Audio Review: The Lonely Hearts Club

Title/Author:  The Lonely Hearts Club by Elizabeth Eulberg

Genre:  Young Adult, Realistic, Romance, Contemporary

Published:  January 1st, 2010 by Point

Audiobook, 386 minutes

How I Got This Book: Checked it out from the library.

Why I Picked It Up?:  Elizabeth Eulberg was going to be at YALLFest, and I really wanted to read one of her novels.  So I picked up this one on audio.  And I am SO glad I did!

Book Jacket Blurb:  “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. . .”

My Review of this Work:  

Here’s the deal with this book:  I expected to find a nice fluffy contemporary listen while I waited on another audiobook to come in.  I was not expecting to completely, 100% fall in love with every aspect of this story!!  I am not usually a fan-girl fan of contemporary reads, but The Lonely Hearts Club made me fall in love with the fun contemporary reads again!

From beginning to end, The Lonely Hearts Club is such a fun read!  The essence of this novel is so simple–a high school scene–and yet Eulberg creates this fantastic dichotomy between the wannabes and the “we don’t care anymore”s, which creates a very interesting teenage story.  Not to mention, this story is absolutely hilarious!  And after going to a panel and meeting Eulberg herself, I now know that she wrote this book to be almost identical to the way she is in real life!

This story resonated with me in a way that other contemporary reads have not.  And I think it is because, in a lot of ways, Penny’s story is my story.  I had a couple of boyfriends in high school, but for the majority of my high school time I was single when my best friends had boyfriends.  And while that got lonely sometimes, other times it was absolutely great because I escaped a lot of unnecessary drama.  My friends (boys and girls, but we never really dated each other lol) and I would spend our weekends hanging out and playing board games, or drawing with chalk on sidewalks, or playing lava tag at the local playground.  We really enjoyed the time we spent together, and it was pretty much a drama-free zone.  So to pick up this book and see that another group of friends understood that you could have fun without boyfriends is something that is so refreshing in YA lit.  I can really connect with Penny because she found her identity outside of a boy, even if it is for a little while.  She learned a lot about herself through this anti-dating pledge because she understood that the dating drama isn’t worth the hassle a lot of time.  And yes, maybe she does enter another relationship, but when she does she will be a lot more confident in herself as an individual.  Her identity doesn’t have to be in someone else anymore.  She is a girl after my own heart.

I believe that a strong reason for me loving this book so much is that I listened to it on audio. Khristine Hvam puts on a spectacular audio show, filled with incredible energy and memorable character voices!  First off, she really transformed into Penny from the very beginning.  But her ability to become the other characters is unmatched by any other narrator I have listened to (which isn’t many, but definitely enough).  And I just have to say, my most favorite character voice was Todd–he is just so FUNNY!

Seriously, if you are looking for a light, laugh-out-loud funny, contemporary read, pick up Elizabeth Eulberg’s The Lonely Hearts Club.  And then follow her on Twitter and find a place close to you where you can hear her speak someday.  Because she is freakin’ hilarious and is totally worthy of some hardcore fangirling!

I plan on reading the rest of her books soon, and I am greatly looking forward to her newest release, Revenge of the Girl with the Great Personality, which comes out March 1st 2013!

My Bookshelf Rating:

A Fourth Shelf Book!

I was so incredibly surprised by this book!  I absolutely love everything about this story, from the awesome characters to the what the club stands for.  I instantly fell in love with Penny; she is such a real teenage girl that I could really identify with.  I appreciate the teenage girl who can have a good time without a boy in her life.  This is such a great standalone contemporary read, but I would totally recommend the audio for you listeners out there!  Khristine Hvam does a fantastic job with making this book come to life!

Love and Buttered Popcorn,
Jennifer

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