This Star Won’t Go Out: The Life and Words of Esther Grace Earl
Visit the This Star Won’t Go Out foundation
Review by Lauren
copy from library; all opinions are my own
Official Summary: In full color and illustrated with art and photographs, this is a
collection of the journals, fiction, letters, and sketches of the late
Esther Grace Earl, who passed away in 2010 at the age of 16. Essays by
family and friends help to tell Esther’s story along with an
introduction by award-winning author John Green who dedicated his #1
bestselling novel The Fault in Our Stars to her.
Review: I’ll admit that I didn’t know who Esther Grace was when she was alive. I just learned about her recently via Tumblr due to the release of her book. It was put together by her parents and includes writing from them, other family members, and friends. But most of all, this is the words and thoughts and feelings of Esther. She loved to write and she desperately wanted to make a difference, despite having fatal cancer. Through reading this book I can truly say that Esther did change the world for the better and she continues to do so even now.
John Green (yes, that John Green) met Esther and her sister in person and from that moment on, John and Esther became unique friends. For Esther’s Make-a-Wish event, where she invited internet friends around the U.S. to come and visit her, John Green joined as well. His introduction truly shows how much he cared for and thought of Esther. It’s a wonderful start to Esther’s story, in her own words and others.
The book includes many excerpts from Esther’s various journals, where she documents what it’s like to be a teen girl with cancer. She notes when she’s upset or gets mad easily, but she also tries to remember the good in her life and that God is always there for her. God is a big part of Esther’s life, so if that might bother you to read about, I wouldn’t suggest this book. However, I think Esther expresses how a lot of people feel…she believes in and loves God, but she also just wants to be an ordinary teenage girl.
One of the aspects of Esther’s story that I could personally relate to are her internet friends. She doesn’t have much energy to get out much, so Esther uses blogs, Skype, Youtube, and more to share her thoughts with the world and receive feedback from others. Esther becomes part of a loving group called Catitude, who spend much of their internet time becoming best of friends. They laugh and have dumb jokes, but they also share their fears and wishes for the future. Many of the members of Catitude share their thoughts about Esther in the book and it’s wonderful to hear from them. I have been part of various “groups” on the internet, but the biggest one was an online book club that truly did change me and gave me new friends. I wouldn’t be writing this for you now if it weren’t for that club, so I can understand the wonderful nature of Catitude and other groups like it.
In the end, I’m glad that I read Esther’s story. She was a brave young woman who changed a lot of people for the better. The book might seem long, but it’s not; it’s a quick read. Definitely check it out.
Since Esther is such a fan of music, I thought it was only appropriate to share a song that I feel fits her and her story. This is one of Relient K’s songs that directly reference God; they are a Christian band, but they sing about other things too.
Relient K- “Getting Into You”
“I’m getting into you
Because you got to me, in a way words can’t describe
I’m getting into you
Because I’ve got to be
You’re essential to survive
I’m going to love you with my life”