Saturday, February 2, 2013

The Lonely Hearts Club

Author: Elizabeth Eulberg
Publisher: Point (Scholastic)
Genre: YA Contemporary/Romance
Released: December 29, 2009
Series: No
Source: Library
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...
This is a really sweet, smart book. Penny makes her decision to swear off boys based on her past experiences, especially being betrayed so horrifically by a boy she trusted all her life. At first it's a club of one, but when her friends one by one get hurt by the boys in their lives, they join, and it soon becomes a school phenomenon. Penny deals with her newfound star status really well. I love how she keeps her wits about her and makes each decision based on what is happening at the time - yes, based on how she feels, but when it comes to her friends versus keeping her absolute popularity, she knows how to navigate things, and she knows what's best for her friends. She is able to sacrifice her views and opinions when her friends have a chance at happiness - and ultimately that's what allows her to have her own chance at happiness.

Though due to a series of unfortunate misunderstandings, her chance at happiness seems far away throughout most of the book. The whole book is a comment on the interactions between boys and girls, and this element captures things perfectly, the way adolescents dance around each other when they like each other and are not sure they're liked back. But in the end, it all works out, so Penny is lonely no more!

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