Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli
Published by: Orchard Books
I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
I’ve been aware of Stargirl for a while. Firstly, it’s got such an interesting cover, with no title or author, apart from the spine. The design is genius and really draws you in. What’s Stargirl, you ask? Well, it’s basically a John Green book written before John Green books. Jerry Spinelli has somehow managed to create such a special book in under 200 pages that was so memorable.
P L O T
Stargirl is new in town. She’s different. I guess you get that from her name! She plays the ukulele in the cafeteria on everyone’s birthday. She gives gifts to strangers, has an odd fashion sense and cheers for all, regardless of whether or not they are on the home team or not. People can’t seem to figure out if she’s the most popular girl at school, or if she’s an outsider. Stargirl definitely flips between the two.
Leo witnesses Stargirl’s beauty and charm, and falls in love with her.
It’s a story of discovering who you really are, and not letting go of that, no matter how forced you feel to conform to what everyone else wants you to be. The pacing was wonderful and the writing style was edible. For such a short story, there’s so much there!
C H A R A C T E R S
All of the characters were wonderful! Minor characters really added something to the story as well, and made for a very well rounded cast. Of course, only two are the focus:
Stargirl – I loved her personality. I loved how different she was. Like a Margo Roth Spiegelman, without the attention complex. It’s so sad that as soon as a character like Stargirl exists, people get skeptical and weirded out by it. I wish there were more people like her, not afraid to be who they are.
Leo – There are two parts to the book, really. The first is when Leo is trying to understand Stargirl, and the second is when he falls in love with her. He craves the acceptance of the overall student body, so being with Stargirl gives him a few dilemmas, but there has to be conflict, right? He was more likeable than any other John Green male character because he didn’t completely force Stargirl to change. She changed of her own accord.
R O M A N C E
Stargirl wasn’t a romance heavy as I thought it would be. As I said, their relationship doesn’t begin immediately, but it’s generally quite sweet and vague. They do date-y things together, like bike rides and desert walks, but mostly it’s about Leo getting to know Stargirl for who she is, and why she does the things she does.
V E R D I C T
I loved Stargirl. I’ve heard it being called a modern classic, and I think that’s true if after sixteen years it continues to be reprinted. If you love John Green and Perks of Being A Wallflower, this is definitely a book you’ll enjoy. I give it 4 stars!