Stargirl was published in 2000. I read it a few years back and I loved it. But it was copy from the library, so I didn't have it. A few days ago, I decided I wanted to read it again and picked it up from Barnes and Noble, knowing that I wanted an actual copy.
Leo lives in Mica, Arizona and he is normal. Then a girl walks in the cafeteria and he sees her and she sees him and everyone changes. Stargirl sings "Happy Birthday" and she passes out cookies. She makes her desk at every class her home, complete with a vase. She carries around Cinnamon, a pet rat. She wears odd clothing and doesn't carry with her a regular backpack.
She is loved so much that they invite her on the cheer team. And then she starts cheering for the other team. They hate her.
Only as Leo starts to love her.
Though I read Stargirl before, I was just as enchanted as the first time through. The characters are real. Leo would act just as any person would, and maybe that was the point. The writing is smooth and I have no critiques there.
It makes sense, even when Stargirl doesn't. You will find yourself feeling bad for her and Leo. You feel isolated from the rest of the student body, and that's by design. I don't think you're supposed to get to know those characters, the highschoolers. You were supposed to feel like an outsider and it worked.
Stargirl, the character, made me want to be like her - she made me what to be myself, and forget about everyone else. She made me want to be nice, just for the sake of being nice without seeming silly or saint-like. She made me want to speak my mind and not care what other people thought.
Well, "what other people thought" is a strange way of saying it. Stargirl cared what other people thought, just not most people. She cared about what Archie, Leo, and her parents thought. The people that were important to her, she cared about what they thought. She found the balance within herself and she was shunned for it.
Now, for the criticisms, and let me tell you, there aren't that many.
The story seemed to go a little too fast in places. Some scenes lacked detail and the ending, the way Spinelli told it, didn't seem to fit the best to me.
The thing about this review, though, is that is all I have to say. It's enchanting, enthralling, deep, imaginative.
Basically, it's a great book. And that's all there is to it.