Wednesday, February 29, 2012
The Lonely Hearts Club by Elizabeth Eulberg
Penny has had it with high school guys. After having her heart broken by the guy she thought was her ideal, she decides to swear off dating in high school. Soon she's joined by a few friends who have also had their bad experiences with guys and the form The Lonely Hearts Club, a group that feels like they don't need boys in high school. Before Penny knows it, the club is making a splash at school and having some unexpected results and unexpected consequences. Faced with an increasingly annoyed male population and Penny fighting a crush of her own, Penny and her friends join together to support each other and maybe approve of a boy now and then anyway.
Genre: romance, contemporary
I liked this book. It was cute and Penny intelligent and laid back. I enjoyed the fact that one of her friends initially started out in the "annoying perfect girl" stereotype, but turned out to be a major character who is actually genuinely sweet and apologetic about ditching Penny back when she originally got a boyfriend. Girls are portrayed in a mostly positive light (with the exception of a few stereotypical mean girls) and girl friendships are celebrated. The book only gets marked down on two counts: first off, Penny's parents' obsession with the Beatles seemed a bit fake and like it was a gimmick to use in the book more than anything else. The second issue was one where Penny finding happiness with a boy sort of undermined some of the message to me. Yes the group is still supportive and refuses to allow members to become girlfriends who are consumed by their boyfriends to the point of having no life, but the main character spending most of the book stressing about whether she should be with a guy or not (granted a nice guy) sort of derails the message that girls shouldn't worry about boys. It just sort of seemed like it was at cross purposes. The book is charming though and works as a nice little romance too, and definitely has a positive message of girls being themselves whether they have boyfriends or not. So, girl power with a slightly mixed message.