Parents' Guide to

Love, Stargirl

By Matt Berman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 12+

Peek into Stargirl's diary in this moody sequel.

Love, Stargirl Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 12+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 10+

Good Sequel

In all honesty, I debated between three and four stars with this one. Love, Stargirl is a letter from Stargirl to Leo, written in the form of a diary of sorts. She revisits a few scenes from Stargirl and tells of her life in her new home. I am not a fan of the journal entry style of writing. Right away, that was a strike against Love, Stargirl. In addition, it starts off slowly and I had a difficult time getting into it. Halfway through, I was tempted to abandon it, which I hate to do. I rarely abandon books, and when I do, there is this little nagging feeling that never seems to go away- a feeling that there is something out there left unfinished. There are three books tormenting me right now because I didn't finish them, even though two were so bad, it felt like trying to overcome a huge mountain of boring homework. Also, my daughter really enjoyed the book, so I didn't call it quits. While I think Love, Stargirl would have been better if it had been written the same way Stargirl was, I am glad I finished it. The second half was much better than the first and I cried at the end. Stargirl remains quite true to her unique self but seems less weird since we are looking through her eyes. Maybe her experiences in Stargirl changed her a little bit; I don't know. The reason I mention this is because her clothes were a big issue in Stargirl, big enough to mention several times. However, in Love, Stargirl, I can't remember any detail given about her clothes. Did she stop wearing costumes? It seems like it. In fact, in the one scene where it would have been totally appropriate to wear a costume, she doesn't. So I don't know what was going on there, and I kind of missed the costumes. The characters are great. They are just as whacky as Stargirl. Is it because we are seeing people from her point of view? Or is it because the town she lives in happens to have a higher quota of... uniqueness? I don't know about that either, but Love, Stargirl definitely has her in a drastically different environment. The theme is still about the beauty of being different. That hasn't changed. Again, the writing is superb. I don't want to share my favorite quote with you, because it is the last of the book, but I will share this short quote: I will sail into the future on mystery's wings and I will not look back. I know it's short, but this short quote represents well Spinelli's beautiful and poetic writing skills. I finally decided to give Love, Stargirl four stars for the following reasons: 1) It was wonderful to read from Stargirl's point of view, 2) Spinelli's writing is phenomenal, 3) I cried, 4) The issue of journal entries is one of my things and will probably bother few others, and 5) My daughter loved it. So there you have it. Happy Reading! P.S. Dear, Mr. Spinelli, thanks for ruining Ondine. Of course, now my daughter wants to read it so I downloaded it for free since it is in the public domain. We'll see how accurate the spoiler in Love, Stargirl is. On the upside, how many people can say their ten year old wants to read the 1811 novella Undine by German Romantic Friedrich de la Motte Fouqué? That's pretty cool. And nerdy. Same thing.
age 13+

Bright, strong and independent-what more can a girl be?

In this sequel, Stargirl might not be as confident as she was in the earlier novel, but we begin to know her much better through her letter to Leo. She is still bright, strong and independent, although we see her development as a teen. In this novel, she reflects many normal teen growing pains and real teen issues. She handles these almost too well. She is almost more than can be believed, but I would be proud if she were my daughter.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (2 ):
Kids say (23 ):

In LOVE, STARGIRL, Stargirl is a lot less confident than she seemed in the first book. She spends a good portion of the book pining for Leo, and feeling depressed and sad. Gone, for the most part, is that magically effervescent spirit that made her such an intriguing mystery. In its place is a more realistic girl with whom the reader can identify.

It's unusual for a sequel to be so unlike its predecessor -- the characters (except for Stargirl herself), mood, tone, setting, point of view, and writing style are all different. But Spinelli has never been one to follow the beaten path. Readers who were hoping for something similar in tone and feeling to the first book may be disappointed, but those who wanted to bring Stargirl down to Earth and get to know her a bit will be thrilled.

Book Details

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