Love, Stargirl

( 309 )

Overview

A beloved New York Times bestseller—now in trade paperback!

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 ...

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Overview

A beloved New York Times bestseller—now in trade paperback!

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, andof courselove.

A USA Today Bestseller
A Book Sense Children’s Pick
A
Publishers Weekly Bestseller

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Editorial Reviews

KLIATT - Paula Rohrlick
In this sequel to Stargirl, the free-spirited, openhearted title character gets to tell her own story in the form of "the World's Longest Letter" to her ex-boyfriend Leo. It's really more of a series of journal entries as delightfully offbeat Stargirl tells of events over the course of a year in her new home in a small town in Pennsylvania, far away from Arizona and Leo. She's lonely and pining for him, but soon meets some entertainingly wacky neighbors, from impudent five-year-old Dootsie to angry adolescent Alvina, kind but agrophobic Betsy Lou, widowed Charlie, who talks to his dead wife in the graveyard daily, and handsome Perry, a thief who almost steals Stargirl's heart. The winter solstice project that this kind, home schooled, hippie-ish 15-year-old undertakes brings together all her new friends, and helps to bring hope back into her life, too. Fans of Stargirl will be charmed by this satisfying sequel.
VOYA - Vikki Terrile
One of Spinelli's most memorable characters returns her to tell her own story. Nearly a year after leaving Arizona and Leo Borlock behind, Stargirl, homeschooling again in Pennsylvania, is trying to get past her high school experience. Unable to forget her love for Leo, she writes him the world's longest letter and shares her life without him. In her debut novel, Stargirl was magical, as alien as her fellow students thought her to be. In this book, she is both as extraordinary as expected and surprisingly real. Readers who loved her as the free-spirited object of Leo's conflicted affections will see the heartbroken but enduring Stargirl as a friend, a character to whom they can relate. Spinelli fills the novel with unforgettable characters-six-year-old Dootsie, agoraphobic divorcee Betty Lou, and Alvina, a fierce and confused tween. The other teens in the novel regrettably are the least interesting. Perry, perhaps the boy who will replace Leo in Stargirl's heart, is an alleged bad-boy, with a fan club of bright, funny girls, but he, like Leo, is never so spectacular that readers can understand the fascination. Although the letter format adds little to the story, this book completes the touching and inspiring story of Spinelli's beloved heroine, and readers who have been unable to forget her in the seven years since she appeared are sure to be eager to meet her again.
School Library Journal

Gr 6-10
In Jerry Spinelli's sequel (Knopf, 2007) to Stargirl (Knopf, 2000), Stargirl and her family have moved from Arizona and are living in Pennsylvania. Listeners join Stargirl a year after she was dumped by her boyfriend, Leo. Stargirl shares her life through her self-proclaimed "world's longest letter" to Leo, introducing several eccentric people: Dootsie, a precocious six-year-old girl; Betty Lou, an agoraphobic divorcee; Alvina, a lively 11-year-old girl with an occasional temper; and the mysterious Perry, a boy who often evokes unsettling emotions in Stargirl. With experiences that bring alternating happiness and sadness, Stargirl begins to find acceptance. On occasion, parts of the letter drag a bit. Mandy Siegfried gives each character a unique voice, and her perfectly pitched and well-timed narration brings listeners into Stargirl's world. While a familiarity with the first novel would be helpful, this sequel does stand on its own.-Stephanie A. Squicciarini, Fairport Public Library, NY

Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Fifteen-year-old Susan "Stargirl" Caraway has moved to Pennsylvania, but as independent and free-spirited as she is, she can't seem to let go of Arizona and her old boyfriend Leo Borlock. She's lonely, even in the midst of a loving family and a colorful cast of characters in her new town. There's five-year-old spitfire Dootsie, agoraphobic Betty Lou, angry Alvina, Margie the donut queen and mysterious Perry, a potential new boy in Stargirl's life. As much as readers will relish this community and wish Stargirl would get on with her life there and forget mooning over Leo, she can't seem to, and the whole leisurely paced novel is "the world's longest letter" to him. Humor, graceful writing, lively characters and important lessons about life will make this a hit with fans of Stargirl (2000) and anyone who likes a quiet, reflective novel. Those meeting Stargirl here for the first time will want to read the previous work to see if Leo is worthy of her devotion. (Fiction. 11-14)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780375856440
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 4/28/2009
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 47,685
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Jerry Spinelli

Growing up, Jerry Spinelli was really serious about baseball. He played for the Green Sox Little League team in his hometown of Norristown, Pennsylvania, and dreamed of one day playing for the major leagues, preferably as shortstop for the New York Yankees.

