Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Review: This Star Won't Go Out by Esther Earl with Lori and Wayne Earl

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.

For starters, I hugely hesitate to call this a review, as I don't think a book like this can or should be reviewed in the traditional sense.

For those of you unfamiliar, Esther Grace Earl was a girl that many people loved. She was a nerdfighter, vlogger, member of the Harry Potter Alliance, and all-around amazing person. She also had thyroid cancer.

Esther is most famous for being the girl to whom John Green's book The Fault in Our Stars is dedicated. While The Fault in Our Stars is not Esther's story, her friendship with John did inspire him to write the book in many ways.

Esther died on August 25, 2010. This Star Won't Go Out, a book for which I've eagerly awaited, is her story. The book is a compilation of journal entries, accounts from her parents and friends, Caringbridge posts documenting her illness, her artwork, photos, and snippets from her unfinished works of fiction.

I won't lie to you, I sobbed through the majority of this book. Although I never knew Esther personally, I was and am, like I know so many others are, inspired by her. I remember the day I logged on to the internet, watched a Vlogbrothers video, and found out that she had passed. Even not knowing her, it is obvious to any witness of her friends, and now her words, that Esther was an incredibly special soul.

This book is a beautiful tribute to her life. She continues to inspire people, and as long as we keep her legacy alive, she always will.

Along with her book, Esther's parents run the This Star Won't Go Out non-profit organization, which helps families with the medical costs of children with cancer. You can donate directly at tswgo.org, or buy a This Star Won't Go Out wristband at DFTBA.com -- the proceeds go to the organization.

I hope you'll read this amazing book, and keep Esther's passion for loving others alive.


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