Chick lit is alive and well.

I am not usually a big fan of the genre, but perhaps due to year-end exhaustion I decided I was in the mood for something light, and picked up a review copy I’d been sent of The Hazards of Hunting While Heartbroken by Mari Passananti.

All of the ingredients are here: Manhattan thirtysomething heroine, dependable best friends, bad recent breakup, guy who seems too good to be true. But I was pleasantly surprised by how original this book was. Passananti’s heroine is Zoe Clark, a legal headhunter whose fiance (and boyfriend of ten years) left her because he was gay. Zoe is in a stressful job with a tyrannical boss and is also in danger of losing her apartment because she can’t make the rent. In swoops a successful ad exec who sweeps her off her feet and seems to be her ticket to emotional happiness and financial stability. But she has nagging doubts about him, and ultimately decides to do some detective work to find out if he is really who he appears to be.

I liked Passananti’s crisp, witty writing and her depiction of Zoe’s life in NY. It’s an engaging read, and I kept wanting to get back to it to find out what happened. (I may have skipped ahead a few times just because I coudn’t stand the suspense! Bad habit, I know.) Overall, I enjoyed this one a lot. A few characters bordered on caricatures, which always bothers me, but not all of them.

If you’re open to chick lit, I recommend The Hazards of Hunting While Heartbroken. It’s fun and memorable and worth the time. It’s also a first novel for Passananti, from a small press, so check it out if it sounds appealing and let’s reward a talented first time novelist! I also just found her blog, The Little Grape.