The Lonely Hearts' Quiz League

That Rom-Com you'll be telling all your friends about: funny, romantic and heartwarming

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Pub Date 20 Jun 2024 | Archive Date 4 Jul 2024
Headline | Headline Review

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'Full of heart. You won't regret spending time with your new favourite group of lonely hearts' LUCY GILMORE
'The cast list of The Lonely Hearts Quiz League is wonderful. I thoroughly enjoyed it' CLARE SWATMAN
'A heart-warming tale of friendship. It warmed me up, like the welcoming glow of a pub' JOSIE LLOYD

This irresistible novel about love and friendship will make your heart soar, perfect for fans of Beth O'Leary, Mhairi McFarlane and David Nicholls' Starter for Ten.

Q: What do you call four strangers with nothing left to lose?
A: A quiz team who might just surprise everyone...

When Bryony, Harry and Jaime step into the Five Bells, each has their own motive for being drawn into the warm glow of the pub. Heartbroken Harry can't face his silent flat. Jaime, new to London with her boyfriend, longs to find a fun crowd. And Bryony is trying to remember the promising young woman she was, before a positive pregnancy test set her life on a different course.

When they spot the advert to join a quiz team and enter a tournament, each signs up, unaware that the organiser, Donna, has her own reason to avoid thinking about home.

After a few evenings, the strangers begin to see they have more in common than they realised. But when everyone's secrets are finally out on the table, will it sabotage the team's chances of making it through?

What readers are saying about The Lonely Hearts' Quiz League:

'Perfect for fans of Beth O'Leary and Laura Jane Williams with plenty of drama for all characters!' ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
'I cared about the characters and wanted them to succeed. Totally enjoyable' ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
'A captivating story that had me hooked from the beginning and kept me reading late into the night' ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
'A beautiful observation of human nature and why we seek the company of others' ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
'I loved this story' ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
'Truly compulsive' ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
'A heartwarming read' ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

'The characters made me fall in love with this book' ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

'Full of heart. You won't regret spending time with your new favourite group of lonely hearts' LUCY GILMORE
'The cast list of The Lonely Hearts Quiz League is wonderful. I thoroughly enjoyed it' CLARE...

Available Editions

EDITION Other Format
ISBN 9781035409174
PRICE £10.99 (GBP)

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Average rating from 45 members

Featured Reviews

This was a great read. The characters and setting had a very relatable element which made me fall in love with the book even more

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Perfect for fans of Beth O’Leary and Laura Jane Williams, The Lonely Hearts’ Quiz League follows a group of strangers as they join forces and compete in their local pub quiz, with plenty of drama behind the scenes for all characters! Despite being focused on what is essentially a bit of fun, the story tackles a lot of serious topics such as relationship issues, illness and feeling lost, which really adds depth to both the story and the characters.

It’s an easy read, and the way the book swaps to each character’s different situation keeps the story well paced. I’d definitely recommend it to those who love stories set in London, as well as those who love a bit of trivia as there is plenty throughout!

I can’t believe this book is the author’s debut and would definitely be keen to read more if she publishes other books in future. Definitely one to look out for!

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This was an entertaining uplifting story of relationships and quizzing. I found this read a bit difficult to get into and the ending is definitely the uplifting one you would expect from the cheery cover to the book. An interesting debut and will keep an eye out for what the author produces next.

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This threw me right back to the days before I had kids when I would go to a pub quiz every week. I met my husband at a pub quiz so I always have a bit of nostalgic view of them! I really enjoyed the premise of the book and the way the author focused on 4 of the characters to tell the story. It shows that everyone has problems to deal with in life. Donna was harder to like especially until you find out about family mental health problems. I routed for Bryony all the way through but I did want to shake her at some points. Overall I really enjoyed this! Thanks for the advanced copy.

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If you are looking for a partner on your trivial pursuit team, I am not it. I do well on the odd round of Jeopardy but after reading Lauren Farnsworth fun book The Lonely Hearts' Quiz League I realize I am not very good at trivia  Each chapter began with a question – some I excelled at some, and others were a shrug- this added a fun element to the book. The premise of a quiz team lets everyone show off their talents and that is exactly what this novel does. It brings together five strangers to compete in a pub Quiz for a cash prize. Each character has their own problems, their general personality flaws but together they form a great team, friendships blossom and we see internal growth.

Farnsworth’s debut novel is unique and interesting, she will be someone to watch out for.

Thank you #netgalley for an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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This was a lovely read, perhaps a bit slow to start but I really warmed to the characters and loved the quiz theme setting. A really nice read and I’ll be looking out for more by this author.

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I actually loved this book. I liked the development of the story and the characters. It felt like you really got to know them and their lives. It’s a different storyline but it’s heartwarming and easy going.