One night during high school, Spinelli watched the football team win an exciting game against one of the best teams in the country. While everyone else rode about town tooting horns in celebration, Spinelli went home and wrote “Goal to Go,” a poem about the game’s defining moment, a goal-line stand. His father submitted the poem to the Norristown Times–Herald and it was featured in the middle of the sports page a few days later. He then traded in his baseball bat for a pencil, because he knew that he wanted to become a writer.

After graduating from Gettysburg College with an English degree, Spinelli worked full time as a magazine editor. Every day on his lunch hour, he would close his office door and craft novels on yellow magazine copy paper. He wrote four adult novels in 12 years of lunchtime writing, but none of these were accepted for publication. When he submitted a fifth novel about a 13-year-old boy, adult publishers once again rejected his work, but children’s publishers embraced it. Spinelli feels that he accidentally became an author of children’s books.

Spinelli’s hilarious books entertain both children and young adults. Readers see his life in his autobiography Knots in My Yo-Yo String, as well as in his fiction. Crash came out of his desire to include the beloved Penn Relays of his home state of Pennsylvania in a book, while Maniac Magee is set in a fictional town based on his own hometown.

When asked if he does research for his writing, Spinelli says: “The answer is yes and no. No, in the sense that I seldom plow through books at the library to gather material. Yes, in the sense that the first 15 years of my life turned out to be one big research project. I thought I was simply growing up in Norristown, Pennsylvania; looking back now I can see that I was also gathering material that would one day find its way into my books.”

On inspiration, the author says: “Ideas come from ordinary, everyday life. And from imagination. And from feelings. And from memories. Memories of dust in my sneakers and humming whitewalls down a hill called Monkey.”

Spinelli lives with his wife and fellow writer, Eileen, in Wayne, Pennsylvania. While they write in separate rooms of the house, the couple edits and celebrates one another’s work. Their six children have given Jerry Spinelli a plethora of clever material for his writing.

Jerry Spinelli is the author of more than a dozen books for young readers, including Maniac Magee, winner of the Newbery Medal. His latest novel, Stargirl, was a New York Times bestseller and an ALA Top Ten Best Book for Young Adults. You can learn more about Jerry Spinelli at www.jerryspinelli.com.

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Read an Excerpt

January 1

Dear Leo,

I love beginnings. If I were in charge of calendars, every day would be January 1.

And what better way to celebrate this New Year’s Day than to begin writing a letter to my once (and future?) boyfriend.

I found something today. Something special. The thing is, it’s been right in front of me ever since we moved here last year, but today is the first time I really saw it. It’s a field. A plain old vacant field. No house in view except a little white stucco bungalow off to the right. It’s a mile out of town, a one-minute bike ride from my house. It’s on a hill—the flat top of a hill shaped like an upside-down frying pan. It used to be a pick-your-own-strawberries patch, but now it grows only weeds and rocks.

The field is on the other side of Route 113, which is where my street (Rapps Dam Road) dead-ends. I’ve biked past this field a hundred times, but for some reason today I stopped. I looked at it. I parked my bike and walked into it. The winter weeds were scraggly and matted down, like my hair in the morning. The frozen ground was cloddy and rock-hard. The sky was gray. I walked to the center and just stood there.

And stood.

How can I explain it? Alone, on the top of that hill, in the middle of that “empty” field (Ha!—write this down, Leo: nothing is empty), I felt as if the universe radiated from me, as if I were standing on the X that marked the center of the cosmos. Until then I had done my daily meditation in many different places in and around town, but never here. Now I did. I sat down. I barely noticed the cold ground. I held my hands on my thighs, palms up to the world. I closed my eyes and dissolved out of myself. I now call it washing my mind.

The next thing I noticed was a golden tinge beyond my eyelids. I opened my eyes. The sun was seeping through the clouds. It was setting over the treetops in the west. I closed my eyes again and let the gold wash over me.

Night was coming on when I got up. As I headed for my bike, I knew I had found an enchanted place.

January 3

Oh, Leo, I’m sad. I’m crying. I used to cry a lot when I was little. If I stepped on a bug I’d burst into tears. Funny thing—I was so busy crying for everything else, I never cried for myself. Now I cry for me.

For you.

For us.

