This Star Won't Go Out by Esther Earl

Thursday, April 10, 2014

I am not sure how to begin this "review," if I could even call it that. If you don't know who Esther Earl is first of all, she was a fellow nerdfighter who inspired so many people in (and outside) the  nerdfighter and Harry Potter community. She was diagnosed with metastasized papillary thyroid cancer in 2006. She died in 2010. She was 16.

This Star Won't Go Out is a collection of her journal entries gathered from her physical journals as well as her online entries. It also has words, letters, and testimonials from her family, friends (both 'in real life' and on the internet). It has doodles, drawings, and photos.

She meant so much to the community and to so many people that John Green's The Fault in Our Stars, though it is not about her, is dedicated to her and her short but amazingly meaningful life. 

I read this book out loud to someone, who has never heard of Esther Earl and isn't as familiar with nerdfighteria. But let me tell you this: it was hard for him to listen to this book because of how emotional it is, and it was incredibly difficult for me to keep my emotions in check. The whole time I was reading, I was on the edge and just wanted to start bawling. My chest was  so tight as I read; I couldn't help but think about how life can be cruel and unfair sometimes. Yet, I also couldn't help but feel amazed and inspired at how a young person can do so much in the short amount of time she had. If there's one thing I know for sure, Esther is so alive in this book, and I felt every word she wrote. 

I also couldn't help but laugh at times. She was funny, light-hearted, positive, and so enthusiastic about life. She was also mature and smart beyond her years. 
I read this in one sitting, and read several parts again in the next few days. All I have to say is I've always been amazed at her story, but more so after reading this. She will always be a special one, and having the opportunity to read her words, as well as her loved ones', was so special. 


  1. I'm so glad you reviewed this. I've been both wanting to read it and nervous about it because of the very reasons you mentioned. If TFIOS made me cry I can't imagine how much more heartbreaking this one will be. I know I'll read it though.

  2. I'm glad to finally read a review of this one. I bawled like a baby reading TFIOS - and that was fiction. I feel like I'll read this one when my prego hormones are more in balance ;) lovely review, girl!

    1. I am actually going to reread TFIOS just in time for the movie coming out! :)