Book Review: Stargirl (Jerry Spinelli)

* I have been given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review *

Publisher: Hachette Children’s Group

Pages: 186

Release Date: June 20th 2000

Summary (from Goodreads):

From the day she arrives at quiet Mica High in a burst of color and sound, hallways hum “Stargirl.” She captures Leo Borlock’s heart with one smile. She sparks a school-spirit revolution with one cheer. The students of Mica High are enchanted. Until they are not. Leo urges her to become the very thing that can destroy her – normal.

Review:

This was an odd little book ,and I wasn’t quite sure what to make of it to be honest.

On first impressions, Stargirl seemed like a classic Manic Pixie Dream Girl, and I wasn’t really keen on her: she felt very much like a character rather than a person. I grew accustomed to it as the story went on, but it did all feel a little hard to swallow to be honest. She was a little too ‘out-there’ and it did make it hard to connect with her. On the other hand, Leo felt like a very real teenager and I could understand his reactions and the pressures he felt to fit in, especially in high school.

I liked that things didn’t really work out for Stargirl, and I think that’s what made the book more enjoyable for me. If she was a true MPDG she would have taught the whole school to sing and everyone would have been changed forever because of her and her kooky ways. Although there is a little element of this towards the end, most of the story is her struggling to fit in, as no one will accept her the way she is: she’s just too different.

When Leo tries to change Stargirl to help her fit in, you know it’s not going to work out well, and you feel bad for both of them: for him that he feels insecure and self conscious enough to need her to be more ‘normal’ and for her that, despite her best efforts, she’s not accepted anyway.

This was a quick, strange read but I did enjoy it, and I’ll probably pick up the sequel at some point too.

4

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