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Sunday, March 9, 2014

[REVIEW] Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli


Author: Jerry Spinelli
Genre: YA Contemporary, Romance
Published: September 2002 by Scholastic
Purchase from Amazon | The Book Depository

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.

"And I think every once in a while someone comes along who is a little more primitive than the rest of us, a little closer to our beginnings, a little more in touch with the stuff we're made of."

Finally, a book that I was able to really connect with. It's refreshing and honest and real. It's simple yet not so simple. Raw and profound. A story of first love and heartbreak and being yourself and wanting to fit in. I loved every moment I was reading this book.

Stargirl (the character) is weird, but it's a good weird. She's unique and innocent and true to herself. I loved her personality, her carefree attitude, her kindness. I loved how she treats everyone nicely, even when they're mean to her. 

"Of all the unusual features of Stargirl, this struck me as the most remarkable. Bad things did not stick to her. Correction: her bad things did not stick to her. Our bad things stuck very much to her. If we were hurt, if we were unhappy or otherwise victimized by life, she seemed to know about it, and to care, as soon as we did."

Her ways of expressing herself were different and her boldness and not caring what others think made people uncomfortable. She showed them something new and at first, they loved her for it. But when they didn't know what to think of her anymore, they shunned her and turned her into an outcast.

What made me sad is that Leo did not stand up for Stargirl - the real Stargirl. He wanted her to be normal. He wanted her to be just like everyone else. What Leo did not know - or perhaps wasn't willing to acknowledge - was that her uniqueness was what made her Stargirl. I wanted to be mad at Leo, but I understood him. I think he was just afraid to stand out by being associated with Stargirl.

I liked the fact that Leo was the one narrating the story. It gave more emphasis to Stargirl's character because she was seen from the outside. Leo's voice was also strong and steady. I liked the words, the dialogue, the flow of the story. I loved it to the last page.

"You can't just wake up in the morning and say you don't care what the rest of the world thinks."

No, Leo. Actually, you can. And Stargirl did just that. Personally, what I liked the most about Stargirl is that I see a bit of myself in her. Like Stargirl, I don't think much about what other people think. It's liberating and happier that way. I really admire Stargirl for being herself and even though she tried to change and be just like everyone else, she did it for love. How blind of Leo to not see Stargirl's worth. At least not enough to choose her over everyone.

Stargirl is definitely a must-read. A new favorite book.

"The trouble with miracles is, they don't last long."

"Nobody has the time," she said. "The time cannot be owned." She threw out her arms and twirled till her multicolored skirt looked like a pinwheel taffy. "The time is free to everyone!"

"It’s really hard to do nothing totally. Even just sitting here, like this, our bodies are churning, our minds are chattering. There’s a whole commotion going on inside us."
“That’s bad?” I said.
“It’s bad if we want to know what’s going on outside ourselves.”
“Don’t we have eyes and ears for that?”
She nodded. “They’re okay most of the time. But sometimes they just get in the way. The earth is speaking to us, but we can’t hear because of all the racket our senses are making. Sometimes we need to erase them, erase our senses. Then - maybe - the earth will touch us. The universe will speak. The stars will whisper."

"She was gone. She was serenity. Her lips faintly smiling. Her golden skin. The glowing thread-ends of her hair. She seemed to have been dipped in sunlight and set here to dry. I felt a pang of jealousy, that she could be sitting next to me and not know it. That she could be somewhere and I could not be there, too."

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Julie @ Books and Insomnia

Julie is a Filipina blogger who pretends she has insomnia so she can stay up late reading. When she's not buried in books, she can be found watching anime, drinking chocolate-flavored instant coffee, lurking on the internet, daydreaming and talking about herself in third person. She loves purple and anything sweet!


  1. I SO wanted Leo to have his moment where he just understood or at least accepted Stargirl for who she was... and I was really disappointed and mad at him when he didn't. I love the book for the message and all that, I just wanted more from Leo!! It was hard for me to look past that. I wonder if he has his moment in the sequel??

    Great Review!!

    1. I was a bit disappointed with Leo, too. They could have been wonderful together, right? Tsk. Anyway, I'm currently reading the sequel and as far as I've read, it's all Stargirl moments. Don't know yet if Leo will make a comeback. Thanks for stopping by, Michelle! :)

  2. I read Stargirl and the sequel and both were so very good. I was disappointed in Leo in the first book, but I think, in the long run, he only hurt himself. I watched my niece only do, say and wear the same things as her peers, after being so very much an individual, not interested in other people's style and norms when she was younger. Everyone should meet a Stargirl and, if capable of nothing else, live vicariously through her freedom and self-awareness.


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