Monday, November 10, 2008

Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli

Just when I think I've read every sweet young-adult-coming-of-age novel out there, my young hip friends (you know who you are) recommend one I've never even heard of.

I loved it, no surprise.

I liked that it was written from the perspective of a teenage boy. I loved that he was probably more realistic than many characters. Although I did feel myself pulling for him to just man-up, I think that's the point.

Stargirl, herself, is a cool character. The author managed to make her unique, and she didn't quite fit in to any normal highschool stereotype--like hippie, outcast, or cheerleader. You of course like her and kind of wish you were her. I especially like her genuine kindness.

Just a little side note. Stargirl, the character, reminded me of who so many people at my highschool were trying to be. Unlike most highschools in books or movies, it was all the rage to be original or outrageous at our school. Way cutting-edge, I know. But even the jocks and cheerleaders were piercing their noses, making their own jewelry, and writing poetry. Which leads to an entirely different idea of being unique.

I think the character of Wayne Parr was a lot more interesting than Hillari Kimble. I loved the line, "Wayne Parr did not much care. Neither did we."

I also liked the description of the mud frogs. I don't want to ruin it by trying to paraphrase, its just good.

And the part that I could totally feel, and made me feel nostalgic is when Leo is at Stargirl's and thinks, "I didn't want to leave. I wished I could curl up right there on the driveway and go to sleep."

I did get a little distracted with some of the philosophising of Archie. I think it almost distracted from the purity of the story. But what is a coming of age novel without a wise mentor?

I think this book has a honest ending. Not entirely predictable.


salty c-snake said...

finally, i've read at about the same time you did!! we read it for last week's book club!!!

i enjoyed it (ofcourse, being the sceptic i am, there were parts that were a bit contrived for me but. . )

my favorite thing about the book is when the main character (can't remember his name) is explaining to Stargirl how to fit in and what some of the social rules are. that part and the whole book in general does a good job of showing how arbitrary the whole popularity thing is!!

it's funny to me that there was that part of you that wanted to be stargirl. just interesting i mean because the book club was sort of divided into two camps- those who wanted to be a little like star girl and those who wanted stargirl to simmer down (can you guess my camp??)

ps. i'm writing now binging on the twelve little cakes!! i blindly chose it for book club next month and am loving it!!

Kammy said...

Yeay! I'm so happy you read it too. Fun isn't it. I think I would have especially loved it if I read it 20 years ago. I would love to discuss this in book club, because why should she simmer down? You know? I just felt like she was for real, while a lot of people who act like that are not real.

Can't wait to for you to finish Twelve Little Cakes. I have to say I was really sad when it was over. I loved it so much.

kim said...

o.k., i need to read this one. my niece and sister were both raving about it and now hearing your review, i'll have to read. kam, how have you been feeling? hope you're recovering quickly!! ttys

Julie E. said...

I just ordered this for Ashley for Christmas - maybe I'll have to sneak and read it while she's at school beforehand.

Kim Edwards said...

Kammy, this sounds like a really fun book. Probably not quite for Brooklyn yet, though, right? I loved reading your review - it makes me miss you, though. : )

Kim Edwards said...

Kammy, have you read any other books by Jerry Spinelli?

Kammy said...

I think Brooklyn would get more out of it in a couple of years. Has she read Ballet shoes? I bet she and Alex would both like it. And I haven't read any of his other books, yet.