Khanh the Killjoy

All you need is boys

The Lonely Hearts Club - Elizabeth Eulberg
"Oh, really?" Rosanna rolled her eyes dramatically, "How convenient that you decide to change the rules after you go on a date with the hottest guy in school! Maybe it shouldn't be called the Lonely Hearts Club -- maybe you should call it the Rules Will Change When Convenient For Penny Club!"
In the ancient Greek comedy, Lysistrata, fed up with all the warmongering, the women of Greece to withhold sex in a revolt to try to end the Peloponnesian War. If those intrepid women's mission to give up romance and love had lasted as short as the one waged by the main character within this book, the war might still be happening right now.

Because Penny Lane's vow to GIVE UP ALL THE BOYSES lasts all of 5 minutes. Yay. Bravo. Much endurance. Very patience. Such stoicism. Wow.


This book was terrible. I don't think Elizabeth Eulberg's YA comtemporary books are for me at all, because this is the third such I've read with disastrous consequences.

1. The heroine shows all the signs of being a contemporary Mary Sue including having a special name ("Penny Lane is in my ears and in my eyes"- The Beatles). She is beautiful without knowing it. ALL THE BOYSES FALL FOR HER. Etc.

2. The portrayal of teenaged females as completely shallow character whose lives revolve around that of their boyfriends and crushes

3. A theme of BOYS ARE NOT EVERYTHING that completely, utterly fails

4. An extremely juvenile way of viewing a group of people, in this case, boys, as EBIL EBIL EBIL creatures. It's so fucking 3rd grade.
He was a guy. A guy guy. As far as I was concerned, he probably had the dead bodies of small children and puppies hidden in his locker.
The Summary:
"Are you even kidding me? Every time you're around Ryan, you flirt up a storm."
Yeah, well, that was the old Penny. New Penny was done flirting. I'd be happy if I never had to speak to any guys for the rest of the year.
Penny Lane is done with boys. D. O. N. E. So she says. Her boyfriend Nate just dumped her because she won't put out.

And now that she's newly single, Penny is starting to see how HORRIBLE EVIL BAD boys are. I mean, they ruin everything they touch. They turn perfectly good, smart girls into mindless, devoted idiots, slave to their selfish EBIL EBIL EBIL needs. From the hipsters to the musicians to the jocks.
I couldn't help but wonder why it was that a guy could find two good girls to date at the same time, when we girls couldn't even find one decent guy.
Anything with a penis = trouble.

And it's not just the boys that are the problem, it's the girls, too. The girls at her school are so fucking shallow.
"The guys in the Elite Eight aren't the problem," Morgan said. "Those girls are so shallow and have zero -- and I mean zero -- things to discuss outside of their boyfriends."
So, fed up with boys, Penny decides to form the Lonely Hearts Club.
I would stop torturing myself by dating loser guys. I would enjoy the benefits of being single. I would, for once, focus on me. Junior year would be my year. It would be all about me, Penny Lane Bloom, sole member and founder of The Lonely Hearts Club.
Famous last words.

Word gets out, and the girls at school think this is a fab, fab (not to be confused with the Fab Four Beatles, with whom Penny's parents are obsessed) idea. Before she knows it, Penny is famous, and practically all the girls at her school are joining it. Giving up boys! Enjoying time with each other! What could be a better idea!

Well, for one, Penny's starting to notice her best friend Diane's ex, Ryan. Diane and Ryan are THE couple. A jock, a cheerleader. Super popular, they've been dating since 7th grade. That's a long fucking time in grade school years, and they've just broken up.

