From School Library Journal
Gr 7-10-Penny Lane Bloom, the daughter of two Beatles fanatics, has sworn off boys for good following a disastrous summer romance with her long-time friend, Nate. Tired of the drama and heartbreak surrounding boys and dating, Penny forms "The Lonely Hearts Club," with herself as the sole member. Soon she recruits her best friend, Tracy, and recently dumped Diane, a former friend of Penny's who ditched her years ago for a boy. As Diane and Penny repair their friendship, girls begin flocking to the club seeking refuge in the boy-free zone while developing strong bonds of friendship with one another. Penny is overwhelmed by the group's influence and popularity, and impressed with the club's positive impact on its members. The girls soon realize, however, that the club's strict anti-dating rule may be a bit too harsh, especially when one of the cutest boys in school shows an interest in Penny. Along with accurately demonstrating the ups and downs of high school dating, Elizabeth Eulberg's novel (Point, 2009) is a reminder of the value of friendship and staying true to oneself. Khristine Hvam does a fine job of portraying Penny and her large cast of girlfriends, but her voicing of the male characters often sounds cartoon-like. She occasionally sounds too old for some of the teen characters, but this could be due to Eulberg's writing. Overall, the well-paced, upbeat narration mirrors the positive feeling of the novel.-Amy Dreger, Cuyahoga County Public Library, Beachwood, OHα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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After a devastating betrayal by the boy she thought she was destined to be with forever, Penny Lane Bloom (who fortunately inherited her parents’ love of the Beatles to go with her name) swears off guys and quietly starts the Lonely Hearts Club. To her surprise, many of her girlfriends are also sick of high-school guys and want to join—even Diane, Penny’s former best friend and one-half of the school’s power couple until a recent, amicable breakup. The club grows and becomes an influential social force as members meet every Saturday night, go to dances together, and support one another in their academic and extracurricular pursuits. But conflict arises when the school administration fears the group is getting too powerful and “making the boys feel bad,” and Penny finds herself torn between her no-boy pledge and the courteous advances of one of the nicest guys she knows—who happens to be Diane’s ex-boyfriend. This first novel will be a draw for readers looking for an upbeat take on friendship, empowerment, and finding romance without losing yourself. Grades 7-10. --Heather Booth