And now I’m smiling through my tears. Remember the first time I saw you? In the lunchroom? I was walking toward your table. Your eyes—that’s what almost stopped me in my tracks. They boggled. I think it wasn’t just the sight of me—long frontier dress, ukulele sticking out of my sunflower shoulder sack—it was something else too. It was terror. You knew what was coming. You knew I was going to sing to someone, and you were terrified it might be you. You quick looked away, and I breezed on by and didn’t stop until I found Alan Ferko and sang “Happy Birthday” to him. But I felt your eyes on me the whole time, Leo. Oh yes! Every second. And with every note I sang to Alan Ferko I thought: Someday I’m going to sing to that boy with the terrified eyes. I never did sing to you, Leo, not really. You, of all people. It’s my biggest regret. . . . Now, see, I’m sad again.

January 10

As I said last week, I wash my mind all over the place. Since the idea—and ideal—is to erase myself from wherever and whenever I am, I think I should not allow myself to become too attached to any one location, not even Enchanted Hill, as I call it now, or to any particular time of day or night.

So that’s why this morning I was riding my bike in search of a new place to meditate. Cinnamon was hitching a ride in my pocket. As I rode past a cemetery a splash of brightness caught my eye. It was a man sitting in a chair in front of a gravestone. At least I think it was a man, he was so bundled up against the cold. The bright splash was the red and yellow plaid scarf he wore around his neck. He seemed to be talking.

Before long I found myself back near my house, in a park called Bemus. I climbed onto a picnic table and got into my meditation position. (OK, back up . . . I’m homeschooling again. Gee, I wonder why—my Mica High School experience went so well! Ha ha. So I have to meet all the state requirements, right?—math, English, etc. Which I do. But I don’t stop there. I have other courses too. Unofficial ones. Like Principles of Swooning. Life Under Rocks. Beginner’s Whistling. Elves. We call it our shadow curriculum. ((Don’t tell the State of—oops, almost told you what state I’m living in.)) My favorite shadow subject is Elements of Nothingness. That’s where the mind wash comes in. Totally wiping myself out. Erasing myself. (((Remember the lesson I gave you in the desert?))) Which, when you think about it, is really not nothing. I mean, when I’m really doing it right, getting myself totally erased, I’m the opposite of nothing—I’m everything. I’m everything but myself. I’ve evaporated like water vapor into the universe. I am no longer Stargirl. I am tree. Wind. Earth.)

OK, sorry for the detour (and parenthetical overkill). . . . So there I was, sitting cross-legged on the picnic table, eyes closed, washing my mind (and getting school credit for it!), and suddenly I felt something on my eyelid. Probably a bug, I thought, and promptly washed away the thought, and the something on my eyelid just became part of everything else. But then the something moved. It traced across my eyelid and went down my nose and around the outline of my lips.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 309 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(192)

4 Star

(55)

3 Star

(33)

2 Star

(15)

1 Star

(14)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 311 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 9, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Had to read this one!

    I read the first one as an english assignment and I just fell in love with it. I searched up the book and I saw that there was a second book! I bought it and read it so fast my parents love boasting about it. I fell in love with Stargirl and wanted to be as unique as her. That boy she had a crush on was so cute, mysterious, and dreamy I wish I met someone like him.

    27 out of 29 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 27, 2010

    You really should read this book!!

    "Love, Stargirl" by Jerry Spinelli is amazing! It is such a great self-confidence booster and a happy story! The book is mostly from the main character, Stargirl's, point of view. She is writing the longest letter ever to her ex-boyfriend, Leo. It is kind of like a journal. The conflict is that she found another boy that she thinks she loves but she still loves Leo in her heart. The author's purpose is to entertain you with an exciting sequel to Stargirl, and he did a great job! It was so entertaining I couldn't put it down! If you are a Jerry Spinelli fan or just liked Stargirl, you must read this book! The grade level is about 6th to 8th grade but that doesn't mean you can't read it if you are older or younger! This is a book for anyone. But I will warn you. You have to read Stargirl before this or you won't understand Love, Stargirl. Enjoy reading an awesome book!

    18 out of 20 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 7, 2008

    Spinelli abandons what we adored in book one and expects us to still care...

