”Star Girl” by Jerry Spinelli Genre
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Star Girl is the entrancing but petrifying data result turned tale to the experiment: what will happen when you demand a naturally whimsical and pacific virtued character face the unsympathetic cruelties of unfounded aversion, ignorance based xenophobia, and worst of all, the three C‘s: commercialized, consumerist conformity? It all begins with a new student, a girl, who inexplicably goes by the name of Star Girl. From this moment forward, every student and teacher inside the walls of Micah High School endure an emotional rollercoaster of admiration and antipathy implied necessary by society, all the while consuming their recipient with their indomitable inconsistencies. A normal human being would have faltered, but not for the resilient maverick Star Girl. Constantly appealing and sanguine, she immediately wins over the heart of fellow Micah High student Leo Borlock, a behind-the-scenes technician for the school’s daytime talk show Hot Seat. At first, not knowing what to make of the New Age individual, she is avoided and observed from a distance having only one friend, fellow outcast Dori Dilson.
However, after being publicly accepted by MAHS’ methodically bellicose elite, she is widely embraced and imitated throughout the school; only to soon fall from her graces for not accepting the cheerleading squad captain/school autocrat’s tactics. Having been punished by being transmuted back into a recluse, Star Girl’s castigation goes noticed by all except her. Including Leo, her now boyfriend. Unable to cope with society’s rejection, Leo, anxious and misguided, asks Star Girl the repent for her actions seeing it as the only way to regain acceptance. Yet, how can he ask Star Girl to renounce her own personality just for the slight hope of approval? And even if the young couple is ratified, how can he expect her to be what society and he want when they desire two different things?
I think everyone has regretted being Star Girl in their life before, feeling rejected by the masses and wanting only to fit in; but, at the same time wished for nothing more than to be more like her: blithe, inverted, and oblivious to the malice intentions of others. Or at the very least wished that the entire world could be like more like her. I’d say that the best part of the book would be Leo’s last thoughts as an adult, regretting his pettiness over Star Girl and truly appreciating her for the intellect she was. Slightly lamented, fully nostalgic Leo Borlock finally realizes that the young crusader he had known as a child was not a person but rather a scarce transcending spirit, reflecting the remaining amiabilities of a misunderstanding world. Above all eventually allowing him the emancipating liberties of “viewing the world though rose colored glasses”.