Gather round folks, this ones going to be super reflective!
This is a re-read for me. I loved Stargirl when I was in middle school, but didn’t know about this book until I started high school, and it’s been nearly 7 years since I last read it.
Let’s start with the plot: Stargirl decides to write a letter to Leo, her former boyfriend and narrator of the first book. This book is a year long letter addressed expressly to him, recounting her pain and frustration after they broke up, as well as documenting the new people and her relationships with them in her new town.
This book very much parallels a book for me that I might talk about in the future called The Rules for Hearts, by Sara Ryan. This book really doesn’t have a lot of bearing plot wise on the former relationship, but the development of the last book is necessary for understanding this one.
It was nice to see Stargirl as an actual person, with her own frustrations and flaws like any normal human being, and not as the Manic Pixie Dream Girl of Leo. Seeing her from her own perspective allowed for the reader to actually grow to like her. Because she is in fact, despite being relatively unaffected by the “normalcy” of society, a normal 16 year old girl. She’s jealous and judges, she gets irritated and mad. And this is normal.
I remember not loving this book when I first read it, and now I know why. Stargirl isn’t perfect. And as someone who is now a little removed from my teenage years, I now know that that’s okay.
What really made this book go from a “Like” sort of book to an “I am in love” is the ending. I won’t spoil it, but it very much solidifies the ending of the original and makes it so that the reader is always hopeful for these two individuals separately, as well as together.
What absolutely drives me up the wall, however, is that we don’t get to see them as adults. I desperately want to see them as adults, whether separately or together. It’s the type of satisfaction I got out of Harry Potter’s Epilogue(which I know so many people hated, but I happened to find really enjoyable), or Sisterhood Everlasting, the 5th book in the Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants Series that flashes forward 10 years in the 4 girls lives. Some people love not knowing how their childhood characters turned out as adults. But I desperately want to know.
If you grew up with this book when you were in middle and early high school, I’d strongly suggest giving both of them a re-read. I think they are definitely worth it.