Stargirl – Jerry Spinelli

stargirl

Stargirl is the perfect story of individualism, society and stereotyping. Set in a stereotypical high school the tables are turned when a new girl joins that is very different, with her ukulele singing happy birthday, a rat sitting on her shoulder and valentines cards for the whole class she challenges the status quo of what is normal in an everyday high school. Enter Stargirl the unique and surprising girl that captures Leo’s heart, she has everyone’s eyes on her when she enters a room while they wait on her next move or what strange and unusual act she will do next.

Stargirl is a refreshing read that reminds us of the people we should be, carefree and blind to the wandering eyes of everyone watching. Stargirl is the person she wants to be regardless of what the other students think, she sparks her own revolution in school while other students try to be like her. They are kind to others, supportive, confident and follow in her footsteps before they are reminded of the cruel reality of high school, being different isn’t always a good thing.

I don’t know if I loved any of the characters in this book, probably my favourite was Stargirl because of her eccentric personality, her embrace of living in the moment and her care for everyone however at times I did find her irritating. The moment that triggered my slight annoyance of her character was whenever she attended a funeral of someone she didn’t even know and I did find that a little strange. I am very much of the stance that everyone is an individual and what they do is their own business but even I was eye-rolling at some parts in this book. There are parts when Stargirl seems like an attention seeker rather than just a ‘do-gooder’. If I had someone singing to me at lunch I would have locked myself in the bathroom and especially if she did it irrespective of being asked not to.

As for Leo, again I wasn’t a huge fan of his character; he followed the crowd and was quite reserved whilst admiring Stargirl from a distance. He found her strange yet entertaining and when she was being chastised by others he stood back and watched. He was your stereotypical student, just like so many we spent our years with in school, blending in and keeping quiet.

I found the ending important in this novel as Stargirl learned that by fitting in she achieved nothing yet betrayed herself in conforming to the social norms. Leo realises that he can’t live with being ignored by his fellow students and therefore has to end what he has with Stargirl. I was shocked to learn the book was a flashback and that Stargirl had made such an impression on her school and fellow students. Some of her ideas of kindness and individualism I enjoyed but she was may be a bit too eccentric for my taste.

I gave this book a 3 out of 5 stars on goodreads as it was a fun and quick read yet I felt it could have done with a bit more development. I am also shocked to find out there is a sequel and I can’t help but wonder what it is about. I’ min no rush to read the sequel however I think my curiosity will get the better of me in this one and I will eventually read it.

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