Google+ Reading Teen: Review: Lonely Hearts Club by Elizabeth Eulberg

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Review: Lonely Hearts Club by Elizabeth Eulberg

The Lonely Hearts ClubReading level: Young Adult
Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Point (January 1, 2011)
Buy the book:  Amazon

This is one of two books I've read in the last couple of weeks where the main character's name is Penny Lane.  Yes, that's from the Beatles song, and there are Beatles references throughout.  (The other was The Cupcake Queen)

Penny Lane is a sixteen-year-old girl who has been in love with the same boy since she was practically in diapers.  She believes that he is the greatest thing on this earth, and her one true love. Soon, however, Penny discovers that her Prince Charming isn't all he's cracked up to be.

So, Penny does what any heartbroken girl would do....she forms a club.  The way Penny sees it, all guys are jerks who will use you, treat you like dirt, then move on to the next girl.  And the girls that go out with guys, desert all of their friends and lose their identity in the process.  The Lonely Hearts Club starts as Penny's personal commitment to swear off guys, but soon grows to include half the girls in her class.  The Rules of the Club are simple:  No dating guys while still in high school, and be there for your girlfriends when they need you.  Although this club is fantastic for the girls, and it teaches them the true meaning of friendship and support, it does nothing but anger the guys in the school.  And then Penny encounters something she doesn't expect at all....someone who challenges everything she's come to expect from the guys in high school.  Someone she can't get off her mind.

I really enjoyed this book for many reasons.  The beginning of the book starts with Penny's decision to finally give in to her boyfriend's nagging "request" because she believes they love each other and this will make him happy, only to find that he is otherwise engaged with another girl, (yes, that's what they were doing) in Penny's basement, where he's staying.  BUT, the overall message of the book is a really good one, in my opinion.  Penny, and her friends, learn that sex is not the answer, and that having a boyfriend does not define you.  It's also about friendship, and the powerful bonds between girls.  It's about loyalty, and never letting a boy change who you are, or come between you and your friends.  When problems come up with the rules of the club, they work together to solve them, and they don't put up with anyone who hurts one of the other girls.  I felt like Penny changed from a girl who was dependent upon a boy for approval, to a girl who inspired others to love themselves and each other for who they were.
I loved it!

You may want to know:  This book contains a moderate amount of profanity and sexual content and dialog.  For the full content review go to The Lonely Hearts Club on Parental Book Reviews.


  1. Stopping by from SITS and wishing you an awesome weekend :)

  2. Sounds like it's a trendy book . . . nothing special . . . teens should try to read as many of the classics as possible . . .

  3. Having read the book, I think that this could be a great conversation starter with your teens. Penny Lane does start out making a wrong decision but fortunately for her she learns from it. And it's not an easy lesson. She basically has to start over and decide who she is and who she wants to be. The message here is that you aren't defined by a boyfriend, popularity, etc. It is an easy read and could make for some great discussion.


    So glad I come across books such as these on your blog and put them in my TBR pile. I'm two years late on this one, can you believe it? That's gotta be a record for me.

    Anyway, back to the book... I LOVED IT!!! I can't believe that there isn't one thing about this book that I didn't like; I loved it completely! From the moment she was dumped and listened to HELP continuously I fell in love with Penny Lane. Her idea of swearing of guys didn't seem so crazy once you knew all the high school boys weren't worth dating.
    I liked how forgiving she was of Diane, I don't think I could have gone back to a strong friendship with someone who ditched me for a guy for four years, but I was glad it worked out well for Penny :D
    Nate annoyed the hell out of me, but Penny's dumping speech was just PERFECT! I loved how strong she was in her decisions and how much she cared about all of her friends. The group of girls having fun being themselves was a great image to give the reader. I'm all for take-time-out-for-ourselves-and-ditch-the-boys club :D
    I don't really hear The Beatles, I've heard some of their greatest hits but I don't know every song like Penny does. I did enjoy the craziness about them from her and her family. But wow, Penny Lane for a name would have driven me up the wall. Ryan's karaoke for her was the sweetest thing ever! Loved how normal he turned out to be. Wait, I do remember something that I didn't like in the book - the scene after the karaoke, Ryan really should've punched Todd for abusing Penny. That's all the book was missing!

    1. OMG I'm so so glad you loved it! I just picked up her newest book at ALA. I hope it's as good as this one. I read Prom and Prejudice, and it was cute, but seemed really young. It's called Take a Bow, have you heard of it?

  5. I have heard of it! It sounds interesting, I just hope it doesn't go all cliche and put Emme literally in the spotlight.

  6. Here's a question that keeps bugging me about this book, what group in High School was Penny in? Everyone is in a clique or a group and since the most popular guy in school fell for her and openly announced it I was a bit confused about where she fit in. Was she part of the popular clique then, since everyone LIKED her?
    Did it say where she fitted in or if not, do you have your own idea Andye?

    1. Gosh, it's been so long since I read it. I think maybe she hung with the popular crowd, but she wasn't the most popular of the bunch? She seemed to have lots of friends, and it wasn't too hard for her to get a bunch of girls to join her group. And cute guys obviously liked her. So maybe she was a fringe popular girl?

      Good question!

  7. I think she must have been somewhat popular, specially after she became friends with Diane again. But the jocks used to hit on her before all that anyway, so she must have been accepted by everyone.
    I'm saying "accepted" but I have no real idea how High School works, secondary schools in England aren't like that; there is no popular crowd and there aren't really any group tables in the dining hall :)

    1. In high school, we definitely had a popular crowd, and then every other sort of group imaginable. My graduating class was almost 600 people. It was crazy how you could be "in" one day and "out" the next. Friends can be so fickle!


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