Before I Blogged I Read: Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli

There’s a lot of books I read before I started this blog in June of 2010 and I figured it might be fun to spotlight those! They won’t be an actual review because OMG YOU GUYS THAT WAS SO LONG AGO but I’ll just note a few things about it, if I enjoyed it and what my Goodreads rating was. So thus “Before I Blogged I Read…” was born. Because you know…I’m so original with my names for things. Check out PAST “Before I Blogged I Read” posts.


Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli review

Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli

(Amazon | Goodreads )
Rating: I gave it 4 stars on Goodreads
Date I Read it: June 2009

1. I thought this one was really cute but had a lot of heart with its message of kindness, compassion and non-conformity. A little gem full of wisdom! The main character, Leo, is just as intrigued by the new girl as everyone else in his school is. She’s unconventional, eccentric, lives life boldly with no fear and she’s super confident. As Leo gets to know her he starts to be smitten like the rest of the school — until the rest of the school starts to find her personality as weird and no longer intriguing and gang up against her. Leo is stuck between going against the grain with Stargirl or going with the crowd so he tries to convince Stargirl that normal isn’t so bad.

2. Stargirl is one of those most interesting and eccentric characters you’ll ever come across. I loved her wild, free spirit but there was times that I even thought she was SUPER strange. I love the compassion and love that so freely flowed out of her and it made me sad that people wanted to extinguish that light in her because they thought she was so strange. So many people are afraid to show the things that Stargirl could and I really loved Stargirl. We need more people with her spirit.

3. I remember it was the kind of book that made me want to be better — more kind, not afraid to be myself, going the extra mile to show people they are loved, still find myself awed by the little things and live with boldness.

4. It’s a pretty short book but there is  much depth and I thought it was beautifully written.

Favorite Quotes:

“She was elusive. She was today. She was tomorrow. She was the faintest scent of a cactus flower, the flitting shadow of an elf owl. We did not know what to make of her. In our minds we tried to pin her to corkboard like a butterfly, but the pin merely went through and away she flew.”

“I had never realized how much I needed the attention of others to confirm my own presence.”

“She taught me to revel. She taught me to wonder. She taught me to laugh. My sense of humor had always measured up to everyone else’s; but timid introverted me, I showed it sparingly: I was a smiler. In her presence I threw back my head and laughed out loud for the first time in my life.”


Have any of you read this one? Did you like it/not like it? Tell me what you thought! I’m curious if you read the book that came after it (Love, Stargirl) ? I haven’t read it but maybe I should?

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About Jamie

Jamie is a 32 year old married lady (with a new baby!!) who is in denial that she's actually that old to be a married lady and a mom. When she's not reading you can find her doing Pilates followed by eating ice cream, belting out Hamilton (loud and offkey) and having adventures with her husband, daughter and rescue dog.


  1. Wow, I haven’t seen you a before I blogged For awhile. I was beginning to worry.

  2. Oops sorry. That totally made me sound like a stalker. I swear I’m not. I just love your blog.

  3. I never read this one. I know that it’s one of my besties favorites from when she was younger though and it sounds awesome!

  4. I loved this when I read it in school. Stargirl is such a great character. I remember squirming as I read it because I recognised myself in every character except her – definitely a book that makes you think.

  5. I read this one before blogging, too. I definitely remember Stargirl herself, mostly her impact on the other kids than actual things she did. I seem to remember its being sad at the end, though I could be wrong. I didn’t read Love, Stargirl, but maybe I should.

  6. This is one of my faves! I read it when it first came out (and obvs before blogging) and before I fully admitted to myself that I might be obsessed with YA. I remember staring at the cover in the bookstore (because it’s AWESOME) and trying to decide whether I should spend my student dollars on it. I finally cracked, bought it, and LOVED it. I loved Stargirl so much, and I loved who Leo became with her. I also remember how affected I was at the ending and at the shunning…and yes, it made me want to be a better, more accepting, more unafraid-to-be-myself person.

    I think this STARGIRL is a classic that can be read at any age. I have the sequel as well, but I haven’t read it, mainly because I don’t know if I need to be in Stargirl’s headspace. I feel like STARGIRL was so perfect on it’s own that I don’t need to know what happened afterwards.

  7. I read Stargirl a few months ago for the first time and really liked it. I actually listened to the audiobook which was narrated by John Ritter. I have to say that he was perfect for it. Fun feature, too. I’ve read so many books before I started blogging.

  8. Woah! Blast from the past, I remember reading this book ages ago! I remember feeling exactly the same way and I related a lot to this book! I related a lot to different characters, including Stargirl herself, mostly the feeling of being outcasted by my peers but also seeing things from Leo’s perspective, on the outside, looking in. Thanks for bringing this book up, I may have to read it as an easy read one of these weekends.

  9. I read this when I was maybe about 12 or 13, and loved it too (I may have been younger… not sure). I re-read it so many times, but sadly I don’t have my copy of it any more.

  10. I started reading this in the past but stopped. I know it’s really good and a childhood classic and all but I guess I’m not one for classics. I’ve missed out on tons of great books and this is another one of them! But I’ll force myself to make it a point to get to all those great books I’ve missed. Like this one!

  11. You’re so right—this one is a gem! It’s actually one of six I keep by my desk as inspirers. Love the first quote you listed.

    I did read the follow-up, but I can’t remember it very well. I’m sure it was good though there’s nothing like the original of course. 🙂

  12. I haven’t read this one, even though I’ve heard nothing but good things about it. I’m a quote junkie so I absolutely love when people share favorite passages from books they’ve read.

  13. I read this one, in 2008, I remember really liking it and thinking it was a cute story. I always intended to read the second book but never did. Might need to now.

  14. Oh man I LOVED this book hard core when I was in…middle school? High school? I just read the sequel sometime in the past year and it was….ok. It wasn’t bad by any means, I mean Jerry Spinelli always writes good books, but it is hard to set a book up next to Stargirl and expect it to be as awesome.

  15. Jasmine Baggenstos says:

    I believe this is the only book I’ve actually ever reread. I read it when I was really young (probably around eleven or twelve) and then again when I was fifteen. I remember thinking it was pretty good the first time I read it, but it wasn’t the type of book I was really into and I couldn’t quite grasp the depth of the story. The second time around I read into the early hours of the morning, and since I was already feeling emotional because I was thinking about breaking up with my then boyfriend I ended up bawling for an hour or so. Lovely, I know.

    I totally get what you’re saying about the feeling of wanting to be a better person after you finished, I remember that feeling.

  16. I read this one when I was younger, too, and before I started blogging and I loved it! I loved it for pretty much all of the same reasons that you did, and I just really loved Stargirl, she was so unique, and she was never afraid to be herself or to be kind to others! 😀 This is still one of those books I don’t mind rereading when I need to be cheered up…another is Ella Enchanted! They both cheer me up every time! 😀

    Thanks for sharing, Jamie! 😀

  17. First of all I just want to say I love this feature. Books that have been read before blogs were made can’t be forgotten about!
    Anyways, Stargirl was a very interesting book for me. In some ways it was a little sad, too. It illustrates very well how people often turn against things that they find to be strange or foreign, instead of embracing those things. And even if they like said things they don’t act like they do because they don’t want to be judged by everyone else. Or, at least, that’s what I got from it.