I am very happy to be kicking off the blog tour for Elizabeth Eulberg's debut novel, The Lonely Hearts Club! I trust you still have some of those Christmas bookstore gift cards handy and that you haven't blown through them in only four days, because this is a truly wonderful and fabulous book that you simply MUST read!
The Lonely Hearts Club by Elizabeth Eulberg
Penny Lane (yes, as in The Beatles song) is just sick of guys. After one particularly nasty break-up with her childhood friend Nate, she forms The Lonely Hearts Club and resolves never to date another high school guy. After all, all they do is jerk you around, treat you like dirt, make you change who you are, and cause you to abandon your true friends. What Penny doesn't expect is most of the girls at her school happily flocking to her new club...and people (namely, the principal and the guys) getting angry at her. And then of course, there is the tiny matter of a certain very nice, very cute boy that Penny can't seem to get off of her mind…
The Lonely Hearts Club is a kick-butt, fun, and powerful read that isn't just about the romantic ups and downs of teen dating and swearing off guys, but about friendship and loyalty and never allowing a boyfriend to compromise who you are or make you give up your girlfriends. The many dating dynamics in the book are so, so true, which makes it an easy and enjoyable novel to get into, and Penny's witty voice will make you laugh and cringe with her at the same time, especially as the many girls share their dating woes (who knew guys could be so mean?). Penny’s club is unconventional, but it is so fantastic to see how she turns her pain at rejection by guys into something positive and fun for the girls in her school, and it won't fail to entertain at the same time as despite her best intentions, Penny just can't stop liking guys. The Lonely Hearts Club is not about moping around; it's about boys, The Beatles, picking yourself back up again and coming out stronger, and being the better person (most of the time). It'll leave you downloading The Beatles' music and wanting to form your own Lonely Hearts Club. Thank you, Elizabeth Eulberg.
Cover Comments: I love, love, love this cover! The Abbey Road spin-off is cute, and it's very fitting considering all of the many, many Beatles references. I also like how the tastes of each girl are as varied as the characters. The only thing I don't really care for is the font of the title. It's just too swirly for me, and since the rest of the cover has such a presence and attitude, it just doesn't fit. Other than that, this book really stands out!
I had the pleasure of interviewing Elizabeth Eulberg as well! Check it out:
I did use a lot of not so pleasant experience with guys I’ve dated for the book (as well as stories from my friends). However, the idea for the book came from a night out with a friend who is that girl whose life always needs to revolve around a guy (we all know the type!). We were hanging out and she ignored me the second she got attention from a guy. Instead of throwing myself a pity party, I thought: You know what? I have so many amazing single girl friends. We should all go out on Saturday nights and celebrate our fabulous single lives. Then it hit me – THIS is what I should be writing about. Up until that time, I was working on a couple different ideas for a book, but they weren’t working. I knew that I could have a lot of fun with this idea.
It's evident on nearly every page of the book that you like the Beatles, but are they the only musical group that influenced the book and/or your writing?
I LOVE music. I am always listening to music, even when I go to sleep. But for The Lonely Hearts Club, I only listened to The Beatles. It was weird when I started working on my next project to not listen to The Beatles while I write. I associate so many of their songs to the writing process for this book.
What was the hardest part about writing The Lonely Hearts Club? The easiest?
The hardest thing about writing The Lonely Hearts Club was finding the time to write. I have a pretty demanding job that sometimes requires me to travel for long stretches. So I would have to go months without being able to work on it. I also started writing without an outline, which I would not recommend doing. But once I got over those obstacles, I found slipping into Penny’s voice very easy. The other character which I really enjoyed writing was her best friend Tracy – she has some pretty funny, sarcastic lines that came out with too much ease at times!
My favorite part about The Lonely Hearts Club is (not to give anything away) how the book isn't just about romantic relationships, but has a great message about friendship. Was that message something that revealed itself while you were writing the book, or was it something you thought about and intentionally wrote it?
I always knew that the Club would focus on girls putting themselves first before a romantic relationship. But as the book and characters took shape, the friendship between the characters became a lot stronger and I began to realize how much these girls could accomplish with such an amazing foundation. If there is one thing I would like people to take away from the book (besides having fun while reading) is for them to realize how important friendships are in life and to never compromise yourself for a guy.
What can we expect next from you?
I’m working on my next novel that should come out in early 2011. It is a modern retelling of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice set in a prestigious boarding school. I have to say that I’m very proud of the title, Prom and Prejudice, and I’m having a blast writing it.
Do you have a favorite Beatles song?
This is such a hard question to answer. I have so many favorite Beatles songs, it is impossible for me to pick just one. This is what makes them so brilliant. But since I’m being FORCED against my will to choose (just kidding!), I’ll pick a few: “Revolution,” “Something,” “Ticket to Ride,” “You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away,” “We Can Work It Out,” “If I Fell,” “Eleanor Rigby,” “Here Comes the Sun.” Um, I could seriously go on and on for pages. I’ve already realized about 20 songs I didn’t include, so I think it is best for me to move on…
What are you listening to and reading now that you think your teen readers would enjoy?
It’s really hard for me to read books while I’m in the middle of writing so I’m very behind on my reading list. I am a huge fan of Ally Carter’s Gallagher Girls series and I just got a galley of her new book, Heist Society, which I’m loving. I also really like Lauren Myracle’s Peace, Love and Baby Ducks – Lauren is one of my favorite writers, she creates such compelling and fun characters.
There’s been so much great music this year. Currently on heavy rotation on my iPod: Elbow, Passion Pit, Meese, Phoenix, and Owl City. I’m a ridiculously huge fan of Snow Patrol, a lot of people only know them from “Chasing Cars,” but they just released a brilliant compilation of their past 15 years called “Up to Now.” Even though I have all their albums I bought it, because I’m geeky like that (they also did an insanely great cover of Beyonce’s “Crazy in Love”). Kelly Clarkson is also a favorite, loved her new album and her live show is amazing (I got to met her and managed to not entirely freak out). And of course, Glee. I LOVE Glee!
You can follow this tour by stopping by Steph Su's blog the day after tomorrow to read about Elizabeth's concert experiences! Click here to go to Elizabeth's blog and see her tour schedule!
Assorted Lonely Hearts Club fun:
Click here to watch a video in which Elizabeth talks about her inspiration for the novel and the Beatles!
Also, check out my post about The Lonely Hearts Club's cover change!
Enjoy! I really hope you end up picking this one up!
(ARC received from Scholastic.)