Chick Lit Review #3: My Boyfriend Requirement List by Vanessa

This is the first local title I read, and the label "Modern Girl" by known Filipino romance novel publisher Precious Pages made it clear that the objective is to explore the chick lit market in the country, or maybe even abroad. Though I will admit that I was surprised at the acceptable use of Taglish in the novel, I had no idea that the author had her own cult following--particularly for her work in Filipino-language romance stories.

The title, I think, is too long and too obscure. The cover is laughable, seeing as how the artist decided to depict the protagonist and her purpose of finding the right man as a literal ticking clock. Aside from those two things, I am happy to say that I actually enjoyed reading this piece. Could it be because I set my expectations low? Probably, but most likely not. See, the protagonist, from the very beginning, had a trait not commonly used in chick lit formula: she was not desperate for a boyfriend. Sure, she wanted one--wanted to love and be loved--but firmly decided to keep her values and preferences above all else.

Twenty-seven-year-old Daye is a relatively successful entrepreneur yet is plagued by her well-meaning friends' concern over her single status and her extra fifteen pounds. Despite it, Daye managed to do things her way, which meant dating a lineup of men until she found her kind of guy. However, said guy turned out to be typical asshole, the kind that knocks on her door for sex every other week and hangs with the boys the rest of the time. Then there is the ex-boyfriend who 'realized' he wants to get back with Daye after cheating on her with one of her best friends. At these points, many chick lit stories would take the safer path of either (1) having the protagonist meet a new guy who would be totally unlike the other two, or (2) make the ex or the sex guy turn over a new leaf and realize the errors of their ways in a grand, angels-coming-down-from-heaven magical number. MBRL does neither of these things; in fact, the author was brave enough to make Daye just casually flip her hair over her shoulder and walk away toward the future. OK, there's a mention of a new guy, but it's never presented as the only answer to the problem, or that he would change Daye's life. New guy appears to be just that--someone new who could disappear in a second unless Daye decides to keep him.

I think chick lit is better served this way, with no qualms about keeping to the formula. It should always empower women, picture them as strong and intelligent, and capable of chucking out the window any storyline given her that doesn't meet her standards.


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"It's really hard to walk in a single woman's shoes--that's why you sometimes need really special ones, to make the walk a bit more fun."

- Carrie Bradshaw, Sex and the City
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