oooh THANKS for another great article Febe! This is a great question. I think it’s all in the voice, and the humor.
Chick Lit started in Britain and it certainly has elements of British humor even in those written by North American or Australian authors; self-deprecation, irony, absurdity and humor in everyday life situations.
I have read Cathy Yardley’s Will Write for Shoes and it lists out all of the cliche aspects of a traditional chick lit, but also talks about how chick lit is not simply a combination of certain elements, but an attitude. Couldn’t agree more.