Monday, January 4, 2010

Review: The Lonely Hearts Club & Giveaway

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.


brizmus said...

Ooh awesome! After reading your review, I would totally LOVE to read this book! I love that the main character's name is Penny Lane.

Anyhow, it's hard to say what my favorite Beatles song is. I love them all! It sort of alternates regularly between all of them, I wanna hold your hand, lady madonna, and here comes the sun. George Harrison always was my favorite Beatle.

It's in my sidebar under the contest list for +1 -

Sandy Nawrot said...

Oh, I had my days when I swore off boys! Big pain in the butt, they were. Now as far as Beatles songs, that is so easy for me because my son has Rock Band Beatles, which we play ALOT. I hear the songs in my sleep. Right now, it would be "In My Life" from the Rubber Soul album. And like Brizmus, I did always love George. He was so often overlooked. rnawrot at cfl dot rr dot com

Unknown said...

Sounds like a great book. totally my type. I love the Beatles my favorite album was Past Masters. But my favorite song is "Across the Universe" from let it be. Oh gosh typing this reminds me of my grandfather. He loved the Beatles. I remember him playing their albums nonstop.

Unknown said...


Unknown said... tweet

scottsgal said...

I can't wait to read this book. I'm not a big Beatles fan but "she Loves You" is probably one of my faves from them.
msboatgal at

Beth F said...

I really shouldn't have read Eve's comment -- we even had the first Beatles' album in mono (when you could by albums in either stereo or mono!).

I can't choose a favorite song, but for the purposes of the giveaway, I'll go with Here Comes the Sun.

I tweeted:

BFish dot Reads at gmail.

Deborah said...

As someone who is a a HUGE Beatles fan, picking just ONE song is like finding a needle in a haystack. it's impossible! Can I say favorite album? No? Hmm...this is very hard. Ok off the top of my head...While My Guitar Gently Weeps

bermudaonion said...

I'm so glad to see this book is so good! No need to enter me.

Anonymous said...

Great giveaway..

I'm not a huge Beatles fan but I really like their song Here Comes the Sun.


ChaosIsAFriendOfMine said...

Sounds like a great book! I tweeted you:

My favorite Beatles song is Oobla di, Oobla dah.

mcelhra1 (a) yahoo dot com

Sheila (Bookjourney) said...

She Loves You YA YA YA.... uhhh... that would be mine. :)

This looks so good. I havent read a lot of MG but so love YA. You reviewed this really well and I am so interested! Thanks for entering me!

Sheila (Bookjourney) said...

LOL - got excited and forgot to give you my email:

journey through books @ gmail dot com

tetewa said...

I'd like to be included, count me in!

Sue said...

This looks so fun. Thanks for the review. I love a book with cute cover art.

Beatles song... Hey Jude.

s.mickelson at gmail dot com

Sarah said...

Looks interesting!

Favorite song: Yellow Submarine

rayna said...

Thanks for having the givaway!!
My favorite Beatles song has to be 'Help!' because I have a ton of fond memories of singing this song with my elementary choir! :)

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

No need to enter me, darling. I'm dropping in to say thanks for the e-mail. I've got this posted at Win a Book for you.

throuthehaze said...

Hey Jude is one of my favorite songs.
throuthehaze at gmail dot com

samovar said...

your review makes it sound really good! i am overseas, but i have a friend in seattle who could accept the book for me if i win!

Emily said...

Oh this books sounds good! Enter me please, my favorite Beatles song is "Let it be." I love how powerful the lyrics are...I especially loved the rendition of the song in Across the Universe.

emily DOT wittenberg @ gmail DOT com

Julee said...

My favorite Beatle's son is Hey Jude! Thanks for the fun giveaway

Linda Henderson said...

I do enjoy a lot of the Beatles songs but my favorite has always been In My Life. I just love that song.

seriousreader at live dot com

holdenj said...

What a great sounding book! My favorite Beatles song is Love Me Do! Thanks!

enyl said...

My favorite Beatle's tune is Twist & Shout.


missreneer said...

Without a doubt "Here Comes The Sun" everytime I hear it, it makes me smile. Thanks for the great contest and Happy New Year :)

Kim said...

Your review has me hooked on wanting to read this book! I would LOVE a copy.

My favorite Beatles song is Michelle.


I am posting this give away on my sidebar.

Serena said...

now I'm singing the song in my head. Penny Lane and Sgt. Pepper's Lonely... ok, I'll stop there.

My favorite beatles song is I am the Walrus.

Serena said...

the giveaway is now in my sidebar!

savvyverseandwit AT gmail DOT com

Jess (The Cozy Reader) said...

Great giveaway!

My fav Beatles song would be "All You Need Is Love". It's just an uplifting song. :)

I posted this on my sidebar!

bookreviewsbyjess (@)

justpeachy36 said...

Please enter me in the giveaway.

My favorite Beatles song is, "Hey, Jude."

Karen said...

As a teacher I can always use a good review and a book to add to my library. This sound like one that the girls would love to read; thanks for the review.
Favorite Beatle song has to be Hey Jude.

Benita said...

My favorites are Hey Jude and Strawberry Field.


Unknown said...

Here Comes the Sun :-)

librarianapril at gmail dot com

Nancye said...

My fave Beatles song is: "Get Back"

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Nancye said...

Tweet! Tweet!

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

JustJanet said...

My favorite Beatles song is "Let It Be"


Anita Yancey said...

My favorite Beatles song is Hey Jude. Please enter me. Thanks!


Dawn M. said...

Oooo, how can I pick just one? There's so many good ones. I'll go with my first favorite - Eleanor Rigby.

Thanks! :0)
librarygrinch at gmail dot com

CherylS22 said...

My favorite Beatles song is "Yesterday".