Okay, a lot of people are calling it classic. My friends who read it rated it 5 and I’ve seen the reviews. Stargirl is like one of the best books out there.
Surprisingly though, and I hope you won’t kill me for saying this, I felt empty. Not in a bad sense, but I have this ‘what did I just read?’ post-book feelings syndrome. Or something. It’s not like it fails to give a lasting impact (I won’t write this if that were the case). It’s actually a very good book just that my soul isn’t responding. I’m confused all throughout. It felt so…extreme that, at one point, I started to ask myself if the book is magic real. It’s so bizarre! Half the time, I can’t understand what’s happening. Or why it’s even allowed to happen. My eyebrows are all scrunched as I ask myself if Stargirl is even possible. She probably isn’t. And it bothers me that people are acting as if she is.
I don’t know if I have to be intelligent to be able to grasp what they see but, so far, based on what other people wrote she’s all about nonconformity. You’re a heroine like Stargirl if you decide not to adhere to social norms. I’m sorry? Let me clarify that. Is conformity bad? It isn’t (in it’s purest sense) but I get the feeling that Hillari’s portrayal and Leo’s guilt are trying to say that it is. As soon as we enter social contract, I think that conformity is the most acceptable, realistic course of action to take. To recognize the Stargirl in you (and this is confirmed by Archie) is like conceding that you’re willing to return to that primitive, lawless communal living where laws do not exist. Where instinct (the heart) rules (hence, the title).
“And I think every once in a while someone comes along who is a little more primitive than the rest of us, a little closer to our beginnings, a little more in touch with the stuff we’re made of.”
It’ll be alright if we’re all Stargirl. Stargirl’s efforts are innocent and kind. But we’re real and we don’t want that. That’s so idealistic. It might be cynical of me to say but we’re not innocent and kind. We’re tainted.
This is why I find it so…baffling that a lot of people are identifying with her character. Sure we can be a little bit unique, but she’s on an entirely different level. She’s misplaced. She belongs to another world. Unless Stargirl is symbolic…her character is bound to unnerve.
Moving on, I just have one big question. I’m really, really curious. Correct me if I’m wrong, is this book influenced by Taoism? I’ve been searching for reviews that will mention this but since I found none, maybe I misunderstood. I only have a vague idea of its principle so…anyway, the enchanted place part? The thing that she’s been teaching Leo? Losing one’s self and being one with nature to become more aware of everything? Purging off your thoughts and action – doing nothing – to go too that ‘enchanted’ place? That is, to achieve Tao?
The Function of the Dao
The function of a room,
Is in its emptiness.
A room that is cluttered,
Has less space to live.
So it is with the Dao.
The One True Voice
I aspire to silence the voices,
That I might hear the One True Voice.
When that One True Voice is silenced,
I shall hear Everything.
Another example is when she was being antagonized by everyone (even her boyfriend) for being so different. She comes off as an arrogant brat because she can’t give a damn about what others think, but that’s not true right? She doesn’t change for them because she doesn’t have to go against the flow. In line with a Taoist’s principle, she must aim to live by her nature. By not facing the voices that say she must conform, she becomes distinguished as heroine/individualistic/unique by the readers.
The strength of weakness
Be wary of the very strong
And they shall become weak.
Be dismissed as being weak –
And that shall be your strength.
Remember that the oceans place themselves
Below the land;
But all rivers flow into them.
And remember, too,
That water – the most Pliant of all substances –
Has shaped continents.
The last two lines…that’s exactly what happens in the last part of the book right?
“She did it for you, you know.”
“Gave up her self, for a while there. She loved you that much. What an incredibly lucky kid you were.”
On the other hand, when she tried to give up Stargirl for Leo and be ‘normal’, everything crumbles. She starts to have expectations (which is totally a no-no for Taoism), then gets sad (two pebbles left on her mini-wagon) because it won’t go the way she imagined it. The way Leo promised her.
All creation was preceded by Nothing.
“Nothing”, therefore, is the substance
From which all things come,
And to which they shall return.
That infinite Nothing gave rise to nature.
Nature’s perfect symmetry is instinctive.
Whatever upsets that balance can be said to be wrong.
We are all part of nature.
As such, that instinct is part of us.
To contribute to the balance of all things,
Is to live in harmony with one’s self.
To move against the effortless flow,
Is to cause disruption to our surroundings,
And so to us.
Which is why I said she doesn’t belong to this world. She can’t exist here without changing and destroying herself in the process. Or making the standards of the world change for her. Which is also equally absurd.
Oh well, I don’t know. I’m not really that intelligent to be talking about these stuff. When I read Stargirl, I was actually looking for a light read. But this seems to require profoundness and I can’t give it just that. That’s why I probably felt empty.
I gave it two stars on GR because even if I wanted to give it five…I can’t ;A; I’m hoping to re-read this someday to give it a higher rating.