REVIEW: Love, Stargirl (Stargirl #2) by Jerry Spinelli

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars, Genre: Fiction, Pages: 288, Reading Level: Easy

Book Description:

“LOVE, STARGIRL picks up a year after Stargirl ends and reveals the new life of the beloved character who moved away so suddenly at the end of Stargirl. The novel takes the form of “the world’s longest letter,” in diary form, going from date to date through a little more than a year’s time. In her writing, Stargirl mixes memories of her bittersweet time in Mica, Arizona, with involvements with new people in her life.

In Love, Stargirl, we hear the voice of Stargirl herself as she reflects on time, life, Leo, and- of course- love.”

In all honesty, I debated between three and four stars with this one. Love, Stargirl is a letter from Stargirl to Leo, written in the form of a diary of sorts. She revisits a few scenes from Stargirl and tells of her life in her new home.

I am not a fan of the journal entry style of writing. Right away, that was a strike against Love, Stargirl. In addition, it starts off slowly and I had a difficult time getting into it. Halfway through, I was tempted to abandon it, which I hate to do. I rarely abandon books, and when I do, there is this little nagging feeling that never seems to go away- a feeling that there is something out there left unfinished. There are three books tormenting me right now because I didn’t finish them, even though two were so bad, it felt like trying to overcome a huge mountain of boring homework. Also, my daughter really enjoyed the book, so I didn’t call it quits.

While I think Love, Stargirl would have been better if it had been written the same way Stargirl was, I am glad I finished it. The second half was much better than the first and I cried at the end. Stargirl remains quite true to her unique self but seems less weird since we are looking through her eyes. Maybe her experiences in Stargirl changed her a little bit; I don’t know.

The reason I mention this is because her clothes were a big issue in Stargirl, big enough to mention several times. However, in Love, Stargirl, I can’t remember any detail given about her clothes. Did she stop wearing costumes? It seems like it. In fact, in the one scene where it would have been totally appropriate to wear a costume, she doesn’t. So I don’t know what was going on there, and I kind of missed the costumes.

The characters are great. They are just as whacky as Stargirl. Is it because we are seeing people from her point of view? Or is it because the town she lives in happens to have a higher quota of… uniqueness? I don’t know about that either, but Love, Stargirl definitely has her in a drastically different environment.

The theme is still about the beauty of being different. That hasn’t changed. Again, the writing is superb. I don’t want to share my favorite quote with you, because it is the last of the book, but I will share this short quote:

I will sail into the future on mystery’s wings and I will not look back.

I know it’s short, but this short quote represents well Spinelli’s beautiful and poetic writing skills. I finally decided to give Love, Stargirl four stars for the following reasons: 1) It was wonderful to read from Stargirl’s point of view, 2) Spinelli’s writing is phenomenal, 3) I cried, 4) The issue of journal entries is one of my things and will probably bother few others, and 5) My daughter loved it.

So there you have it. Happy Reading!

P.S. Dear, Mr. Spinelli, thanks for ruining Ondine. Of course, now my daughter wants to read it so I downloaded it for free since it is in the public domain. We’ll see how accurate the spoiler in Love, Stargirl is. On the upside, how many people can say their ten year old wants to read the 1811 novella Undine by German Romantic Friedrich de la Motte Fouqué? That’s pretty cool. And nerdy. Same thing.

Reviewed by Christina
October 8, 2013

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