My favorite chick lit books of 2022!
2022 was the year that I got back into reading regularly – and I realized it’s because I stopped trying to get through what I though I “should” be reading and instead picked up books that I WANTED to read. So, this was my year of chick lit books!! And it’s been my favorite reading year in a long time.
The case for chick lit books:
For a lot of my adult life, I would trudge my way through historical fiction or books that literary snobs and critics approve of. And then this year, I realized that the true joy of reading for me lies in winding down at the end of the day with something enjoyable. The real world is stressful and heartbreaking enough! Instead, I want something relatable and easy to read and sweet and fun. And you know who does that really well? Female authors!
Just because “chick lit” sounds silly and rom coms are often looked down on as less important than other genres doesn’t mean that there isn’t a place for these types of books in the world. And sure, there are some really bad ones out there. But we are living in a time full of smart female authors writing smart books that are also relatable and easy to read and sweet and fun… so why wouldn’t I choose to read them, right?!
So let’s talk through the best chick lit books that I read in 2022!
Best Chick Lit Books I Read in 2022
Winter in Paradise Series by Elin Hilderbrand
Elin Hilderbrand is one of the GOAT’s of this genre and I fell in love with her two series’ last winter. I read the 4 book Winter Street series around Christmastime in 2021 and then last January, I got sucked into her 3 book Winter in Paradise series. The first book (Winter in Paradise) starts with Irene Steele, who lives a very normal life in Iowa City, finding out that her husband has been killed in a helicopter crash. In St. John.
Irene and her sons travel there to figure out what happened only to find out that he has been living a secret life. Needless to say, I flew through it and IMMEDIATELY purchased and devoured What Happens in Paradise (Book 2) and Troubles in Paradise (Book 3). They’re fast and juicy and great for getting out of a book rut!
Finlay Donovan Series by Elle Cosimano
I have learned to mostly stay away from books about murder because I’m a huge wimp, but when I saw that Finlay Donovan is Killing It was available to download from my library, I thought I’d give it a shot. I could NOT put it down!
It’s about a struggling single mother of two who is having trouble writing her next book, dealing with her horrible ex husband, and making ends meet. But one day, a woman overhears her talking through a plot idea with her agent at lunch and mistakes her for a contract killer.
Finlay somehow finds herself accepting the offer to dispose of the woman’s husband in order to make ends meet and… chaos ensues. I bought the 2nd book, Finlay Donovan Knocks ‘Em Dead, right after I finished the first and the 3rd one comes out later this month! Can’t wait!
Every Summer After by Carley Fortune
I picked Every Summer After up after hearing @readandwright RAVE about it and now I look to her for recommendations all the time because I loved it so much. I read it for almost our entire flight back home from Italy which is saying something since I’m usually a movie watcher on long haul flights 😂
The book tells the story of Percy and Sam, from when Percy’s family buys the cottage next to Sam’s, through the 6 summers they spend together as teenagers, all the way to reuniting after not speaking for 12 years.
The way Carley describes their summers by the lake feels so nostalgic and real, that you’ll need to keep reading to figure out how such an inseparable pair could possibly have fallen out of touch and if there’s any way they can repair the hurt and love that still lingers between them.
One Italian Summer by Rebecca Serle
As soon as I heard that the author of In Five Years wrote a book about Positano, I pressed the preorder button SO FAST. One Italian Summer starts when Katy’s mother, and best friend in the world, dies. They had planned and booked a trip to Positano before she passed, so Katy makes the trip on her own. As soon as she arrives, she feels her mother’s presence… only to then meet Carol, her mother, herself at 30 years old.
Obviously Katy doesn’t understand how this is possible, but missing her mother so desperately, she decides to take every opportunity to get to know this version of her better while in Italy. It’s unique and heartfelt and makes you feel like you’re in Positano with them – I loved it.
Book Lovers by Emily Henry
I’ve enjoyed all of Emily Henry’s books, but Book Lovers is by far my favorite. I loved that it’s playful and self aware, poking fun at common tropes found in Hallmark movies and chick lit books.
The story follows Nora Stephens, a cutthroat literary agent who agrees to go to Sunshine Falls for the month of August with her sister Libby. But instead of a calm getaway, Nora keeps running into an editor she knows (and does not like) from the city. I don’t really want to say any more than that because that’s all I knew before reading it… but just know that it’s adorable and funny and sweet and you’ll love it!