And now Penny's got her eyes on Ryan. So much for her vow of chastity, or, whatever. They go on a date. Or, well, not a date, because SHE'S NOT WEARING A FUCKING BLACK TOP
Rita and I had joked that guys always wore that on a first date while girls always wore jeans and a black top. Since I wasn't wearing a black top, this was clearly not a date.
Except Ryan sees it as a date.
"First date?"
I held my breath.
He smiled. "Yes, and what chance do you think I'd have with a second date if I made her pay?"
And then, well, maybe it's time to relax the rules.
"I started this club because I was sick of guys. But as the Club has grown, I've noticed that it's more about focusing on ourselves, and that we're really good at that. So now I think maybe our focus shouldn't be on never dating a guy, but on keeping true to your friends. if one of us wants to go --"
Are you fucking serious?

The Premise:
All members agree to stop dating men (or, if referring to the male population at McKinley High, "little boys") for the rest of thy high school existence.
Those be the rules of the Lonely Hearts Club. It's a pretty neat little club, because although it's not true for everyone, relationships tend to bring out the worst of us sometimes.
"And then when we do find someone we think is special, we forget about our friends." I tried not to look at Diane. "Or we change something about ourselves to please a guy instead of doing what makes us happy or what we know is right. Why do we do this? Why do we even bother?"
But this book vilifies relationships so much. It portrays all the girls within the book as desperate for boys, dependent on boys, and despite the fact that this book is about staying away from boys, it almost fails the Bechdel Test because almost ALL THE FUCKING CONVERSATIONS ARE ABOUT BOYS.

And it just fails in the premise. Not only does it has a very silly, juvenile attitude of Boys Have Cooties, the purpose of the book, that of making life more about girlfriends and yourself, just completely gets glossed over because Penny still cares so much about what guys think.
I spent more time than necessary hanging up the coats. the entire time I sensed Nate's eyes on my back. And I enjoyed it.
And not only that, the founder of the club completely goes against the club's rules.
I am on a date with Ryan Bauer.
My stomach did a somersault and I tried to catch my breath. Crap, I'm on a date with Ryan Bauer. I'm not supposed to be on a date! Not only that, I'd declared in front of the entire Lonely Hearts Club that I wasn't going on a date.
And NOT ONLY THAT, she ends up taking her little crush...way too far -_-
I blushed. I needed to take it down a notch before I started making decisions about our china pattern.
For fuck's sakes...

Penny Lane is Making Me Scratch My Eyes Out: No, that's not the lyrics to the actual Penny Lane song, but it should be, because that's how Penny Lane makes me feel. She is a fucking Mary Sue, y'all.

She is beautiful without knowing it. Her beautiful cheerleader friends are all jealous of her and she doesn't know it.
"I've always been a little bit jealous of you."
"Excuse me?" How could Miss Perfect, blond-hair, blue-eyes model Diane Monroe be jealous of me?
"Seriously, Penny --I mean, seriously! Look at you! Do you have any idea how hard I have to work to look like this? I mean, look at what I'm eating, for the love of carbs!" Diane motioned toward her garden salad with fat-free dressing and then looked over at my turkey sandwich with cheddar cheese and mayonnaise and potato chips.
Because she can eat eeeeeeeeverything. So many times in the book, her friends are all jealous of Penny Lane's body and how effortless it takes her to maintain it. All the other girls in the book are on a rabbit-food-starvation-camp diet except for her. And she has no idea.

She thinks she looks freakish but Penny's also got a great sense of style, without knowing it.
"AND you have the coolest style. I choose what I'm going to wear based on what magazines tell me. I look the same as everybody else. But you have your own funky style that nobody else could pull off You always have."
In other words, I was a freak because I preferred All Stars over stilettos.
Every girl in the book adores her with the exception of a few. They don't fucking mind if Penny date their ex-boyfriend. Fucking gag me please.
"You and Ryan are Diane's closest friends. She wants you both to be happy!"
Such generosity! So unbelievable!

All the boys fall in love with Penny. There's Ryan, of course, there's also ex-asshole Nate, and beloved asshole jock Todd. Naturally, she spurns them all. Except Ryan. RYYYYYYYYYYAN.

Overall: Cute premise. Utter failure.