Sunday, January 25, 2015
All You Need is Love: We Can Work It Out
Point, Expected Release Date: January 27, 2015
*ARC provided by the publisher via Liza Wiemer's Novel Cuisine Luncheon - thank you! This in no way impacted my opinions of this book.*
Elizabeth Eulberg's debut novel, The Lonely Hearts Club, was a love letter to two things: friendship and The Beatles. Penny Lane Bloom was a girl who had given up on guys and love, and found incredible strength and family in The Lonely Hearts Club, an all-girl group dedicated to the idea that you don't need a boyfriend to be happy. The girls are back in this adorable sequel, and Penny is as busy as ever. Not only does she still have the club to run, but a romance with Ryan, a completely wonderful guy. Penny wants it all, and she seems to have it for now, but can she really juggle this much for long?
While it's been a while since I read book one (a novel that easily stands on its own in case you're not one for series) and I was rusty on more than a few characters and relationships, I had no trouble getting back into the swing of Penny and her world. Eulberg crafts a story around a classic problem - taking on too much. I could completely identify with Penny in that she constantly spreads herself just a little too thin. She doesn't mean to, and she has good intentions, but people can only keep up that kind of pace for so long before crashing becomes inevitable. While at times she made choices that made me cringe, I could understand them. Heck, when I was 16/17, I probably did a lot of the same things, and I have no doubt that today's teens will also have no trouble seeing the world the way Penny does.
There were a few moments in here where things felt like a smidge bit too much - how many times can one girl seriously put her foot in her mouth or make the same mistake over and over? Also, like with the first book, I'm a bit concerned at how seriously the girls in the LHC must live by the rules they've set up - lunch every day, meetings every Saturday night (no exceptions except for emergencies) - or maybe that's just Penny because she's the leader so she feels like she has to set the example. However, but the end of the novel, I was less worried. Here is a girl who grows, who learns the hard way that life is about balance. We give and we take and if we care about someone, we need to show it. That's how relationships work - not just the romantic ones, but the platonic ones too.
All in all, I really liked this book. It was great to get back into the lives of these characters and while there's plenty of drama in Penny's world, there's also a lot of humor and love. If you're looking for a book with colorful characters determined to take this thing called life head-on, look no further than the novels of Elizabeth Eulberg. You'll be in for a fun ride.
Comments welcome, and, as always, happy reading!
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