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Five strangers link up to form a pub quiz team. All have their secrets and dilemmas. Harry is nursing a broken heart, Bryony feels life is passing her by, Jaime feels isolated and let down by Luke and their organiser, Donna has her own demons to battle.

After a few evenings together they find that there is more linking them than they suspected and each can help the others face their secrets and find a way forward.

I found the book slow to start but once I started to empathise with the characters’ struggles the story moved more rapidly for me.

Overall a good read which I will be recommending.

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A group of real people with very real problems band together to form a surprisingly successful quiz team. The pub is the shabby one amongst the gentrified trendy gastropubs, which kind of sums up our characters. Really well written and engrossing from start to finish. Love the quiz questions along the way

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You can’t beat a pub quiz and this book is centred round several people who enjoy them and when they read an advert looking for a team they all respond. Friendships develop and it was more they were all anticipating. This is a great read and I read it one sitting.

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This story really engaged me.
It was so much more than I expected. Five strangers join a quiz league and this is their story.
What was clever for me was that I didn’t immediately engage with the quiz team until suddenly I found myself wanting them to succeed in their endeavours (not just the quizzing ones)

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Pick up this gorgeous hug of a book and get transported to a beautiful place wraps itself round you like a cosy blanket. It has warmth, charm, laugh-out-loud moments and a wistful nostalgia. I absolutely loved it.

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A great book with intertwined stories and one of those which you just want to scream at the characters to talk to each other. A great story and the start of the chapters are so cleverly designed. Everyone loves a pub quiz and this was no different. A nice story with good characters, even if they aren’t perfect people. They were perfect in this book.

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Sometimes you just need a heartwarming and light easy read in your life! If that is the case, this is your book. A group of strangers come together to form a pub quiz team with the hope of winning a tournament…. Perhaps slightly predictably, this leads to the development of meaningful friendships - a good read none the less.

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I LOVE pub quizzes and really enjoy watching quiz shows on TV so this book looked great to me!

‘The Lonely Hearts Quiz League’ by Lauren Farnsworth tells the story of a group of Londoners who are collected together to become the “Red Hot Quizzy Peppers” team in a pub quiz league competition based on an advert placed in a local group. Unfulfilled young couple Jaime and Luke, frazzled mother Bryony and jobless Harry join Donna, who placed the ad but is herself on the brink of a breakdown, to compete for a £10,000 prize!

I liked the multiple perspectives throughout the novel, the growth of some of the characters and the way these individuals - bound together by initially loose ties - became each others key support networks and trusted advisors. I also loved the trivia questions sprinkled throughout the book - at the start of each chapter and in the dialogue for the quiz scenes - which was a fun way to test myself.

I did feel that the pacing was strange and I must admit that it took until about 30-40% before the story really drew me in. I also felt like the overall tone of the novel was more negative than implied by the colourful cover.

Overall, I’m giving this 3.5 stars (rounded up because the end was the strongest part and I’m glad I persisted).

I received a free review copy from the publisher in exchange for my honest feedback. Thank you NetGalley and Headline Books!

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An enjoyable tale of strangers forming a pub quiz team and the friendships that ensue. Well rounded, likeable characters and pacy narrative. Thanks to netgalley and the publisher for the arc.

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This was a truly compulsive read. A great cast of characters and the story managed to cover some interesting topics. The whole premise was well thought out. The interlinking of the relationships was well thought out. Thanks for the read!

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An enjoyable read. Lovely to read about all sorts of people coming together and develop relationships through a shared activity.
Not one that blew me away. But perfect if you need a light, uplifting and heart warming read

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I absolutely love the premise of this novel and I am so excited to share my thoughts and full review on this book very soon! I love the idea of people coming together from all walks of life and the pub quiz aspect. I think it will make for a great warm cozy read and I can’t wait to share my thoughts as well as with our readers!

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Overall, this was an enjoyable read! I struggled with it at the beginning since it was a little hard to get engaged in the story. I felt it was difficult to connect with the characters during the first quarter of the book. But, after that, it was amazing! If it wasn't for that, it would be a 5 star book. I really liked the multiple points of view and the author's writing style.

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Five lonely Londoners form a quiz team in an attempt to make friends.

I struggled with this book and I think on balance it was because of the description of it as a romcom. Perhaps it's my sense of humour but I found nothing to laugh about in this story of five somewhat depressing people.

What I liked about the book. It's well written. The characters are flawed which is realistic and they definitely develop throughout the story. There is sensitive treatment of mental illness in the story.

What I didn't like about the book. It's hard to fully warm to the characters. There was perhaps too much negativity and self obsession about them. There are too many quiz questions. This became a little tedious at times.

It's hard to rate a book when it veers so much from your expectations but I've settled on four stars because of the writing. I would definitely look out for more from this author but this one doesn't quite hit the mark for me. Thanks to Headline and NetGalley for the ARC.

