I read this book between May 11th and May 12th, 2020 and gave it three stars. Like I said, this is a reread for me. It was a required reading when I was in eighth grade, and though I remember some of the story, I realized I’d forgotten what now I think would be the most relevant plot points or themes in the story.
I’d initially thought this was a middle grade, but it isn’t and I honestly don’t know why I thought the characters were like twelve years old and not fifteen and sixteen, but anyway. You know that when I read or reread certain books that remind me of when I was at school, I immediately wonder whether I would have this as a required reading for my students and how I would approach it. Well, this book is pretty mediocre but I wouldn’t deem it problematic, really. I simply would not have my students read it in class.
Stargirl is the name of the new girl who’s quirky and kind and people go from hating her to loving her to hating her again because she is different. But this is not written from Stargirl’s perspective because that would be weird, right? Young women having a voice. So of course, it is from the perspective of Leo, a guy who is basically Joe from You but without being a killer. Maybe he develops that throughout the years. Leo sees everything that Stargirl does and the way people react to her, but he does nothing; he only witnesses stuff and reports it back to us.
Oh, but although Leo is telling us about when he was a teenager, he is now in his thirties, which the author makes it seem way older because of the way Leo narrates stuff. You would think that in reality an old man was the one writing this story. You’d also think that because at times he slips up and talks about how some little girls leave for the summer and come back being full-grown women, or how Stargirl is “not like other girls” because she doesn’t wear makeup. “She game us something to talk about. She was entertaining.” That’s exactly what young women aspire to.
I wish I’d been more critical of this book when I was younger because I wouldv’e torn it apart and I wouldv’e had a very interesting conversation with my English teacher (a man), who’d probably had nothing to do with the choices for required reading. The truth is, I probably didn’t even read this whole book in eighth grade and that’s why I don’t remember so much of it. I was probably bored, like I was this time around, which is why it took me two days instead of one sitting to read this.
Would I recommend this? No. Is this the worst display of male chauvinism and the objectification of women? No. But it’s a book that doesn’t stand the pass of time, really. Being quirky is way more accepted than it was ten years ago and nowadays everyone plays the ukulele and the natural look is all the rage. Like I said, this is one more mediocre book out there and I hope that the movie is better.
Did you participate in the challenge? Any good discoverings? A new favorite? Let me know in the comments below.
Love, Miss Camila