I loved Stargirl
as a kid, and I still love it as an adult. I also think it has one of the best covers I've ever seen on a book. It's simple, memorable, and attention-grabbing. Very cool.
The main character, Stargirl, is a little unusual. She cheers for both teams during basketball games, attends the funerals of strangers, brings her pet rat everywhere, and likes to wear costumes. At first, the students at her new high school find her behavior funny, but soon she starts to get on their nerves. Stargirl and her boyfriend, Leo, become social outcasts. Leo has a much harder time coping with this than Stargirl. They can either change themselves in the hopes of making friends, or they can stay outcasts for the rest of high school.
Stargirl fits the manic pixie dream girl trope, and some of her behavior pushes the boundaries of believability, but I think she's actually more realistic than most characters who fit the trope. First, only one boy (Leo) lusts after her, and even he is often unhappy with their relationship. Almost everybody in Stargirl's life finds her insufferably annoying. Like many manic pixie dream girls, she's loud, unpredictable, and embarrassing. In real life, a manic pixie wouldn't be a "dream girl." She'd be irritating, like Stargirl. So, I believe that Stargirl is the most realistic version of the trope I've ever seen.
Every character in this book is slightly cliche, and that doesn't bother me at all. There is so much more to this story than just the characters.Stargirl
gives readers a lot to think about without being too preachy. That's what I love about it. It's about nonconformity and the confidence to be yourself. It's about acceptance, love, kindness, and understanding. Most importantly, it asks the question, What would you give up in order to fit in?