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The Lonely Hearts Club Hardcover – December 29, 2009

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Editorial Reviews

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. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

From Booklist

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

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Point; 1 edition (January 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0545140315
  • ISBN-13: 978-0545140317
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.7 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (118 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #810,609 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Elizabeth Eulberg was born and raised in Wisconsin before heading off to college at Syracuse University and making a career in the New York City book biz. Now a full-time writer, she is the author of The Lonely Hearts Club, Prom & Prejudice, Take a Bow, Revenge of the Girl with the Great Personality, Better Off Friends, and We Can Work it Out (coming January 27, 2015). She lives outside of Manhattan with her three guitars, two keyboards, and one drumstick.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By The Compulsive Reader VINE VOICE on December 29, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Penny Lane (yes, as in The Beatles song) is just sick of guys. After one particularly nasty break-up with her childhood friend Nate, she forms The Lonely Hearts Club and resolves never to date another high school guy. After all, all they do is jerk you around, treat you like dirt, make you change who you are, and cause you to abandon your true friends. What Penny doesn't expect is most of the girls at her school happily flocking to her new club...and people (namely, the principal and the guys) getting angry at her. And then of course, there is the tiny matter of a certain very nice, very cute boy that Penny can't seem to get off of her mind...

The Lonely Hearts Club is a kick-butt, fun, and powerful read that isn't just about the romantic ups and downs of teen dating and swearing off guys, but about friendship and loyalty and never allowing a boyfriend to compromise who you are or make you give up your girlfriends. The many dating dynamics in the book are so, so true, which makes it an easy and enjoyable novel to get into, and Penny's witty voice will make you laugh and cringe with her at the same time, especially as the many girls share their dating woes (who knew guys could be so mean?). Penny's club is unconventional, but it is so fantastic to see how she turns her pain at rejection by guys into something positive and fun for the girls in her school, and it won't fail to entertain at the same time as despite her best intentions, Penny just can't stop liking guys. The Lonely Hearts Club is not about moping around; it's about boys, The Beatles, picking yourself back up again and coming out stronger, and being the better person (most of the time). It'll leave you downloading The Beatles' music and wanting to form your own Lonely Hearts Club. Thank you, Elizabeth Eulberg.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By P. Travis Millet on February 21, 2010
Format: Hardcover
At some pivotal moment in their life, every teenage girl will come to the point where she will become fed up with boys and their typical immature shenanigans. Some might even go so far as to completely swear off the male sex for a certain period of time. A very few others will possibly not only stop dating boys, but they will encourage all their friends to do so and will then create a club where they can celebrate their self-induced single-ness with other like-minded females. Our hero, Penny Lane Bloom belongs to the last category.

After finding herself with a broken heart yet again, Penny decides to swear off boys (except the Beatles) until after high school, choosing instead to focus on herself and her girlfriends by creating The Lonely Hearts Club (so named after the Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band album). Penny couldn't be happier with her new found freedom, even if she is only a club of one. But word of Penny's new club spreads quickly among the girls of her school who are also eager to shed their boy-troubles and Penny quickly finds herself on the outs with nearly every boy, some particularly catty girls, and even her principal.

There were several things to love about Elizabeth Eulberg's debut novel The Lonely Hearts Club. First off, any novel that takes not only its title but several character names and a 'date' to a Beatles impersonators concert from the Fab Four cannot help but be entertaining. Additionally, I adore the lighthearted cover with its modern girly Abbey Road inspired cover. I also applaud Eulberg for creating some strong female characters who recognize the futility of centering their lives around the whims of immature males who go on to get good grades, join sports teams, and who understand the value of female friendship. Thank you for that.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By BermudaOnion VINE VOICE on January 8, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Penny's parents are Beatles fanatics - in fact, they love the Beatles, so much, they named their daughters Lucy (in the Sky with Diamonds), Rita (the Lovely Meter Maid) and Penny Lane after Beatles songs.

When Penny discovers her boyfriend cheating on her, she decides she's sick of boys and all the aggravation they cause her. She swears off boys (until she's out of high school, anyway) and decides to form a club. What better name than The Lonely Hearts Club since she's grown up in a Beatles culture? To be a member you must:

* stop dating boys while you're in high school
* attend all couple events (such as Homecoming, parties, etc) as a group
* attend Saturday night meetings
* be supportive of friends, even when they make bad choices

The Lonely Hearts Club turns out to be more popular than Penny ever imagined, but it also causes problems. The boys at her high school aren't crazy about it and the principal thinks it's disruptive. Things really start to heat up for Penny, though, when she starts to like a certain boy. Penny and her club learn a lot about life in just a few months.

The Lonely Hearts Club by Elizabeth Eulberg is delightful YA book! I thought Penny was a great character. Sure, she makes mistakes, but she picks herself up and moves on with her life when she does. Her friends are great, too - each with their own strengths and weaknesses. I really enjoyed the time I spent with the members of The Lonely Hearts Club. I also enjoyed all the Beatles references throughout the book. Having said that, you don't need to know a lot about the Beatles to enjoy this book.

I love the message that this book gives young girls. It lets them know that it's great to have a guy in your life, but it's fine if you don't.
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