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Love, Stargirl Library Binding – August 14, 2007
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From School Library Journal
Grade 6–10—This brilliant sequel to Stargirl (Knopf, 2000) takes place a year later. Now living in Pennsylvania, Stargirl, 15, continues to pine for Leo, who dumped her, and struggles to make a place for herself in her new community. Fortunately, her eclectic neighbors, who include Dootsie, a five-year-old "human bean"; Betty Lou, an agoraphobic divorcée; and Perry Delloplane, an amiable thief, draw her back into life and happiness. Written in diary format-the "world's longest letter," as Stargirl calls it-this novel is as charming and unique as its sensitive, nonconformist heroine. Addressing loss, growing pains, and staying true to oneself, this stellar follow-up is both profound and funny.—Terri Clark, Smokey Hill Library, Centennial, CO
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Stargirl (Stargirl, 2000) is disappearing. She and her family (including pet rat Cinnamon) have moved to Pennsylvania, leaving her boyfriend, Leo, behind in Arizona. "Can you lose your favorite person without losing yourself?" she writes in one of the many letters to him that comprise an epistolary companion to Spinelli's first story of the eccentric, large-hearted, happy-to-a-fault teenager. The questions abound: Will she be reunited with her Starboy, or will he be replaced by Perry, the petty-thieving, dangerously attractive new boy in her life? How will she help her new friends (five-year-old motormouth Dootsie, angry Alvina, agoraphobic Betty Lou, grieving widower Charlie, developmentally disabled Arnold)? And are the many genuinely nice moments in this novel buried under too much sentimentality, whimsicality, and self-conscious cuteness? The answer lies with individual readers. The many teens who loved the first book will embrace this sequel. Those who didn't, won't. It's as simple as that. Cart, Michael --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
Several readers have posted negative reviews based on the fact the title character is now the narrator. Her enigmatic presence is punctured in the sequel as we see the world through her eyes. This is not a negative thing. It's fine to not enjoy this perspective if what you enjoyed about the first book was Stargirl as an ideal, but as a character, I felt the sequel humanized her in a way that was very positive. She's still an atypical, altruistic, even magical girl, but one who has experienced the sting of heartbreak and has sobered. Just a little. She deals with responsibility. She questions romance. She's a person and an interesting one.
Her pining throughout the book for Leo, the narrator of the first novel, has been highlighted by some reviewers as a flaw. I disagree. Every one of us has experienced that before. I can look back through my own diary entries from high school and see how desperately involved I was with the fleeting romances of teenagerhood. This is a normal part of growing up and I believe the book handles it in such a way that we can all relate.
The diary/letter format may throw people off as it is very different from the linear narrative of the original, but I found it interesting. I enjoy diaries and have long kept one myself, so the story felt more organic to me in this format. It won't work for everyone and that's understandable.
The book isn't perfect. Many of the side characters feel phony. A few of them serve as walking literary devices with no personality of their own, which feels a little heavy handed much of the time. Even the better characters seem to serve limited purpose beyond providing Stargril a platform from which to speculate about the universe. The first book captured high school students more organically. The writing, while in no way bad, seems to falter in finding its voice. There are "entries" that I can believe were written by a teenage girl and others that feel like I'm reading a YA novel. I expected Stargirl's voice to be more dynamic and captivating.
Even with its flaws, this is a good follow up to the first book. It's a short, entertaining read with some legitimately inspiring passages. If you loved the first book, spend the few dollars to snag this one. It's worth your time.
As you probably already know, this book is written in the tense of a letter, which has been done before, but is done very well here. I really enjoyed getting recaps of the day, sometimes weeks, after they happened. What's better is that because this was written usually the end of a day, you could see the shifting and altering mindset of the character as she wrote the letter. One thing that was done that was different and I loved was how the letter style is not constant. Sometimes it's a summary and feels like a novel, sometimes it's random rambling and others it is broken up by poems and such. It was pretty brilliant.
The characters are also pretty spectacular, though I wish Stargirl had more friends her age. Actually the fact that she didn't might of been kind of the point, so I won't hold it at all against her (or the author). The book is a lot longer than the original, which is great, but honestly I could of done with even more. There are a lot of things this book started to touch on that I wish it had explored to greater depth. Additionally I would like to have seen more about what stargirl thought about different things in life; However - the fact is the picture you are given is complete enough that I don't feel I need the author's hand holding to have a pretty good idea about how she would of reacted in different situations that the book doesn't present.
There are some surprises and twists and turns I didn't expect and while the book is pretty generally a happy story, I think it improves on the already spectacular book one in just about every way.
Oh and on the title of the review. . Read the book and you'll understand.