5 Best Chick Lit for Your Teen's Summer Booklist

What defines a book as “chick lit”? While authors and literary professionals may debate the definition of this genre, it generally includes stories focused on female characters experiencing friendship, love, loss, and above all, personal growth. While there may be some romance within the pages, these titles are not the same as all-out romance novels.

Chick lit typically shows the value of close friends, constructive relationships, introspection, and healthy self-improvement. Teen girls will likely relate to a protagonist in some manner, which can help her see her own strength and value.

Following are five chick lit titles for teens that all have relatable characters, age-appropriate storylines, and positive messages. Grab one or more for your teen’s summer reading list, or any time you think she would benefit for a good, uplifting book:

Confessions of a Triple Shot Betty

By Jody Gehrman

Amber is Gena’s best friend, and Hero is her favorite cousin. The three girls will be working at the Triple Shot Betty coffee shop together over the summer, and Gena cannot wait for her two favorite people to become friends. Unfortunately, things don’t go as planned.

In fact, Amber and Hero can’t stand each other. Add some hot guys into the mix and you have a full-on competition. The rivalry between the two rages on until some romance, mistaken identities, and heartbreak bring the three girls together.

Teen readers will see that deep friendships can happen between seemingly opposite people when you really take the time to get to know one another.

The Truth About Forever

By Sarah Dessen

Two years ago, Macy’s dad dropped dead while they were on one of their traditional morning runs, which changes her forever. She withdraws from her friends to avoid their pity and even gives up running, which she loves to do.

After giving up her own interests and connections, she buries herself in her boyfriend Jason’s life, getting involved in whatever he wants to do. When he tells her he wants a break as he leaves for the summer, Macy feels lost and alone.

As she begins to build deeper bonds with Delia, Kristy, and Wes, she starts to find herself again. Macy and her mom start to find a way to recover their own relationship and heal their broken family as well.

Girls will learn about self-acceptance, choosing friends, and partners who care about you for who you really are, and the importance of dealing with painful issues rather than trying to ignore or forget them.

Planet Janet

By Dyan Sheldon

Like many teens, 16-year-old Janet keeps a journal, which is the format of this chick lit book. As she talks about entering the dark phase of her life, Janet is determined not to follow the seemingly humdrum path of her parents’ lives.

She and her best friend Disha decide to live deep and meaningful lives, to get in touch with real pain and joy. Janet decides that this means dressing entirely in black, piercing her nose, and becoming a vegetarian.

When things start to go south in her life and the lives of those around her, Janet deals with the ups and downs realizing that everyone – boring parents included – experiences real drama and deep feelings.

Girl at Sea

By Maureen Johnson

Clio’s senior year is right around the corner and summer is looking great. The 17-year-old plans to spend the break working at her favorite art supply store, where tall, dreamy Ollie just so happens to work.

When her mom informs her that she is leaving for Kansas for an amazing job opportunity and her semi-absent father will be taking care of her for the summer – in Italy – Clio loses it.

Learning that she will be spending the summer on a yacht with a group of people she doesn’t know (for whom she will be the one cooking) and that her father seems to be hiding something about the trip, Clio decides to do some digging and unearths past pain in the process.

Teens will enjoy the combination of multiple plot points and the resolution of often-fractured parent/child relationships.

The Key to the Golden Firebird

By Maureen Johnson

One year after Brooks, May, and Palmer Gold lost their dad to a heart attack, the girls and their mother are attempting to hold it together. The trouble is that their personal pain and the ways in which they are dealing with it are driving a wedge between everyone in the family.

Eldest daughter Brooks is acting out and getting high. Middle child May is trying to take care of everything and everyone. Until youngest sister Palmer hatches a plan to bring the family back together: honoring their father’s last wishes.

This touching teen novel teaches the importance of family and communication, showing that everyone handles grief and emotions differently.

Which of these books will you be getting for your teen, and what are other chick lit books they already love? Share your favorites with us!

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