Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli
Genre: YA Realistic Fiction
"Stargirl. From the day she arrives at quiet Mica High, the hallways hum with the murmur of 'Stargirl, Stargirl.' She captures Leo Borlock's heart with just one smile. She sparks a school-spirit revolution with just one cheer. The students of Mica High are enchanted. At first.
"Then they turn on her. Stargirl is suddenly shunned for everything that makes her different, and Leo, desperate with love, urges her to become the very thing that can destroy her: normal."
What I Liked:
I loved the character, Stargirl. She's sarcastic, sweet, and bizarre. Sometimes she seems a little too good to be true, but then she says something funny or dreams something impossible, and she floats back to the earth for a time. We all could probably be more like her.
This novel is spun from some great, deep themes that every human has faced at some point-popularity, and what does it mean to be different and if that identity is worth it. Spinelli also does a good job of portraying the reality of what all humans desire, not just high-schoolers: to fit in and be included. The author also does a good job of outlining the different reactions to people (or things) that are different and the progression that it can make. Also, there are some lovely metaphors and images in this work. I love when authors take the time to make their words beautiful.
What I Didn't Care For:
The main character/narrator, Leo. Yes, I liked him at times and understood him, but at the end of the novel, I was saying to him out loud, "Stop being a dummie! Man up, Leo!" He seemed weak and didn't change at the end as much as I had hoped, which was a slight disappointment. Because if characters in novels can't change, where's the hope for the rest of us?
Another thing that irked me about this novel was that there was so much summary. Spinelli sums up a lot of things that took place, and some of that is understandable because the novel would be much too long if Spinelli wrote out in scene-form everything that happens. But still. He could have written out a few more of the events that took place. The summary acted like a wall to the reader, separating me from the characters and the world in the novel.
I give this novel a 3 and recommend it for about ten year olds and up.
My favorite quote: "She was bendable light. She shone around every corner of my day."
What I learned: I'm so selfish! I need to care about others and serve them more than myself.
P.S. This novel has a sequel, Love, Stargirl. I haven't read it yet, nor do I have a great desire to read it, although I probably will sometime in the future.
*What books have you guys read lately? Any character traits you want to steal from the main characters? Have a lovely Easter!