Chick Lit versus Contemporary Romance

So I was blog surfing this morning and decided to read a particular book review. What fascinated me was the fact that the author stated that the book in question was sold as chick-lit but actually turned out to be a contemporary romance! Err what? Sorry, but what’s the real difference? Is it marketing hype? Do authors tend to prefer one label over another?

I hit twitter land to see if anyone could shed any more light on the matter – my question: Could someone tell me the difference between chick lit and contemporary romance?

Here are a couple of replies:

@AliMcNamara said: Love to! But I have no idea myself 😉

@Judyastley said: I think chick-lit originally involved younger people looking for Mr Right. Comtemporary romance = broader range of people…But I think they’re pretty much blurred into one nowadays. Chick-lit sounds a bit derogatory and dated these days.

What to people think – are the phrases inter-changeable? I decided to do some more research (granted I didn’t get that much further than Wikipedia!)

Chick-Lit according to wiki:

Chick lit is genre fiction which addresses issues of modern womanhood, often humorously and lightheartedly.[1] The genre became popular in the late 1990s, with chick lit titles topping bestseller lists and the creation of imprints devoted entirely to chick lit.[2] Although it sometimes includes romantic elements, chick lit is generally not considered a direct subcategory of the romance novel genre, because the heroine’s relationship with her family or friends is often just as important as her romantic relationships.”

Contemporary Romance according to wiki:

Contemporary romance is a subgenre of romance novels, generally with the setting after World War II…As contemporary romance novels have grown to contain more complex plotting and more realistic characters, the line between this subgenre and the genre of women’s fiction has blurred.”

Its funny when I googled images for the above phrases, chick-lit brought up lots of pink, shoes and elegantly dressed women. Contemporary romance: more naked torsos and women leaning in for a kiss. I guess when it comes to imagery there is a definite difference!


About uktreasure

Passion for reading and gadgets. Currently love all things Kindle - yes it travels with me most places. Attempting to downsize so also trying my hand at selling items on eBay and Amazon Marketplace

4 responses to “Chick Lit versus Contemporary Romance”

  1. Kit Domino says :

    Great post and cover observation made me laugh. My take for what it’s worth is chic lit is aimed at 20-30 somethings seeking Mr Right, often with lot humour, whereas contemporary romance covers any age group in today’s world and can cover a wide range of romantic angles.

  2. Janice says :

    Well, you had me scratching my head over this one – and now having read Kit’s answer – can only say I agree with her. Good question ‘tho!

  3. Bella_Nars says :


    This is a spot on topic right there. My author has struggled with this question immensely. And believe me, I’d know first hand. But in the end she decided that chick-lit (which is inevitably part of contemporary romance) could do with a bit of renovation. So she considers the book I proudly star in “The Closing” as a prime example of chick-lit overhauled!

    Would love to know your take on The Closing with this mind.

    Bella Nars

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: