author’s website: Elizabeth Eulberg
release date: December 29, 2009
appeals to: Young Adult
*Debut author (technically 2009)
length: 320 pages
overall rating: 4 Stars
*the inside flap*
Love is all you need . . . or is it?
Penny is sick of boys and sick of dating, so she vows: No more. She’s had one too many bad dates, and has been hurt by one too many bad boys.
It’s a personal choice . . . and soon everybody wants to know about it. It seems that Penny’s not the only girl who’s tired of the way girls change themselves (most of the time for the worse) in order to get their guys . . . or the way their guys don’t really care.
Girls are soon thronging to The Lonely Hearts Club, and Penny finds herself near legendary for her nondating ways – which is too bad, since the leader of The Lonely Hearts Club has found a certain boy she can’t help but like . . . .
On the cover of the book, Stephenie Meyer is quoted as saying “A must-read for anyone who’s ever fallen in love – or sworn it off completely.” And I completely agree. It really is the story of how swearing off something can lead you to understand how that might not always be the best option.
Penny is a very likable character. She seems confident and doesn’t like getting pulled into the drama that is surrounding her in her daily high school life. Her best friend, Tracey, is equally fun, but with a lot more sass and a bigger, louder personality. Tracey is also very protective of Penny in a way that shows how important the friendship is to her. Diane rounds out the threesome, but she is a character that seems to still be looking for her identity. She’s been in a relationship for so long that she hasn’t been truly able to define her own personality.
These girls seem like many girls in high school. They have been in crappy relationships, they’ve watched (and experienced) their friends changing or ignoring them because of boys, and they have finally had enough. Penny starts the club, but Tracey and Diane quickly join, only to be followed by a huge chunk of the female population of their high school. The best thing about this growing group is that it really shows the importance of friends.
The friendship in this story is amazing. The girls are incredibly supportive of each other. They are the kinds of friends that I wish I’d had in high school – or now for that matter! The book is cute and has a fun plot, but it also has a great message: you shouldn’t ever give up yourself or your friends for a boy.
The story is a little bit predictable, but there is enough doubt about decisions to keep you interested in the story. There is a little bit of romance, a lot of friendship, and of course, a huge helping of The Beatles. In fact, sections of the book are introduced with Beatles lyrics that tie into the plot of the story. And of course, our lead character – Penny Lane – is named after a Beatles song; as are her two sisters – Lucy (in the sky with diamonds) and Rita (Lovely Rita).
*short and snappy*
writing: sincere – Eulberg really captures the essence of Penny to create a fun story
plot: slightly predictable, but there are a lot of times that Penny isn’t even sure what decision she’ll make, and you feel that as a reader
characters: varied in personality, but the main characters are all very fun and supportive of each other
memorable line: Anybody who has ever clung to a song like a musical life raft will understand. Or put on a song to bring out an emotion or a memory. Or had a soundtrack playing in their head to drown out a conversation or a scene. (p. 16)
judging by the cover: the cover is very cute and ties directly into the Beatles theme since it mimics the cover of the Abbey Road album
miscellaneous: I was especially drawn to this story, because my mom actually had a Lonely Hearts Club when she was in high school (in the early 70s). When I told her about this book, she explained that their LHC didn’t have dating restrictions; it was just a group of girls that met for dinner or breakfast or to do fun things. There were even boys that came regularly.