Title: This Star Won't Go Out: The Life and Words of Esther Grace Earl
Author: Esther Earl, Lori Earl, Wayne Earl, John Green
Format: Hardcover, 431 pages
Pub. Date: January 28th 2014
Source: Purchased from Half Price Books
Book Description via Goodreads:
I'm left not really knowing what to say about this book, if I'm being completely honest. I am going to keep this review as simple as I can, while still giving my opinion on the book itself not the topic of the book.
Like a lot of other readers, I picked this up after reading The Fault in Our Stars. I wasn't entirely sure what to expect. I'm not a part of the Nerdfighter community, so I had little to no information about Esther prior to this book's release. When I realized what the story was about, and saw that it was prefaced by John Green, I knew I wanted to read it.
This hardcover is really, really long. However it's not that much text. There's a lot of pictures and transcripts taken in letter or email format, making it an easier read than it appears to be. I do think it was very poorly organized as a book. This book includes a lot of Esther's writings from her journals, letters, and internet happenings. But there's no real chapters or distinctions, so one minute you're on a diary page, and the next you're reading insight from one of her doctors. I also feel like this book dragged on longer than it needed to. I feel horrible saying that, but it was just kind of boring after awhile. I know how that sounds, and I'm so sorry, but it's true. Esther was also a very religious/spiritual person, and there's heavy doses of God in this book. That's nowhere near a bad thing, but it's not something I anticipated going into the book.
Honestly, Esther seems like she was a great person. She comes off as very kind and optimistic, and everyone certainly seemed to love her right until the end. And I think that's great that, as the title suggests, their star won't go out. I hope she inspires sick kids everywhere to be positive and to keep fighting and keep smiling.
I've read quite a few cancer memoirs, and because of that I can't say this book really taught me anything. That said, it was interesting to see cancer through a kid's perspective. Sad, of course. But interesting nonetheless.
I think that this book (already does) will gain lots of fans who will find inspiration and solace in the words and life of Esther Earl. I think it is worth reading once. However, I don't think I will be rereading it in the future, and I don't know that I will remember this book further down the road.
It's not you, book. It's me.