10 July 2014

Review: This Star Won't Go Out

This Star Won't Go Out: The Life and Words of Esther Grace Earl
Publication date: January 28, 2014
Publisher: Penguin

THIS STAR WON'T GO OUT is a heartwarming collection of diary entries, journals, and thoughts revolving around a thyroid cancer victim named Esther Earl. Despite her passing in 2010, she led a life full of creativity, laughter, and Internet fame though her YouTube videos and involvement in online communities. Esther's charity has raised over $125,000 to help those in need and with the endorsement of personal friend and bestselling author John Green, she spearheaded the campaign to win a $100,000 grant that gives children around the world access to free books.

The book itself is quite interesting. Esther's diary entries are interspersed with thoughts from her family and friends, pages from her parents' blog that chronicled her illness, her drawings and school projects, and even text from her huge internet group chat known as "Catitude"-a group of intellectual young adults that worked closely with the, primarily, online movement known as "nerdfighteria". Esther was very religious and her father is a Christian minister, so the book has strong overtones of faith and belief in God, which some readers may find uncomfortable. In addition, the book is very long. This is mainly because there are so many accounts of Esther's compassion and intelligence and, while I don't doubt them, it would have been nice to read more about her specific actions. These issues, however, are easily overlooked when reading about an amazing girl whose life and death touched so many people, including me.

  • If you want to donate to Esther's charity This Star Won't Go Out, go to http://tswgo.org/donate.html 
  • Also, International Esther Day, which honors platonic love between family members and friends "like a Valentine's Day, but not for romantic love", occurs on August 3rd, so please celebrate!!!

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