Monday, May 26, 2014

Book review: THIS STAR WON'T GO OUT by Esther Earl

Almost everyone has heard of THE FAULT IN OUR STARS. And if you’ve noticed the dedication in the book, you’ll have at least heard of Esther Earl. She was a Nerdfighter (a member of John Green and his brother Hank’s fanbase) who passed away from cancer at age sixteen. Through getting to know her, John was inspired to write THE FAULT IN OUR STARS. Though he is quick to insist that Hazel is not Esther, it’s easy to see some similarities. Both suffered from thyroid and lung cancer, both toted around oxygen tanks, both were sarcastic and witty.

How do I know this? Esther’s book, of course!

THIS STAR WON’T GO OUT is a scrapbook of sorts. It’s full of Esther’s journal and blog entries, notes she wrote her family, doodles, and transcripts of some of her YouTube videos and instant message chats with other Nerdfighters. Her parents also contributed essays of their own to the book, including some from an online guestbook that updated friends and family on Esther’s care throughout her battle with cancer. John Green wrote the introduction to the book, and other Nerdfighters and family members wrote pieces as well.

Through all these different angles, we get a very good idea of the girl Esther was. She was funny, snarky and sarcastic, but almost always kind to those around her. The hardest parts to read were about her struggles with cancer (the medical parts as well as her fears). But the book is not all about that. We meet some of Esther’s friends, learn all about her family, and see her passion for writing. This book is not a total downer, I promise! I loved getting to know Esther and her parents through the book.

The book itself is GORGEOUS. It’s 431 pages, all in color (!!!) and printed on high quality paper. There are pictures of Esther and her family/friends on almost every page. You can tell a ton of love went into creating this book, and hopefully Esther can see it wherever she is.
I loved reading this book. It gave me a ton of insight into what it’s like to live with cancer (even more insight than TFIOS did), and I know the next time I read TFIOS I’ll have an even stronger reaction to it. I highly recommend THIS STAR WON’T GO OUT to any TFIOS fan or anyone who wants to get to know a super awesome girl named Esther. <3

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