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Love Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli

Stargirl #2. Alfred A. Knopf. (August 2007) Library
Dear Leo,                                                                                      I love beginnings. What better way to celebrate than to begin writing a letter to my once (and future?) boyfriend.
Stargirl has moved and left everything behind: Arizona, Mica High, enchanted desert places - and Leo.

He's all she can think about, and her life begins to feel like a parade of unhappy anniversaries. Then Stargirl meets her wonderfully bizarre new neighbors: Dootsie, the curly-headed five-year-old "human bean"; Betty Lou, who hasn't stepped outside her house for nine years; Charlie, who sits among the tombstones; hot-tempered Alvina with that one glittery nail; and Perry Delloplane, the blue-eyed thief who soon lays his own claim to Stargirl's heart.
In letters to Leo over the course of a year, Stargirl comes to find hope in new places: mockingbirds, donut angels, moon flowers, and the Winter Solstice - that turning-point day when dark tips to light. But what's life without Leo? Will he - can he - answer that  one crucial question she asks every morning to the rising sun?


First, I expected a certain something from this book. Something that wasn't what the story had planned for me. I think I expected the Stargirl from the last book and I don't know why. It's not like it was going to be a retelling of well... Stargirl. It wasn't going to be the same carefree Stargirl who sang on people's birthdays or sent people things or danced around wildly whenever she felt the urge. I honestly can't tell you even a single piece of clothing she wore because this book wasn't about that past Stargirl. This book was about a Stargirl that's been shaken up a little by the world. This is about a no longer "naive" Stargirl trying to figure out where she belongs and how she is ever going to get over her first love.

So this book being not as I expected took me awhile to warm up to it. It's one of those books you need to put down for a while and come back to it so you don't have that preconceived mindset you had before. Now that's all said and done I did really enjoy Love, Stargirl. It showed me Stargirl's world, how her emotions bring about how she acts, and who she is now (if that makes any sense...). She's still Stargirl of course. She's just trying to navigate life without Leo. But, really. Why would she want to do that? They belong together!

We've got a wider variety of mismatched characters in this book. We've got Dootsie who is always hanging around Stargirl and wanting to do things with her. She's always super excited. I sometimes forget she is only five years old. When I do forget I am pretty annoyed by her and can't understand why she can't calm herself down and then I remember "Oh duh! She's five! She's doesn't know the meaning of the word calm." Betty Lou the agoraphobic seemed quite content in being who she is. I would say that she was kind of and I mean - kind of - the replacement of Archie. She gave a lot of advice and had stories to tell. I don't know she just had that Archie vibe but of course no one could replace him and he is infinitely better than anyone around him.  

You got to hang out with Stargirl's parents for a while which was interesting. Her parents are pretty normal but more flexible about how they react to life and how Stargirl is let to be this carefree person. Other characters include Charlie who's always with his wife. Weird thing I thought about Charlie - (well not exactly weird but it's interesting to say the least) I thought he would impact Stargirl's life more than I thought it did. Who's to say she didn't learn more from his life than I think? Fact is she learned a lot about herself through this montage of characters and there's still more to discuss.

Alvina is a strange little girl. She likes to fight with boys and it makes sense the reason why but that's not what's strange about her. What's strange about her is she has one fingernail that's all manicured and glittery and girly. I even understand some of what that means but honestly she made no sense to me. I don't know if this is a good thing or a bad thing. There's also Arnold this jogger who always asks "Are you looking for me" but doesn't wait around for a response. Stargirl's theory about him is pretty interesting and her theory is the inventive Stargirl that I know and love. 

And finally we have Perry who grabs Stargirl's attention in more than one way. Stargirl and him are the two characters from this story that I had a preconceived mindset towards. You really don't know both of them until you rad about them and start unraveling who they really are. At first I found this frustrating because I wanted them to be a certain way but really they both are written the way they are supposed to be. 

A lot happens to Stargirl through her letters to Leo. She constantly wonders about him and can't seem to get over the amazingness that is Leo. Anyways Stargirl goes through this transformation with the help of the people from her new home town and Leo is a part of that transformation. Really I think there are two transformations happening here. When Leo denied her true self in the last book and the repercussions of that as well as what she learns from the people around her. 

Overall: All in all this was not the story I was expecting but it was still a wonderful story about staying true to yourself.


For more info about Jerry Spinelli and his books you can visit him at his website.

Comments

  1. Another MG book I haven't heard of. It seems like more or less all adult books get translated here while mg don't. Anyhow I'm glad you enjoyed this one and it sounds like an interesting read. :)

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    1. I'm surprised that this one isn't translated all over the place after all Stargirl is pretty famous and I'm sure it's translated internationally.

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  2. I remember my 7th grade teacher reading the first book aloud to us... 7 years ago haha. I tried to pick up this sequel afterwards but it was so... different. I put in down, wanting to leave the story as how it ended in the first book.

    Alise @ Readers in Wonderland

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    1. I had that feeling too of wanting to put it down. I think if I had a better mindset that it wasn't going to be about Leo this time I would have enjoyed the beginning more. But, I understand where you are coming from.

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  3. I like surprises too--good ones that is. :-)

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    1. I actually don't mind surprises that are bad. As long as I still feel a great connection with the book.

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  4. I am so glad I read this review so that I have a better idea of what to expect when I pick this one up. I would have been expecting what you were expecting. What a helpful review! I am glad you ended up enjoying Love, Stargirl. :)

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    1. I think a lot of people would have thought Leo would be in here a little more. It's more Stargirl and coming into the world with new eyes.

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