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I really enjoyed reading The Lonely Hearts’ Quiz League. I found the characters well-developed and mostly likeable, despite being flawed. It did take me a little while to settle into the story, just because there was a large cast, but once I did I found it a fun, heartwarming read. Overall great writing and a great plot. Would definitely recommend for lovers of commercial fiction.

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Ever looked around at the people taking part in the midweek pub quiz and wondered what was behind their faces, their competititveness and knowledge? Why did the team come together, why do they choose this as their pasttime? The Lonely Hearts Quiz League by Lauren Farnsworth is a beautiful observation of human nature and why we sometimes seek the company of others

I was astounded to discover that this was a debut novel. Lauren Farnsworth has a skillful grasp of dialogue, scene setting and narrative, spinning a tale that is both heartwarming and breathtaking. There is an authentic humanity in Farnsworths narrative that is very engaging and likable. Farnsworth creates characters and situations that are relatable, we have all been in these situations or met people like this

A great book about friendship, isolation in contemporary soceity and battles with mental health that are more and more prevalent. A wonderful read

Thank you to Netgalley and the author, Luren Farnsworth for this beautiful ARC. My review is left voluntarily and all opinions are my own

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A quick read, with many funny and sad moments.

Donna advertises for a team to enter a Pub Quiz with a prize of £10k.

5 individuals all with their own problems form a formidable team-

Donna - tries to be a straight talking mouthy individual, refuses to have any strong relationship bonds.... including her parents and sister.

Harry a 31 year old who is unemployed and has lost his girlfriend to an ex work colleague and is still afraid of his mum,

Jaime and Luke, living in London from Keswick, who have no friends and the bright lights of the city are not all they are made you believe

Bryony, married since she was 17 to Glen with a 13 year old daughter and 10 year old son.

Together they form the Red Hot Quizzy Peppers.... with their own areas of expertise they take the quiz league by storm, while their own problems manifest themselves.

A fun book, showing how relationships can be forged, renewed and goals met.

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An interestingly plotted novel of five characters that come together to form a pub quiz team. Each has their own problems, and each finds redemption through the group

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Fantastically relatable characters across the quiz team make this a joy to read! Each a little quirky and far from perfect, the realism of the anxiety of making new friends as an adult shines though the various interactions of the team both on and off the quiz platform!
Loved the quiz questions at the beginning of each chapter- I reckon I would score about 70% so probably not going to secure myself a spot with the Quizzy peppers!

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I genuinely loved this novel. It reminded me of early Lisa Jewell: a collection of broken/struggling characters and their subsequent relationships and fails, with themes of friendship and hope at the core.

Lauren observes characters so well, through their interior struggles, but also as they evaluate each other and I personally found this made it a captivating read. I really came to root for these characters. I particularly found Briony's story resonated with me, The struggle to keep hold of one's identity when the children have grown up is one that many other readers who are mothers will identify with I feel.

The quiz scenes were very well done and I found myself on tenterhooks – who knew quizzes could be so exciting? Without giving any spoilers, there were moments as things began to escalate and get worse for the characters where I jumped up and down in my seat. I'm really looking forward to reading Lauren's next novel. An excellent read!

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What a wonderful first time tale from this author. Great characters, all with a tale to tell as they all get to know one another at their local quiz nights. Easy to read, loved it

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Loved this story and how it all came together. Bringing together a group of, essentially, lonely people and watching them form friendships whilst everything else is going on all around.

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Thank you to netgalley/publisher for an advanced digital copy of this wonderful little book!

I especially loved the writing style, it was a little slow at first but it paid off!

Also how cute is the cover!!

- Great cast of characters, flawed but great in their own way
- Short chapters
- A great premise for the book
- The ending was sweet!

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A lovely first time book from this author, with characters who have their own stories to tell! It keeps you hooked from the start

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What a delightful book this was. Imagine 5 strangers who get together to compete in a pub's quiz league. Five totally different people, each of them there with different purposes, but ultimately all on a journey to finding themselves. It's a story that'll make you laugh, cry, it'll make you want to shake some sense into some of the characters and it'll make you wonder if you'll ever get over disliking some of the characters (spoiler alert! Some of them you won't!).
It truly was a delightful read, the characters are so beautifully developed, it is a wonderful story of growth and acceptance. It reminded me that no matter how little you can think of yourself at times, or how disappointed in yourself you can be, there's always someone out there who sees you way differently and for whom it is worth picking yourself up. I definitely recommend this book, 10/10!

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"The Lonely Hearts' Quiz League" by Lauren Farnsworth is a delightful rom-com brimming with wit and charm. As a quirky quiz league brings together unlikely allies, Farnsworth navigates themes of love, friendship, and self-discovery with humor and heart. A feel-good read that leaves you smiling long after the final page.

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