Sunday, June 2, 2013

Novel Review: The Lonely Hearts Club by Elizabeth Eulberg

Rating (Out of 5): ~2.5-3
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Scholastic (Point)
Publish Date: 2010
Spoilers?: Some.

Goodreads Synopsis:

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. . . .


I tried starting this book a long while ago, and stopped because I didn’t like it. I started it again, thinking to at least get through it, and found that what I didn’t like about it before didn’t bother me, but something else did.
At first, I didn’t like the writing. I thought it sounded very immature teenager. I didn’t think so on my second read. What bothered me the second time, though, was the message being sent.
So, Penny gets her heart broken and decides she’s done with boys. And then she pushes her friends into joining her in a club that is very anti-boy, named after a Beatles song. At first, some of her friends are wary, but then they get hurt in one way or another by a boy, and so they join. Because, of course, boys are horrible creatures, right? Not even human, really. They’re the problem to everything.
Okay, so there isn’t actually very much boy-hate talk going on. But, while this sounded like it could have turned into a ‘go girls!’ feminist type of book, or even one where the message is that women don’t need men and can feel completely whole without them, that message wasn’t really pushed, nor did it really even come to a head. The only thing that seemed to last, was that the girls decided that they weren’t going to choose boys over their friends anymore. And I don’t really think that’s quite as powerful or important. I understand that not choosing a boy over your friends is important, but I don’t think that’s as important to push as not to choose anyone over yourself, which wasn’t really even mentioned.
And, yea, it really annoyed me the way some of the girls jumped to the conclusion that men are horrible, devil-spawns, to blame for everything. Especially when some of the girls jumped to that conclusion much too quickly. For instance, when one of the girls decides that this boy she likes doesn’t like her, without even having a conversation with him, she gives up and joins the club, deciding that boys aren’t worth it. And I just didn’t understand her reasoning, or believe it, and I thought that it was dumb. A lot of their talk and reasons, to me, were kind of dumb. And kind of pissed me off at times.
Also, the club gets very big, and we met a lot of different girls. And I guess we were supposed to actually remember a lot of them, know who they are, get the hints about their personal lives. I didn't. There were too many with too little time shown to them.
Then there was the fact that a lot of the boys were complaining, and Penny got in trouble with the principal at one point because of what she was doing, even though it was none of their business. Her mother stuck up for her at that point, though, which was very nicely done.
The only reason the rating isn’t as low as it could have been, is that I did like the ending. And I liked the boy. Also, I liked Diane, an old friend of Penny’s, who starts finding herself after breaking up with her long-time boyfriend. I actually liked Diane and her relationship with everyone, including her old boyfriend, more than I liked Penny.
I don’t have a whole lot else to say. The feminist part of me just raged a bit at this book. But I liked some of the characters, and I liked the ending. I’m not very eager to read any of Eulbergs’ other books, but I might pick one up at some point.

The Cover:

I don't really have a lot to say about this cover. I like it for the most part, I guess. It's not very embarrassing, it's not particularly pretty or ugly. It fits the book really well, so that's nice about it. It could be better, it could be worse, really. 

No comments:

Post a Comment