Summary: Penny is sick of boys and sick of dating. So she vows: no more. It's a personal choice... and, of course, soon everyone wants to know about it. And a few other girls are inspired. A movement is born: The Lonely Hearts Club (named after the band from Sgt. Pepper). Penny is suddenly known for her nondating ways -- which is too bad, because there's this certain boy she can't help but like.... -- Point
It seems like lately I've read a ton of middle grade fiction and not a lot of young adult books. I think because I have a middle grade daughter, I'm enjoying reading books that are geared towards her age group. That's not to say, though, that I don't adore YA books -- because I do. In fact, it's books like THE LONELY HEARTS CLUB by Elizabeth Eulberg that make me realize how wonderful YA books can be.
THE LONELY HEARTS CLUB epitomizes everything that I think a YA book should! The book is extremely readable, the characters are interesting, and there is ultimately a good message in the story. I truly recommend this book for young girls (and even some "young-at-heart" adults.) Even though I am definitely not the target audience for this story, I was totally drawn into the book and actually read it in one day.
One of the reasons that I really enjoyed this book is that I loved the character of Penny Lane. Even though I am a 40 year old mother, I could still relate to Penny. In fact, anyone who has ever been through middle school or high school, and who has been hurt by a guy can relate to many of her feelings. I mean -- what young girl hasn't wanted to swear off boys? I think many girls who read this novel will find value in Penny's experiences, and I also believe that Penny's actions will remain in their thoughts. I can only hope that young readers will walk away from this book with a better life perspective.
As a mother, I really appreciated all of the messages about being true to one's self. And, I especially liked how all of the girls learned what should be important in their lives -- mainly the value of female friendships. I can only hope when I let my daughter read this book (and it will be a few years because there is a teeny tiny bit that I don't think she is ready for) that she will see that her feelings of insecurity about boys is entirely normal and that she will realize that there are nice guys out there. I also desperately hope that she will remember that she should never, ever drop her girlfriends for a guy!
I thought the author, Elizabeth Eulberg, did a fantastic job with THE LONELY HEARTS CLUB. I was surprised to find out that this was her debut novel. Needless to say, I think she's got a big future for her in writing novels. Not only did she tell a very entertaining story and develop very interesting characters, but she also made me laugh -- a lot. As a Beatle fan, I enjoyed how she wove the themes of the Beatles hit songs into the story. In addition, I loved how she portrayed Penny's parents, and I really loved how Penny reacted to them. While Penny's parents did embarrass her at times (isn't that our jobs are parents?), she had a very healthy relationship with them and her parents were extremely supportive of their daughter.
There is a great video clip of the author discussing her book. Make sure you take a peek because I think it really gives you a sense of this novel:
I enjoyed this book so much, and I'm very excited that I can share it with a few of you! Thanks to the publisher and Big Honcho Media, I have three copies of THE LONELY HEARTS CLUB to giveaway. To enter, just leave a comment (with a way to contact you) telling me your favorite Beatles song. To double or even triple your chances, you can blog and/or tweet about this contest with a link back to this post. This book giveaway is open to participants with a United States mailing address only (international readers can enter if they have a friend in the States who can accept their prizes by mail.) This contest is open until Sunday, January 17th at 11:59 p.m. ET, and I will notify the winners the following day. Good luck!
Thanks to Big Honcho Media for sending me a review copy.