Saturday, April 19, 2014

This Star Won't Go Out by Esther Earl...

Title- This Star Won't Go Out.
Author- Esther Earl, with Lori and Wayne Earl.
Publish date- 29th April, 2014.
Publisher- Penguin Books Australia.
RRP: $19.99


Review time...

(A brief) Synopsis:
This is the story of Esther Earl, a bright young woman who was diagnosed with thyroid cancer when she was twelve and, a woman who strove for others to be happy and was endlessly caring. It includes journal entries, personal writing, and words from family and friends.

What I thought:

I believe the first time I heard about Esther Earl was when John Green made a vlogbrothers video commemorating her life and death; gradually I learnt more about her, watched her videos, grew to have an understanding of the foundation started in her name, and I felt a severe loss. I felt the loss of this incredible young woman and the brightness she bought to life.

Reading This Star Won’t Go Out was many things- difficult, amusing and painful, to name a few- but one of the things I can say I feel now, after having finished it, is happiness. I’m very glad that this book was published, that it felt as if I got to know Esther for a time through her words, and that, even if it had to be posthumously, she had her work published.

This was certainly a perspective altering read, one that made me look at life and the joys, turmoils, of it more clearly, simply. Reading of Esther and her love, seemingly so abundant, her gratitude, it was a very powerful experience and one that certainly made me think.

This book is comprised, mostly, of journal entries and letters by Esther, and updates on her health by her parents, recounts from people who cared for her; there wasn’t so much of Esther’s own work as I had anticipated and I didn’t quite realise how it was, almost, a story of her life- I didn’t anticipate how much it would be about her life, instead thought it would be more highly comprised of snippets of her writing, and I was a little disappointed by that. Indeed, there was many a time I wondered if there would be any of Esther’s fiction, which I had believed there would- turns out there was some, a few excerpts at the back, but I would really have liked to see more of her work in that vein.

This Star Won’t go Out wasn’t what I expected and I couldn’t help but be disappointed by this, though the story I got still held me fast; even though it contained much of Esther’s life written in her own words, it did feel, at times painfully, life a recount of her final years (this due to the health updates, essays from friends) and at other times a tribute, and those were the factors that made me like it less.

Rating- Switching between Hmm... and Excellent.
I’m pleased to have read this- very saddened, but glad, at least, that I was able to learn more, understand at least a little the incredible young woman I had watched the videos  of; in the style of writing, the way it was put together, I sometimes felt irked, but overall… overall I felt more things than I could name.

Thank you to Penguin Books Australia for this review copy!


  1. Amusing and painful sounds like the book that came from this-The Fault in Our Stars. I like the idea of learning more about the real life story although the lack of Esther would confuse me as well, especially with the marketing of this one. Hmm. Glad you liked it overall!

    1. I might've not phrased it so clearly- there wans't a lack of Esther, I'd say at least half was from her, though perhaps a little under, but the fact there was hardly any of her fiction startled me.
      I'd like to hear your thoughts on it, if you read it, Alise!


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