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Love, Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli
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Love, Stargirl (2007)

by Jerry Spinelli

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Love, Stargirl is the sequel to Spinelli’s 2004 charmer, Stargirl.

It’s rough.

It is also interesting.

Love, Stargirl is written as one epically-long letter sent from Stargirl to her Arizona-dwelling ex from the first book, Leo Borlock. As the story opens we find Stargirl still reeling over Leo’s rejection. She’s a bit of a mess, and so is the book at this point. A host of lovable wackos (as only Spinelli can write them) are swiftly dropped on the reader: an agoraphobic former beauty queen, a donut-delivery girl clawing her way from girlhood to adolescence, a completely uninhibited five-year-old who keeps her eyes on the prize, this list goes on and on. Her happy wagon is looking pretty sad. It’s a lot to take, in the beginning, and I wasn’t sure I was going to make it through the book as Stargirl carried on moping and being sanctimonious by turns.

Then, around page one-hundred-twenty-four, it started to gel. Yes, that’s quite a long way in, and it should rightfully give some readers pause. If this isn’t your kind of story, it’s probably not worth the grind to page one-twenty-four. At this point it suddenly becomes clear that each of the extreme characters with whom Stargirl has been spending her time, represents some part of herself or her grieving process for what she had with Leo. Five-year-old Dootsie is her past, her essence, seed of a future Stargirl. Agoraphobic Betty Lou is her loneliness. Donut-delivering Alvina is her struggle to remain true to herself in her dealings with boys.

There are men and boys in the book, too. One mirrors Stargirl, sitting shiva for a lost love; another is a litmus test for future love. This is where the book finally gels, in a moment where Stargirl has tracked down a local ladies-man for reasons she doesn’t really understand. The dialogue between them never fails to spark in a way that her cutesy interactions with Dootsie don’t begin to approach. He is the catalyst for her recovery, asking her the hard questions when she won’t ask them herself.

Stargirl was told from Leo’s perspective: his experience of an exotic creature who appeared in his life and chose him to share hers, until he couldn’t bear her difference any longer. Love, Stargirl takes her down from that mythic pedestal and allows her to be human. Flawed, judgmental, naive, jealous, brave, nurturing, and (perhaps most of all) lost. She finds her way by shepherding others, reminding herself as she reminds them that world is there waiting when they decide to come back and join it.

I liked this book, but as The Librarian Who Doesn’t Say Sssh noted, it may make a difference whether you are a Leo or a Stargirl. I have always been, for better or worse, a Stargirl. Leos may find this loose, at times seemingly random, emotional narrative exasperating. Trust me that every (???) moment pays off in the end. ( )
  ArmchairAuthor | Jul 3, 2014 |
I don't remember when I read this book. It was good. ( )
  stephanie.dicesare.7 | Jun 25, 2014 |
This was a really great sequel, I liked getting inside Stargirls head, and finding that knowing her inner thoughts didn't diminish her appeal or the mystery surrounding this most interesting of girls.

Its been a while since I read it so I'm a little hazy on the exact events but I definitely remember enjoying it. I think its pretty brave releasing a sequel to such a well-loved book, but it worked out well in this case, the author showing more talent than others trying to attempt the same thing. ( )
  katie1802 | May 10, 2014 |
The main character "Star girl" is as unique as her name. She is a 16 year old girl who had just been uprooted from here life to move to a whole new town. Her father has decided to leave his job as an engineer to become a milk man simply because it's what he has always wanted to do. The story is written as one big letter through a series of journal of entries to her ex boyfriend in her old town. Her best friends are a pet rat cinnamon and a six year old girl. She is home schooled and loves every minute of it. The story is about her adjusting to her new life and dealing with normal issues like love, and not so normal ones, like, making a solstice calendar. The book is filled with lots of interesting characters like the agoraphobic neighbor who is terrified of leaving the hose, and Dootsie an overly curious six year old who is know to escape in a moments notice. ( )
  Jordanlaine | Feb 12, 2014 |
This story follows "Stargirl" and her journey as her whole life is uprooted and she is forced to move away with her family from everything she's known, including her love, Leo. Through this journey, we follow Susan as she develops new friendships with the neighbors Dootsie and Betty Lou and faces challenges with disabilities, such as Dootsies agoraphobia. Through this journey of a 16 year old girls strife's and tribulations, we are able to read a long letter written to Leo, which in actuality is Susans journal entries.

This was a great read and I would definitely recommend it to young adults. ( )
  RiaO | Nov 28, 2013 |
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Book description
Love, Stargirl is picking from Stargirl. This book will continue on Stargirl's life, there will be many other fun things happening in her life.In her writeing Stargirl mixes memories of her bittersweet time in Mica, Arizona, with involvements with new people in her life.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0375813756, Hardcover)

LOVE, STARGIRL picks up a year after Stargirl ends and reveals the new life of the beloved character who moved away so suddenly at the end of Stargirl. The novel takes the form of "the world's longest letter," in diary form, going from date to date through a little more than a year's time. In her writing, Stargirl mixes memories of her bittersweet time in Mica, Arizona, with involvements with new people in her life.

In Love, Stargirl, we hear the voice of Stargirl herself as she reflects on time, life, Leo, and - of course - love.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:02:28 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Still moping months after being dumped by her Arizona boyfriend Leo, fifteen-year-old Stargirl, a home-schooled free spirit, writes "the world's longest letter" to Leo, describing her new life in Pennsylvania.

» see all 4 descriptions

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