Saturday 11 February 2017

Book Review: Stargirl; Jerry Spinelli.

I didn't know that 'Stargirl' was such a short book, but nevertheless I'm pretty pleased with how little time it took me to get through it. Having seen such mixed reviews of it on Goodreads (also many schools consider it a classic while others have banned it) I was expecting to feel a lot more strongly one way or another with this one. I'm actually almost disappointed that I ended up going with an 'okay' rating.

SOURCE: Netgalley
TYPE: E-Read

TITLE: Stargirl
AUTHOR: Jerry Spinelli
Orchard Books
PAGES: 272
GENRE: Young Adult, Romance, Contemporary

RATING: 2.5/5 Stars

Stargirl. From the day she arrives at quiet Mica High in a burst of colour 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.

What I Liked:
  • I fully endorse Jerry Spinelli's message in this book, and can 100% see why many are calling this book a contemporary classic. 'Stargirl' exists to try and promote individuality and uniqueness. The moral, as it were, is that while conformity is safe it is not what our nature wants. Really, we all think and do tings that are considered 'weird' and we shouldn't ostracise others for that. Be happy and kind to people, don't just follow the social norm.
  • Other than it's message I thought that the book was written pretty well and Spinelli's study on archetypes was pretty cool. Everyone seemed to fit a high school cliche (Hillari as the ultimate queen bitch, Wayne Parr as Mr hot and empty-headed, Kevin as the gift-of-the-gab class clown, Archie as a 'wise old man' etc.) and using Leo, Spinelli did a great deal of thinking on how these stereotypes think and work. I like these kind of clever, relatively subtle reflections that most readers will be able to relate back to people they know.
What I Disliked:
  • While the message was clear, in some ways it didn't work because some of the issues that the students had with Stargirl, I sort of agreed with. I'm all for cheering for both teams or helping people, but the stalking and turning up at stranger's funerals is actually very disrespectful in my eyes. When Leo visited her office at the end, I found it way too bizarre. A;so, speaking of Leo, it's a shame that his only purpose was to be a narrator and as a result I felt like he had absolutely no character development whatsoever. He talked, breathed and thought only of Stargirl and was so dull. A real shame.
Overall Conclusion:
I expected, one way or another, to be blown away by this book. Either hating it or loving it, I wanted to understand the controversy that everyone else was feeling. Sadly, mediocre is the best I can do. I loved the message, thought Spinelli wrote well and found some pretty good reflective content in there too. Sadly, I also fund the girl I was supposed to root for way too creepy and the narrator whose eyes I was seeing her through monotonous and repetitive and just a tad too predictable. 

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