Esther Grace Earl was an exceptional teenager. She was a kind, thoughtful, and generous Nerdfighter who managed to bring out the best in herself and the people around her while simultaneously battling thyroid cancer. Esther bravely endured lengthy and painful treatments with the hope that she could live long enough to “make a difference, to help someone.” Well, she definitely succeeded. Not only did she inspire people while she was alive, but her legacy continues via a charity called This Star Won’t Go Out.
This book is a collection of Esther’s blog posts, letters to her family, CaringBridge entries from her family, and reflections from people who knew her, interspersed with photos. There is an introduction by John Green, which explains how he met Esther and the role she played in inspiring him while he wrote The Fault in Our Stars. I found it difficult to read this story because I found myself getting depressed and angry about the unfairness of it all. How can there be healthy “bad people” in the world while innocent children and teens die from cancer?!? As I finished the book, and I came to the section where Esther’s parents recalled her final words and moments, I couldn’t help but sob. Thankfully, there was a small samples of stories Esther had written to lighten the mood at the end of the book.