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 Bloom (named for the Beatles song) suffers a broken heart over the summer at the hands of Nate, her longtime love, and is determined to put him out of her head. I would, for once, focus on me. Junior year would be my year. Debut novelist and children's book publicist Eulberg creates characters who, inspired by Penny's plight, join her Lonely Hearts Club, which requires members to swear off boys. The club gains momentum quickly, though inevitably there are roadblocks. Penny finds herself interested in Ryan, the former boyfriend of fellow club member Diane. And, improbably, the school principal seeks to shut down the club when male students complain that no one will date them. Penny's closure regarding Nate and Diane's willingness to give Penny and Ryan her blessing come with unrealistic ease, and larger issues, like a classmate's battle with an eating disorder, are glossed over. Still, the celebration of sisterhood and the amended club rules ( Members are allowed to date, but must never, ever forget that their friends come first ) emphasize the campy fun. Ages 14 18.