After finding herself with a broken heart yet again, Penny decides to swear off boys (except the Beatles) until after high school, choosing instead to focus on herself and her girlfriends by creating The Lonely Hearts Club (so named after the Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band album). Penny couldn't be happier with her new found freedom, even if she is only a club of one. But word of Penny's new club spreads quickly among the girls of her school who are also eager to shed their boy-troubles and Penny quickly finds herself on the outs with nearly every boy, some particularly catty girls, and even her principal.
There were several things to love about Elizabeth Eulberg's debut novel The Lonely Hearts Club. First off, any novel that takes not only its title but several character names and a 'date' to a Beatles impersonators concert from the Fab Four cannot help but be entertaining. Additionally, I adore the lighthearted cover with its modern girly Abbey Road inspired cover. I also applaud Eulberg for creating some strong female characters who recognize the futility of centering their lives around the whims of immature males who go on to get good grades, join sports teams, and who understand the value of female friendship. Thank you for that.
As much as I enjoyed Penny and the girls, I often found myself wondering if The Lonely Hearts Club had been written about eight years ago after listening to Penny's best friend repeatedly say "what to the ev" (gag) or how the girls applied shimmer powder before going to party. Shimmer powder? Yeah, that kind of stopped happening with anyone over the age of 10 after 2006. And those are only a few small details. I had issues with the basically nonexistent parents who were essentially present only to lend Penny her Beatles infatuation and the unbelievably unsupportive Principal who would have been slapped with several lawsuits quicker than you can say "advanced placement." And as much as I was rooting for Penny, though many of her exchanges with friends could sometimes be described as light and fun, they were usually awkward and extremely after-school-special unrealistic. Which I found extremely sad since all the components for making The Lonely Hearts Club into something really entertaining were right there. In the end, Penny and her club just failed to turn it into something more than a predictable 90's sitcom.
Because Everyone Likes a Second Opinion:
Book Muncher review
The Book Smugglers review
The Compulsive Reader review
Lauren's Crammed Bookshelf review
Steph Su Reads review & interview
book source: Book Muncher giveaway