Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli

From Goodreads:
Stargirl. From the day she arrives at quiet Mica High in a burst of color and sound, the hallways hum with the murmur of “Stargirl, Stargirl.” She captures Leo Borlock’s heart with just one smile. She sparks a school-spirit revolution with just one cheer. The students of Mica High are enchanted. At first.

Then they turn on her. Stargirl is suddenly shunned for everything that makes her different, and Leo, panicked and desperate with love, urges her to become the very thing that can destroy her: normal. In this celebration of nonconformity, Newbery Medalist Jerry Spinelli weaves a tense, emotional tale about the perils of popularity and the thrill and inspiration of first love.

     I'm probably the last person on earth to read this book as it seems to be a YA staple. So don't tell me you haven't read it because I won't believe you.

     First, I love, love, LOVE that the story is told by Leo, a male narrator, one of those rare creatures found sprinkled sporadically throughout YA. It was refreshing to find a love story, a story of first love even, written by a man and told by a man without once feeling a lack of emotional connection.

     Stargirl was a unique character, as she was meant to be and I was very glad to meet her. She's supposed to embody "different" in a world filled with everyday and same. At times she was over the top, and probably a little too carefree to be believable but I like the idea that she could exist, even if I know she really couldn't. I just can't see that there could ever be anyone so unaffected and heedless of the norms of society to be as completely undefined as Stargirl. But isn't it nice to pretend?

"She was bendable light: she shone around every corner of my day."

     I got caught up in Spinelli's writing, his grasp of human nature, his romanticizing of the mundane. I pay him the compliment of seeing a bit of Pratchett in him, meaning I think he really understands people and even loves the ridiculousness of them. I'll visit his other works in the future.

"It's in the morning, for most of us. It's that time, those few seconds when we're coming out of sleep but we're not really awake yet. For those few seconds we're something more primitive than what we are about to become. We have just slept the sleep of our most distant ancestors, and something of them and their world still clings to us. For those few moments we are unformed, uncivilized. We are not the people we know as ourselves, but creatures more in tune with a tree than a keyboard. We are untitled, unnamed, natural, suspended between was and will be, the tadpole before the frog, the worm before the butterfly. We are for a few brief moments, anything and everything we could be. And then...and then -- ah -- we open our eyes and the day is before us and ... we become ourselves."

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