I used to think that chicklit was a light and fluffy genre. The type of book that you could just drift through and not have to pay much attention to. The sort of story that you could read on long flights without caring too much about the plot or characters.
I was disabused of that notion when I started reading books by authors such as Marian Keyes (whose books deal with drug abuse, depression etc) and the stories were sometimes so depressing I had to stop reading them. Then I discovered the at the other end of the spectrum were books such as the "Shopaholic" series by Sophie Kinsella - so fluffy that they were completely unrealistic (in fairness to Sophie, she has written some other better books).
Finally Kerry Reichs has come up a happy medium - The Best Day Of Someone Else's Life.
The title of the book had me starting off with a suspicion that I was about to be dragged into fluff heaven again - but I was delighted to find that I'd been completely wrong. The book is a little fanciful in that the protagonist (Kevin) is so obsessed with weddings that she'll attend any one she gets an invitation to, but there are methods to her madness revealed later on in the book.
You do have the usual Sex in the City group of friends going out for martinis and discussing relationships - and of course one of them has to get married, but it's not particularly overdone, and in this sort of book you have to have a group of friends to support and provide a contrast to Kevin.
There are some surprising twists in the book, which keeps it from being a straightforward
guy meets girl--> guy cheats on girl --> girl finds out and gets depressed --> girl finds and marries highschool sweetheart who has been pining for her ever since they met --> everyone lives happily ever after story.
Despite tending towards the slightly fluffy side of chicklit, Reichs' book explores the myths behind getting married, the traditions, the similarities and the differences of relationships before, during and after what is supposedly the "best" day of a woman's life. This gives you the option of delving intellectually deeper into the book if you feel the need.
This doesn't mean that Reichs' book is low on laughs. Some highlights include Kevin and her friends coming up with movie titles for their lives.
In The Movie Starring Me our date would be called "Scary Nutter and the Chamber-Pot of Pee Kept"
Kevin's Feelings (yes with a capital F) hold a plethora of emotions that hide at the back of her mind until she consciously sorts them out - and these Feelings such as Anxiety, Envy etc are all capitalised too.
Having found that the realm of chicklit spans a much larger area than I'd ever imagined, reading something in the "middle" of the genre was a refreshing change from the books that are set at the extremities of the chicklit range.
I really enjoyed reading this book as it can be as complicated or as simple as you want it to be, and I wouldn't mind re-reading it. chicklit's not something I'd usually go for - but if Reichs writes more books, I'll be happy to try them.