Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The Lonely Hearts Club by Brenda Janowitz

4 Star

Jo Waldman lives life to her own soundtrack—working for her father by day while pursuing her music career in NYC’s downtown clubs at night. Music is her passion, along with her boyfriend, Jesse, who shares her dreams of making it big. Jo's old band, The Lonely Hearts Club, came thisclose to getting a huge recording contract, and she’s just biding her time, waiting for lightning to strike twice. The music business is tough, but so is Jo.

So when Jo's father fires her and Jesse breaks up with her, Jo doesn’t get upset—she just wants to rage. Dusting off her computer, and typing in the familiar address for the Lonely Hearts Club's old blog, Jo writes an entry, pouring her heart out about the shortcomings of love. Nobody visits the site anymore, so it's a safe place for Jo to vent. Except that the site sends a mass e-mail to the entire Lonely Hearts mailing list, notifying them that there's a fresh message on the site, so now everybody she's ever met knows that Jo has been brutally dumped. All Jo wants to do is hide under the covers, but to her surprise, supportive comments start flowing in—most from screen names she doesn't even recognize. Jo soon becomes an icon for all things “anti-love.”

There's only one problem: the web programmer helping Jo with her anti-love site is too damned cute! Jo's never been very good at depriving herself of anything, but if the budding relationship with her web programmer is exposed, she'll be revealed as a total fraud and risk losing all of the people who have grown to love and trust her. So is it time to start singing love songs, or time to pick up the guitar and return to the hard rock that almost got The Lonely Hearts signed in the first place? Jo's got some big decisions to make, and it looks like she's going to have to take one step closer to doing something she never thought she'd do--becoming a grownup. 

Sabrina-Kate - 4 Star

The Lonely Hearts Club is a great light read, meant for anyone who loves a good romantic story with some dramatic flair. The main character, Jo, is tough as nails and means business in everything she does. Not willing to accept less than what she wants, she is a kick-ass kind of girl who makes you want to be more rock and roll, like her.

The book was definitely appealing because I could see how you could get swept along in a wave of reactions. Upset and raging, due to getting fired and getting dumped, Jo turns her reactions into actions. With great success she develops a following.

This was a great "I can feel where you are coming from" type story that made me love it and love the characters because I have been there without having been in the same spot that she was. But who hasn't had their heart stomped on? Who hasn't felt like raging and reacting?

The more I think about this story and contemplate it, the more I realized just how much it even inspired me. Taking your pain and turning it into something positive is very empowering and a great message.

Thank you to Polis Books for our review copy.  All opinions are our own.

Connect with Brenda Janowitz:
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