Beach Read by Emily Henry
After reading Book Lovers, I wanted more Emily Henry in my life, so I went back and read her first hit, Beach Read. I think this is my 2nd favorite of hers – Book Lovers taking 1st and People We Meet on Vacation in 3rd.
Beach Read is about two authors who met in school and went down two different paths. January Andrews writes bestselling romance and Augustus Everett writes acclaimed literary fiction. But for the next three months, they find themselves living in neighboring beach houses… both with writer’s block.
One night, they decide to make a deal – with the help of each other’s expertise and lessons, Augustus will attempt to write something happy and January will attempt the next Great American Novel. And they may or may not get to know each other better in the process 😉
The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren
I’ve heard good things about The Unhoneymooners since it came out but for some reason I resisted – and I have no idea why because I LOVED IT. I think it’s because I thought I had it all figured out from reading the synopsis, but there’s a lot more to it!
Basically Olive (the twin sister of the bride) and Ethan (the brother of the groom) don’t like each other. But after being the only 2 people at the whole reception who didn’t eat the buffet food, they are the only 2 people without horrible food poisoning. And now, there’s a free honeymoon in Hawaii up for grabs.
While Olive doesn’t love the idea of going WITH Ethan, she hates the idea of him getting to enjoy the trip himself more, so she decides to go with him. A whole lot happens after that and I’m not going to tell you any of it because you should just read it! It’s a delight.
One Night On The Island by Josie Silver
Cleo Wilder, a dating columnist from London, gets sent on a solo retreat to a remote Irish island for her 30th birthday. Except Mack Sullivan, a photographer from Boston, is planning on staying in the same cabin that Cleo’s boss booked for her… and there’s no where else to stay on the island. Feels cheesy and predictable, right?
Well, this book ended up being so much more than an enemies to lovers storyline. It explores the concept of home, friendship, belonging, loss, and so much more. I really enjoyed it.
Meant To Be by Emily Giffin
It’s basically a retelling of JFK Jr. and Carolyn Bessette, while taking some creative liberties and crafting some new alternative storylines. The Kingsley family is American royalty, and after Joseph S. Kingsley dies in an accident in 1967, his son Joe is destined to carry the weight of his legacy.
At the same time, Cate Cooper was raised by her single mother who marries an abusive man, forcing Cate to make something of herself on her own. The novel really takes off when Joe and Cate cross paths, fall in love, and need to figure out how they fit in each others worlds.
Lease On Love by Falon Ballard
This was an impulse purchase because it was on major sale and I thought it was so cute!! Lease On Love follows Sadie who flips out after getting passed up for a promotion and ends up fired. After a drunken mix up, she ends up meeting Jack Thomas, who is in need for a roommate to live in his gorgeous Brooklyn brownstone with him.
While they start as platonic roommates, these two end up helping each other grow, heal, and believe in themselves. It’s really sweet.
And let’s end with some honorable mentions:
I wasn’t sure about this book at first, but about 40% through, I realized I couldn’t put it down and I needed to know what happened 😂
This one is tough because I disliked one of the characters for the majority of the book since the twist didn’t come until pretty late… so while I liked the book when I look back on it, I didn’t really enjoy the process of reading it. Did anyone else feel that way?
I have mixed feelings about this book. On one hand, I loved the story and the arc of the characters, but it felt frustrating at times too. Also, while I am not opposed to reading sex scenes in books, some of it felt excessive. Maybe it was some of the dirty talk that felt overly smutty? I’m not sure!
This book was… unexpected. I kind of assumed it would just be a second chance romance, but it ended up having way more twists and adventure involved than I anticipated!
Logically, I had some issues with this book. But did I still enjoy it? Yes, yes I did.
The 3rd book in the American Royals series felt like a little bit of a let down to me, but honestly, I think that’s mostly because I loved the 1st and 2nd books in the series SO much.
I listened to the audiobook of this and it felt like chatting with a friend, since I’ve been following Jacey for so long. It wasn’t my favorite thing ever but it had some interesting insights into her life and career.
You can’t go wrong with Elin Hilderbrand, I just didn’t love this one as much as I loved the series’ I talked about above!
Have you read any of these chick lit books? What did you think?