Friday, May 1, 2015

Teen review: Realistic and romantic

Stargirl is a fictional story written by Jerry Spinelli. It is a relatively fast read at 186 pages. It’s short, sweet, and deep. It is a realistic story in the genre of romance, and is a coming-of-age story. This book has some mature (deep) ideas, but isn’t necessarily a hard read, so I would recommend it to young adults in eighth grade and up, but to truly appreciate what the author is trying to get across may require an older reader. Although I would not restrict younger teens and kids from reading this book, since there are no explicit scenes or bad influences, it is a book about high schoolers, which everyone knows can be a tough step in life.

This is a book about romance between Leo Borlock, an average teen in high school going about his business and known for his school-related show called the “Hot Seat,” and the new girl. Now, this new girl isn’t what people would consider typical, as far away from conventional as you could possibly be. People think she is weird, unusual, even strange. She is different, and everyone judges her for that: They judge everything from her clothes to her pet to her name, Stargirl.

High schoolers judge other people for standing out because they aren’t sure what do with their uniqueness. It’s human nature to judge, to be intimidated, to be scared of what we don’t understand and that is exactly what happens here. Reputation is a big deal for many people in high school, and Leo Borlock isn’t sure he is ready to throw it all away for one girl; one beautifully intelligent and unique girl. He is intrigued by her and he isn’t sure what to do about it. This is a story of basic human nature, of the horrors of high school, of the importance to be yourself, of the hardships it takes to fit in, of the easy sway of the crowd, and of course about a sweet love story that will make you look at life a little differently.

Personally I would rate this well-written book a five. This is a story that everyone should pick up eventually. It is sweet and short, but gets its point across through Stargirl, the purest of them all, the most genuine. These qualities are something that should be admired. She is one of a kind and didn’t try to be someone she wasn’t. This story gives advice to everyone out there: Although it’s hard to be different, don’t cheat yourself out of a happy life by living someone else’s.

Editor's note: We have both Stargirl and its sequal, Love, Stargirl, which picks up a year after the end of the first book, in both regular and e-book formats.

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