Love is all you need… or is it? Penny’s about to find out in this wonderful debut.
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. . .
Penny Lane, named of course for the Beatles song, has just been dealt a harsh blow from the guy she expected to be with for a long time, possibly even marry and have babies with. Granted, she bought into the whole “childhood sweethearts” crud, but was crushed by Nate because he was AWFUL! She then decides to start her own solitary club, The Lonely Hearts Club, obviously drawing from her fanatical obsession with the fab four, which basically entails her deciding not to date while still in high school. But then she brings in an old friend , Diane, who’s just broken up with her boyfriend of four years and it kind of snowballs from there, eventually becoming so big that it intimidates and threatens the male population at school. Just when she begins to think that all boys are scum, she starts to have feelings for one in particular.
This was a really cute book. I liked Penny, though she did go a little overboard with the “all boys are scum” mentality (though I understood how she reached this conclusion). I liked that Penny became a figurehead for this movement, making friendship with other girls more important than being with guys. I liked that she was so forgiving to Diane, who she hadn’t talked to in 4 years because Diane effectively dumped Penny when Diane started dating Ryan. This is a trap that I know a lot of girls/women fall into, making the boy/man (or romantic relationship) in their life the center of their universe and pushing their other relationships aside, until or unless that romantic relationship ends. It’s good to know that these girls (though they are ficitional) have learned this lesson early in life gives me hope that the real girls reading TLHC will learn it, as well. The club turned out to be not all about romantic relationships, after all, but how girls/women can lean on their friends for all sorts of issues.
The romance in the book was super cute. It starts with friendship, which is my favorite type of romance. Although I have to say, I didn’t know who the male hero would be initially because with my friends, it would not be cool to start dating your friend’s ex. Not cool at all. But it worked out. And Ryan was a great guy and very deserving of Penny, because of his personality and how he treated Diane during and after their breakup. He was definitely an example of a good guy. I wasn’t expecting him to be, of course, because he broke up with Diane and is the reason why Diane is in the club. But I loved that he stayed friends with Diane and was very helpful to her and respectful of Diane’s friendship with Penny.
This book is definitely a recommendation. I read it in just a few hours. Last week, I also read Elizabeth Eulberg’s Take a Bow, which I also read very quickly and was done very well. Ms. Eulberg has become a favorite. There was no sex, no angst, just a sweet romance and a lof of friendship.