BOOK REVIEW: Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli

*Warning* This review is longer than my previous as it is full of all my love for this amazing book. The main sentiment is to just go out and read it at least once.


I can’t remember how old I was when I first read it, where I was or even remember when it was…

But what I do remember is the emotional bond I formed to the book and the moment I realised the power that words can have. I mean Literature can bring change whether it changes a nation or just you – the one! 

That is why this book will remain my favourite novel and the only book I make a vow to read on a yearly basis. 

I reread the book once a year because no matter how many times I go over the same line or turn a page the books statement consistently remains true and the power of this one girl grips me every time. 
I’m always amazed that every time I go to read it that I haven’t out grown out of it or gotten tired of it. I was a Jacqueline Wilson super fan and thought her books were the be all and end all but now I kind of laugh, at the stories I once fawned over. 

But it’s different with Stargirl it’s as if the book kind of grows and matures with me. As each reread it’s like I learn something new or view the story in a different way. 

It encompasses the core of what being a Human is; the idea that there is bravery in showcasing and embracing our differences. Even if not everyone is receptive towards it; it shouldn’t change the value you place on yourself. 

This book just makes you want to go hug the world, apologise for all your mistakes and vow to change for the better. (or it does for me anyway). The main message of the book is about remaining true to yourself even when the world doesn’t want you too. To Dare to be different!


SYNOPSIS:

Stargirl. From the day she arrives at quiet Mica High in a burst of color and sound, 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, panicked and desperate with love, urges her to become the very thing that can destroy her: normal. In this celebration of nonconformity, Newbery Medalist Jerry Spinelli weaves a tense, emotional tale about the perils of popularity and the thrill and inspiration of first love

OFFICIAL RATINGS:

  • Waterstones 4.8/5
  • Goodreads 3.7/5 (completely disagree)
  • Commonsense 5/5

PLOT 5/5

What I love about the story is the off the beaten road approach it took to a pretty well known plot. About a, non- conforming, home schooled girl, who goes by the name ‘Stargirl’, that turns up to a normal High school and shakes everybody’s worlds, especially Leo, the boy she chose, the narrator of our story.  

I know, I know the story sounds like a Disney plot but it’s just not! I think Spinelli purposefully chose a bog standard idea to revolve his plot, around to bring the reader to a comfortable place so that he could then blow their minds with the extraordinary occurrences in the book. 

As most events in life are pretty mundane or similar to our peers and it’s down to us to go against the grain or inject love into it to make it stand out. And that’s exactly what Stargirl does! 

The book one could say is similar to Wonder by Raquel J. Palacio. However in my opinion Wonder simplifies the harshness and opts for a cookie cutter ending of universal happiness. 

Whereas I feel Stargirl doesn’t end the way you would assume and seems far more realistic despite the flamboyant elements of the story.


CHARACTERS 4.8/5
Stargirl is eccentric, kind and unapologetic of who she is. 

What I love most about her character is that at times she does lose sense of who she is- she gets led astray and does the wrong thing. It’s what makes a character real, the flaws that they possess as it reminds us that they are still human like us. 

That’s what reinforces the idea and point of the book that Stargirl is just a girl, a human which means we can all be Stargirl if we just treat each other better and with consideration.

The other characters also are never one dimensional; as you often see with bullies who are deemed as wholly evil  but there is an element of realness in this book, as sometimes you may never know why that person did what they did

Although, I must say as my one critic that Stargirl is the focus of the book and at times other minor characters can often get forgotten. 

STYLE 5/5
Jerry Spinelli is able to capture the tensions perfectly to create a piece that creatively  flows with innovative injections of humour and is able to convey a sense of deeper meaning without resorting to spoon feeding the reader. The reader is completely and wholeheartedly drawn in to Stargirls world!

OVERALL:

  • 5/5 it’s just a strong read that redefines what it means to be a human and to show love. 
  • Core message: Never be afraid to be yourself, even if others don’t like it. 
  • It’s a book I think we all need to read or at very least the youth need to so we can shape our minds and society for the better.
  • Keep in mind I kept it very simple and general primary due to not wanting to reveal too much. As it is a truly great worth while read
  • Just Read it.

Extra info:
Stargirl Societies have formed around the world in high schools to strive to become  more like our beloved Heroine. 

In 2015 there were talks of a Movie with actors Joey King and Charlie Plummer set to play the leads. Adapted for film by screenwriter Kristin Hahn and director Catherine Hardwicke.

Jerry Spinelli released a sequel in 2007, Love,Stargirl a novel in a letter format written to Leo, with Stargirl as our main narrator.

Stargirl has served as tattoo inspiration to remind loyal readers to ‘dare to be different’  

Let me know in the comments your opinions on the book and wherever I am just completely blinded by my love for the book. 

Thanks for reading, 

I’m your blogger

Shashamani x

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