So to start out, books for those who love:
Chick-Lit/Women's Fiction - Chick Lit gets a bad rap, mostly because of articles like this that consider it a "lesser" book genre. But hey, guess what other genre gets a bad rap? THAT'S RIGHT! OUR BELOVED YA! With the idea that it's all paranormal love triangles and glossy headless-girl covers, both Chick Lit and YA are bestselling underdogs (hooray for paradoxes!) of the literary world.
And when the two meet it's pretty awesome. So, for those Chick-Lit-inclined readers in your life, here are some great choices from the little sister genre of YA.
1. 13 Little Blue Envelopes & The Last Little Blue Envelope
Though she also writes some paranormal and fantasy, many of MJ's books have a decidedly chick-lit-adventure twist. For example 13 Little Blue Envelopes and its recently-published (and totally worthy) sequel, The Last Little Blue Envelope. The books follow Ginny Blackstone as she navigates Europe guided by letters left to her by a recently-deceased and incredibly-whimsical aunt. While there's a nice dose of romance here, the story is primarily focused on Ginny's humor-infused journey around a foreign land. (And, if I do say so myself, the sequel is even better than the first.)
2. The Ruby Oliver Novels
Ruby Oliver is cute, funny, quirky, obsessive, and a little bit off her rocker. The anxiety-suffering heroine begins her four-book series when, after her boyfriend dumps her for her (now ex-) best friend, she's sent to a shrink who tells her to list all the boys she's ever liked. And so The Boyfriend List is born, along with the enchanting adventures of a girl who doesn't ever seem to realize how awesome she is to those around her.
3. Sean Griswold's Head
In a lot of ways, this is the best sort of Chick Lit book. It's sweet, funny, and warm-hearted. It has a truly nice cast of characters, from the girl trying to deal with her dad's MS by focusing on, yeah, the head of the boy who sits in front of her in math class, to the boy (Sean Griswold) who happens to be attached to the head, to the family going through a tough time. I feel like this is a book that many will pass by just because it's a bit quieter, a bit less stand-outish than others -- but trust me, it's well worth reading.
4. The Lonely Hearts Club
Beatles-infused and delightfully full of girl-power and strong female friendships, this is the story of what happens after, when the love of her life breaks her heart, Penny Lane swears off guys and starts a girls-only club committed to being strong and happy without boyfriends. And the description -- trust me -- does not do the book justice. There's real heart here, along with a heroine that you can't help but cheer on as she fills her life with the best people around and tries to find a balance between love, friendship, and self.
5. The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things
Don't let the title or the cover fool you; this book is well-deserving of its Printz Honor. Virginia is an extremely realistic character who struggles with weight, family, and her own perception of herself and those around her. Though lighthearted in tone, there are some bigger issues at play in this novel and they're handled exceptionally well.