Friday, 30 August 2013

Love, Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli - Review by Carlyn

Love, Stargirl by Jerri Spinelli is the sequel to the novel Stargirl . I read Stargirl a couple of years ago and now I’m finally finishing the series off. I would describe the character Stargirl Carraway to be a manic pixie dream girl or an American Luna Lovegood (not that it’s a bad thing, I think Stargirl is very charming). In the first book, she was fresh out of home school and enrolled in high school. Every day, she would wear outrageous outfits like a kimono and a prairie dress to school. She sang happy birthday to all the students despite being a stranger to some of them and loved dancing in the rain. The story was told from the point of view of Leo Borlock, a fellow student at the school. He is captivated by her and becomes her boyfriend.

Love Stargirl, resumes from where the first book ended but with Stargirl as the narrator. Stargirl Carraway has moved from Arizona to Pennsylvania. She goes back to being home schooled and the book is about her new life. Stargirl makes new friends with her six year old neighbour, Dootsie, an agoraphobic woman called Betty Lou and a preteen girl, Alvina. She also has a love interest in Perry, a boy she follows when she finds him stealing stuff around town.  Stargirl spends her time preparing for the winter solstice by preparing an outdoor calendar. Meanwhile, she thinks about Leo and Perry and how they fit into her life.

I liked reading Love, Stargirl. I thought it was gentle and uplifting story. I thought Stargirl was more subdued in some ways as the story was told from her point of view. The first book frequently highlighted how different she was and the unconventional things she did. Stargirl does some unconventional things in this book but she’s conscious of how others may react negatively to her thoughtful gestures. I really liked the ending of the book where she comes to a decision over Leo and looks forward to the future.

I like the first book better but the second one is pretty good too. If you’re male, don’t be put off by the girlish front covers, the Stargirl books are basically a classic coming of age story about friendship, love, hope and identity.  From a future teacher’s perspective, I would love to do a book study of Stargirl. I think students would really love it and we could have many thoughtful discussions on the themes in the book. I hope that Stargirl becomes a movie one day so that it reaches a bigger audience because I really like the book.

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