This past week, I read all 431 pages of This Star Won’t Go Out: The Life and Words of Esther Grace Earl by none other than John Green. This book, I will say, really amazed me. I think I have a new favorite author! But, enough about me.
Esther Grace Earl was diagnosed at age twelve with thyroid cancer and lived with it for four years. Because of her cancer, she spent most of her childhood/teenage years in her bed. She enjoyed writing in her journals. Sometimes, she would get upset and anxious because she feels as if she isn’t doing enough to help others, despite being sick and confined to her bed because of her sickness. Esther’s character really attracted me because of her selflessness. Although she was sick, she didn’t use that as a crutch to keep her from helping others. She put her ailment aside and put others first. At the end of her life, she became a famous internet celebrity among “nerdfighters”. Nerdfighters were people who dedicated to “increasing awesome and decreasing ‘worldsuck'”, including John and Hank Green, the author and his brother. They encourage curiosity and compassion for others. Nerdfighters who had never met Esther blew up her social media accounts with love messages.
***SPOILER ALERT***, she died. And all the nerdfighters were very sad. What I found most interesting about this book was the way Esther’s character was portrayed. She wasn’t a depressed cancer patient all the time. She was portrayed as a ray of sunshine who valued love and compassion. In her journal entries, she desperately hopes to be seen as a human being, not a cancer patient, which was the best part of the book, IMO. I would definitely recommend this book. 5 stars from me.
“Just be happy, and if you can’t be happy, do things that make you happy. Or do nothing with the people that make you happy.”