Monday, July 14, 2014

A Review of 'This Star Won't Go Out' by Esther Earl (with Lori and Wayne Earl)

"Diagnosed with thyroid cancer at age twelve, Esther (Persian for 'Star') Earl was an exceptionally bright and talented-- but very normal-- teenager.  She lived a hope-filled and generous, outwardly focused life as she navigated her physical decline with grace.  A cheerful, positive, and encouraging daughter, sister, and friend, Esther died in 2010, shortly after turning sixteen, but not before inspiring thousands through her growing online presence.

This unique memoir collects Esther's journals, fiction, letters, and sketches.  Photographs and 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 international bestseller The Fault in Our Stars to her."

If you're a Nerdfighter, you'll probably have at least heard about Esther Earl.  Both John and Hank Green mention her quite a few times and have tried to decrease world suck partially because of Esther.

This girl led an interesting and hard life in her sixteen years.  She traveled around the world for a lot of her life, which I thought was exciting.  She also kept diaries throughout her life, documenting changes in herself, her thoughts, her feelings, etc.  I love reading things in diary format.  I feels like the person who wrote them wrote them for you, the reader.

As Esther went through treatments for her thyroid cancer, she'd write about death and also about how it is to be alive now.  She's honest though.  Not every day is hunky-dory, but not every day is horrible and awful either.  She talks about herself in the context of her family and about her friends.  She worries about them as she slowly dies.

I love that Esther's writing is complimented by her family via short essays and remarks about their daughter and sister's life, her friends via online chat transcripts and also short essays and remarks of their own.  It's good to hear about what Esther thought and felt and she's unbelievably bright, but it's something else entirely to hear about what it's like to be close to Esther and to go through these awful changes and experiences with her.

By the end of the book, I was in tears.  Big, bulging tears.  I was reading Esther's father's testimonial and her parents' Caring Bridge updates and I just couldn't take it.  I can't even imagine losing a child, even at this point in my life when I don't have children of my own.  We can get a glimpse of what this would be like, but we can never fully know.  And that's hard, especially if you want to say something.  What do you say to the parents of an amazing girl whose time came much too early?

I highly recommend this book.

I give 'This Star Won't Go Out':
Thanks for Reading!


No comments:

Post a Comment

I love your comments! Comment away!