    The actual book is a nice product with a nice cover, binding and dust jacket. However, if you fell in love with Stargirl in the first book... and loved Leo's romance with her don't read the sequel... it's the movie series that kills off all your favorite characters or turns them into wackos to keep a story going... this sequel really squashes all the good of the first book. <BR/><BR/>Stargirl betrays her own self and her own feelings... far from the stand alone she was in the first book... she's a watered down turned floozy Stargirl... this is NOT a sweet love conquers all book about our two much loved star crossed characters... Spinelli built a wonderful world between Leo and Stargirl in book one... book two he throws it all out the window and expects the reader to still care... wish I hadn't read it! <BR/><BR/>I don't love Stargirl... any more!

    10 out of 26 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 25, 2009

    Love,Stargirl book review

    The book Love,stargirl by Jerry Spinelli is a book that i recommend for everyone to enjoy. Love,Stargirl is a book would want to read over and over. Stargirl is a girl who is different from normal teens. She met this boy Leo Borlock that she falls in love with. They got to know each other and ended up being a couple as in boyfriend and girlfriend type. It started out going well until he started avoiding Stargirl. so Stargirl left to Pennsylvania and writes the worlds longest letter to him.
    The letter is more like a journal. Stargirl writes about her time in Pennsylvania,the people,the things she do,and about the summer and winter solstice.When you read the first letter you would not be able to stop.
    I enjoyed reading Jerry Spinelli's books. Love,Stargirl would be the thrid book I've read from him. I just love them all and i look forward jerry Spinelli.
    Next time you're at a book store or library make sure you get Love,Stargirl.

    7 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 21, 2008

    Missing Stargirl

    I miss the old Stargirl. This one seemed so unsure of herself, and so....normal. It ruined the first book for me. Besides that I felt embarrassed for Stargirl beacuse she was moping for Leo all the time. It was just sad. I recommend it to those who have read Stargirl, but only for the information. Dootsie is hilarious!

    7 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 23, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    NOT AS GOOD AS STARGIRL

    I would have given this a better review if it were not the sequel to Stargirl. But, it is. The thing about Stargirl that I love in the first book is that she's a free spirit. She does things most people would never consider doing, and she's really nice. But in this book she's, well, mostly normal. More like Susan than Stargirl. (For people that haven't read Stargirl, Susan is her real name.) Jerry Spinelli only managed to paint a shade of Stargirl. And the plot wasn't that captivating either. I gave it three stars because I did hold some interest to the book in some parts. But I am not sure if I'd recommend this at all. I suppose people who read Stargirl MIGHT like this. It's about a 50/50 chance.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 7, 2011

    Again, Second Verse Same As The First, Jealous (PLEASE read! It isn't just what the story was about...Please?...)

    I think that Perry is a good new character to have. Again I want Stargirl's life. I want everything to be so simple. I want everyone to be so open-minded. I want to live in a small town where everyone has a family dinner everyday. I want everyone to know eachother. I want to live in a town where I'm not afraid that I'm gonna get hurt 'cuz of what is on the news. I wanna live without clocks. I want to feel special. Again, what I want, not what I need. What I really need is to read this over and over and over and over. Maybe I will be less jealous. But this girl who sat next to me in math (maybe one of the most awesomest people on this planet, she just doesn't care what people say or think, she is herself and no one will ever break her.) She made a river for me, then she made a bridge, then she made a girl. Yes in class, and they were made out of paper. Anyway, I looked at it, and I set it up, and I wrote on them. I don't know why, but I just automatically thought of this. I wrote Stargirl on the paper with the girl, Perry on the bridge, and Leo on the river. Here is the reasoning behind this: Stargirl used to be walking along the river of Leo. He was always changing. He thought she was crazy. He thought she was beautiful. He wanted her to change. He wanted her to stay the same. He was her boyfriend. He was her nothing. He wants her to be different. HE wants to be different. She is just watching it all. Then, she has to move on, and she sees the Bridge of Perry. And she gets on. She is sad and looks over the edge, so she never really forgets Mr. Arizona Leo, but Perry is here now, as she says, and he is there for a reason, to support her here. To show her what love used to feel like. He is helping her across this River of Leo. But she stops in the middle. Perry is the bridge, because he is stiff. He thinks that he loves her, but he thinks that he loves others too. He thinks that he has to change, but he doesn't know how. He isn't up for it. And eventually, the bridge will break, the bricks will fall, and as Stargirl falls with them, she knows that it wasn't stable for her, and in she falls. Into the River of Leo. She knew that he would protect her. He was there. It is said that you can never step into the same river twice. He has changed. She knows it. And being in the flow of him again, felt good to her. But she knows that Perry was kind for trying to help, but bridges break, and fall, and crumble, but her River of Leo will be there forever. And she can feel it.

