Monday, November 8, 2010

The Lonely Hearts Club

Penny Lane Bloom is tired of boys.  More specifically she's tired of when girls lose their identity over a boy.  Not only has she had a friend ditch her for a boy, Penny tried to be someone she really wasn't to land the boy she thought was her one and only.  Being a child of Beatle-maniacs (hence the her first and middle name), she decides to form the "Lonely Hearts Club" to help girls like her realize that they don't need to date to find their identity.  In a very short time the club goes from having a very small membership (just Penny) to 30 girls from her high school.  Since the most crucial part of club membership is not dating, lots of people are noticing changes in the female portion of the student body.  Neither the male population of the high school or the principal are particularly happy with Penny.  On top of everything, Penny is fighting a losing battle with herself over Ryan Bauer.  Not only is Ryan extremely good-looking, he's genuinely nice (not something Penny has experienced much with guys).  So what's a girl to when she thinks she wants to violate rule number one of the club she founded?  Time to change the rules...but only a little.

Elizabeth Eulberg's novel is cute and fast, but a little too gimmicky for me.   I don't know if the average teen reader will find all the Beatles' reference interesting or annoying.  The storyline also becomes a little predictable.  However, there are some thoroughly wonderful girl power speeches sprinkled throughout the story.  Since it's a quick read, it's worth the time.

Note: This book was read for possible inclusion on the 2011/2012 YARP list. 

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