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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Review: The Lonely Hearts Club by Elizabeth Eulberg

Title: The Lonely Hearts Club
Author: Elizabeth Eulberg
Publisher: Point/Scholastic
Pub. Date: 12.29.2009
Genre: Contemporary YA
Keywords: High School, Love, Friendship, Music, Self Esteem
Pages: 285
Description (from GoodReads):
Love is all you need...or is it? Penny's about to find out in this wonderful debut.
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...

I picked up Elizabeth Eulberg's THE LONELY HEARTS CLUB just when I needed it most. I was going through a difficult breakup and was pretty disillusioned, much like our main character Penny. She's completely given up on the opposite sex and is determined to start anew - without a boy to complicate things.

Penny swears off boys, and highly encourages that her friends do so too, but this book isn't really about a woman, or girl, scorned. It's about being true to who you are, about doing things for you, and about realizing who your true friends are and being faithful to those relationships.

It's easy to lose your identity when you're in a relationship, to blow off your friends because you'd rather spend all your time with him, to slowly make someone else's interests your own. THE LONELY HEARTS CLUB celebrates individuality, strong girls, and healthy relationships with a quirky main character leading the way. Penny doesn't sit around and mope after her heart is broken, she's proactive. She looks around her and she sees how destructive her peers are to themselves, all in the name of boys. Eventually, Penny comes to realize that it isn't necessarily boys that are the issue... and, even though, deep down, many girls are aware of the truths Penny and her friends learn, it's comforting to see the characters achieving this realization and making the same journey many of us will take ourselves.

I enjoyed Penny's character, but was thankful for the secondary characters as well. I think most girls will identify with our main character, but, if not, they'll definitely find something in common with one of her friends. Not only does this  allow for a deeper connection between the characters and the reader, it allows Eulberg to demonstrate how the lessons The Lonely Hearts Club members learn apply to every girl.

And we can't expect our heroine to swear off boys forever, can we? Her blossoming romance is adorable and I found myself rooting for the boy in question!

I believe every mother, daughter, and sister should take the time to read this book. I haven't sworn off boys forever, but I'll be entering my next relationship with the lessons from THE LONELY HEARTS CLUB in the back of my mind.


Make sure you whisper, I'm hiding!