    * That was completely my own mind just spilling out there, and now my wrist hurts...XD I'm not a parent, I'm 13, =) I hope you don't mind. I agree that the relationship between them was kinda dry, but a good kind of dry... Thanks for reading...=)

    5 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 10, 2007

    Somewhat dissapointed....WHERE'S LEO?

    I loved Stargirl. it was one of the best books i had ever read, and when 'Love, Stargirl' came out, I was soooo excited!...too bad i was somewhat dissapointed. The relationship between Perry and Stargirl was too dry and left you hanging unlike the first book. Also, some of the characters got really annoying (i'm sorry Dootsie and Alvina), and i thought the characters were such a let-down in this book. The only reason i rated it 3 stars intstead of 2 was because the book had its moments here and there. It also got soooooo annoying when she went on and on about missing Leo, and then, even though she was still missing him, she says 'Well, Perry's here, and Leo's there so why not?' I don't really recommend you read this book. Don't think it's gonna be all about Leo and Stargirl, Leo is hardly mentioned by other characters except for Stargirl, and even toward the end, she wasn't mentioning him as much. Again, it had it's moments, but otherwise, it wasn't very enjoyable, and it took me about 2 weeks to finish, whereas Stargirl took me 2 days.

    5 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2012

    Stinks

    Worst book ever

    4 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2011

    Star girl love star girl

    Star girl was the greatest book ever BUT love star girl was horrible

    4 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 22, 2012

    Dfghj

    I have read stargirl at school i loooooooooooovvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvve the story the end always makes me cry i fisished it today i even read it 2 i really want to read love stargirl. I reccemend stargirl and proably this one. Happy reading!

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 24, 2012

    Cheese

    It is a beautiful book about love

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2013

    Awesome

    When I seen there was a sequel to Stargirl, this is what I did:
    1: Jumped up and down
    2: Screamed really loud
    3: Cried untill my tear ducts shriveled
    4: Jumped up and down aome more
    5: Read and read and read Love, Stargirl
    6: Cried because it was so good and I didnt want it to end!!!

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 11, 2012

    READ THIS

    Read this if you've read the first book. It's diary and amazing!!!!!!!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 2, 2012

    Creative

    Thi is an amazing book with unforgettable characters

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 20, 2012

    What can I say? :)

    This book was a great choice. Not only was there a non cliche high school plot (lol) there was actual humor and relativity to the average students life. Enjoy! <3

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    I love: Love, Stargirl!

    Jerry Spinelli has really done it. This book was absolutely unique. The writing was phenomenal and the main character, Stargirl is not like many girls. She is different, but in a good way. I read the first book, and it is both very interesting and good. It is a very special 274 page letter from Stargirl to someone special to her. You have to read the book to find out. :)

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 20, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Go Stargirl!!!!!!!

    This book was amzing! I read the first book which was outstanding and didn't think this book could be better, but i was soooo wrong! In this book Stargirl moves to Pennslivaina and makes a bunch of new friends inculding Dooties, Charile, Alvina, and of course Perry who she later starts to like. But don't worry I wont ruin the end for you. This book has fantasic literature! Read Love, Stargirl and you will love it!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2008

    A decent sequel to a masterpiece

    Perhaps I'm being a tad bit unfair, but if Spinelli's going to write a follow-up to his most powerful work . . . well, it had better be almost as perfect as the original. 'Love, Stargirl' is a very entertaining read but lacks much of the beauty and mystery of 'Stargirl.' Four gripes: 1)Some of it is a bit too predictable I'm looking at you, agoraphobic Betty Lou. 2)The story is told from Stargirl's point-of-view. Strange, magical, and wise characters (Stargirl, The Little Prince, Charlotte) are best revealed to us through narrators as plain and uninitiated as the reader (Leo Borlock, the Aviator, Wilbur). By reading her diary/letter and experiencing characters even more bizarre than she . . . well, our beloved Stargirl starts to become a bit ordinary. The original painted her as alien, completely oblivious to society's rules for better or worse. The sequel contradicts this picture constantly. 3)I find her buddy Dootsie to be completely insufferable. 4)I still have no clue as to what the hell she sees in Leo. Perhaps this is Spinelli's design, though. All in all, I did enjoy this book. It just doesn't sniff the brilliance of the original.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 16, 2013

    Anonymous

    Really good book. Very funny and thought provoking.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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