible female strength and resilience that lies within you.

What’s your favorite Chick Lit book? Do you like yours light and romantic or serious and thought-provoking? Share your recommendations in the comments!

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *