TEEN LIBRARIAN'S REVIEW:
High school student Leo Borlock narrates the story of the new girl at Arizona's Mica High: Stargirl. Yes, you read it correctly. Stargirl. This new student is completely different in every possible way from her peers. She comes to school wearing prairie dresses, carries a pet rat, strums the ukelele, and even serenades strange students in the cafeteria. Leo finds himself falling for Stargirl, admiring the way she performs anonymous good deeds for others. Improbably, Stargirl briefly becomes the most popular girl at Mica High, singlehandedly filling the stands at football games with her unusual cheerleading techniques. Just as suddenly, the very things that make Stargirl so unique begin to alienate her peers. After she cheers for an opposing team's injured player at a basketball game, the transformation is complete. Stargirl is completely shunned by her classmates, to the point where they literally do not acknowledge her existence. Leo is torn between helping Stargirl stay true to herself and allowing her to change and become just like everyone else.
Not every aspect of this story works as well as it could. Readers may very likely find Stargirl herself to be irritating. She's so unbelievably naive about teen behavior that some readers may have difficulty in feeling much sympathy for her character. In fact, I found the character of Leo — the generally good but weak guy who knows what he should do but can't seem to do it — to be more compelling. While it could have been better, in the end "Stargirl" is a quick, decent enough book that explores in great depth the issues of peer pressure and non-comformity.