Penny Lane Bloom is done with boys. Love might be all you need, but Penny has her doubts. Especially when the dating pool is limited to the losers, players, jerks and wannabes otherwise known as the male population of McKinley High School.
After a summer romance gone wrong once again leaves Penny miserable because of a guy she decides to call it quits. No more boys. No more dating. At least until the end of high school. Taking inspiration from the only men who never let her down, Penny decides to start her own anti-dating club: The Lonely Hearts Club, total members: one.
But when her friends join and the girls at school hear about the Club, Penny finds herself at the center of attention as news of her stance on boys and her club spread throughout the school.
As Penny builds a community of strong, capable girls she might even realize that some boys–even if they aren’t John, Paul, George, or Ringo–might be okay (and maybe even worth dating) in The Lonely Hearts Club (2010) by Elizabeth Eulberg.
Everything about Eulberg’s debut novel* The Lonely Hearts Club is charming from the cover to the delightful plot, not to mention the Beatles motif throughout the novel.
Penny is a clever, authentic narrator. Readers will love her frank tone and her humility as her Club morphs from an angry declaration against all boys to an important force for good at her high school. Penny’s journey throughout the story both as leader of the Lonely Hearts Club and as a girl who has been burned by one too many boys is realistic and well-written.
What really sets this book apart and makes it so wonderful is that the book is literally filled with strong female characters. In fact, that’s kind of the whole point as Penny and the other Club members learn to focus on themselves and put their own interests first instead of focusing on boys. In short The Lonely Hearts Club is really the perfect blend of old fashioned girl power feminism and romantic sentiment. (And it’s really fun and includes tons of Beatles references besides!)
*Previously the mastermind behind publicity for the Twilight books (and lots of other titles you would recognize), Eulberg wrote this book in 2010. She followed it up with Prom and Prejudice in 2011. She also recently announced that she was planning on pursuing her writing career full time which, as a fan of her work, is extremely exciting!
You can also visit Eulberg’s website for a full list of the Beatles’ songs mentioned in the novel. (Click on “The Beatles”)
Possible Pairings: Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan, A Little Wanting Song by Cath Crowley, Prom and Prejudice by Elizabeth Eulberg**, Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine, The Boy Book by E. Lockhart, The Unwritten Rule by Elizabeth Scott
**I don’t usually list an author’s other books in possible pairings because I feel like it’s implied but I made an exception here because I think the two books, aside from both being delightful, really hit some of the same high notes and pick up the same themes and they just work well together aside from being by the same author. (Want to see what I mean? Read this review.)
Exclusive Bonus Content: Just wanted to take a moment to applaud Becky Terhune and Elizabeth B. Parisi for the fabulous jacket design here. Also props to Michael Frost for the ah-may-zing cover photo. Needless to say this is one of my favorite covers ever.
While you’re reading this, let me ask: Is going to a dance alone still really as radical as it is in this book? I went to my senior prom alone (and met a group of friends at the door). I didn’t realize it could create such a sensation in some circles. Regular readers must be seriously wondering about my high school career by now between this and my ramblings in my Ruby Oliver book reviews . . .