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This Star Won't Go Out: The Life and Words of Esther Grace Earl Hardcover – Unabridged, January 28, 2014
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From School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up—Through letters, journal entries, blog posts, stories, poems, and drawings, readers get to know the life and times of Esther Grace Earl, the young woman to whom John Green dedicated The Fault in Our Stars (Penguin, 2012). Although she died from cancer in 2010 at only 16, Esther (known affectionately as "Star" by her family) was a prolific writer, a "nerdfighter," a "Harry Potter" enthusiast, and a deeply spiritual person. She inspired—and continues to inspire—several online communities and a dedicated Internet fan base. This unique title will be appreciated by fans of John Green and those looking for an uplifting and emotional tear-jerker.—Kiera Parrott, School Library Journal
Esther was 16 when she died from complications of thyroid cancer in 2010. By that time, she’d become a fixture among the Nerdfighters, a community dedicated to intellectualism and creativity, created by YA author John Green and his brother, composer Hank Green, via their popular YouTube channel, the Vlogbrothers. She loved Harry Potter–themed “wizard” rock music and Doctor Who, and she was part of Catitude, a group that ran the Project for Awesome, a Nerdfighter charity campaign. John Green dedicated The Fault in Our Stars (2012) to Esther, and in his introduction to this memoir, he notes that while he’s proud of Fault’s success, “the one person I most want to read it never will.” Featuring essays from friends, family, and doctors and curated by her parents, this collection—part autobiography, portfolio of her fiction and drawings, and photo album—is a touching eulogy, and it fulfills her dream to be an author. An intimate portrait of a vibrant, deeply engaged teen, this title reveals the power of the internet as a mode for connection, which comes through with each reproduced chat session and blog post. As the Nerdfighters say, rest in awesome, Esther. Grades 7-12. --Courtney Jones
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Apart from that, the book is written competently for being a teenager's journal, and goes through Esther's struggles and where she draws hope and courage from in the face of her cancer. A lot of the book is her personal journal and it feels really weird reading it, even with her parents's blessing. I wish I could cut out the preachy parts and it would be that much more of a heartfelt and emotional book.
I will hardcore admit to the fact that I struggled with this book in the beginning. The book was AMAZING, however the sheer amount of religious talk in the first 200 pages is almost too much to deal with. I've read books that I've loved (The Fault In Our Stars is my prime subject) in four hours, cover to cover (I've since read the book 9 times in a year). I used to follow Esther a little bit (I wasn't aware of Nerdfighteria at the time), so I knew I wanted this book the day it was announced. The plan was to finish my classes for the day, sit on my bed and read it cover to cover just like TFIoS. However I got 50 pages in before I had to take a break. I'd read 3 or 4 pages after, get to an overly religious page and need to stop for a little while.
Eventually I hit page 200, and from there it was way easier to read, I finished the last 230 pages in one sitting (stopping only to cry a few times). even the eulogy had very little religious talk in it.
Esther was an amazing teenager, and I'm glad I eventually stuck through it.
Just get to page 198 and it's a totally different book!
Plus, The book is printed on very nice paper, and OMG pictures! so many pictures!
READ THIS BOOK!
I purchased the Kindle version for myself and a hardcover to send to my niece. That same day, I happened to catch a blurb about Amazon's whispersync and how it's Amazon's best kept secret, allowing readers to flip seamlessly between reading and listening to purchased books. I went back and sure enough, I was able to add whispersync to my purchase. I'm so glad I did. Listening to this book added an extra layer of texture - the narration was perfect, particularly the voice given to Esther by narrator Cristina Panfilio, and I loved that the other voices, for example her parents' were their own.
Any review or discussion of this book is probably best done in the format of a book club, because it's impossible to capture the many layers of awesomeness that this little girl gave to the world...But, I will say, that perhaps the scene that hangs in the back of my mind and stays with me the most, the scene has tugged at my heartstrings as a mom - is the scene in the airport, where 7 year old Esther, after lugging her suitcase through the airport and being scolded by her dad for being whiny, breaks down in the bathroom, leaves, and then returns to be embraced by her sister --the line that plays in my mind is that the embrace by her sister "felt so good." I loved that she let herself be held. In fact, I loved so much the relationships this little girl forged with her siblings and her parents, all so different, and all so real.
Most recent customer reviews
I'm always late to the party. I wish I would have known this girl IRL. I know I would have loved her.Read more