In case you’ve been living on the moon for the past two years, The Fault in Our Stars is a wildly popular YA novel by John Green about two teenagers, Hazel and Augustus, who are living with cancer and falling for each other. It explores the awkwardness of young love, the “side effects” of dying, and the meaning (if there is any) of life. I first read TFiOS when it was published over two years ago, but I never wrote a review on it. With the movie adaptation coming out in less than a week, I decided to re-read the book and write down my thoughts on it.
I recently read Esther Earl’s posthumous book, This Star Won’t Go Out, and it definitely affected my re-read of TFiOS. TFiOS is dedicated to Esther, who died of cancer as a teenager and was friends with John Green. Her book is a compilation of letters and journal entries, which chronicle many of the same fears that Hazel and Gus struggle with in TFiOS. Esther was afraid of dying without having made a difference in the world, and Gus, similarly, is afraid of oblivion. Hazel worries what will happen to her parents after she dies, and much of Esther’s writing is concerned with how her illness affects her family. Hazel is clearly not Esther, as John Green has continually said, but the book is definitely inspired by her spirit and a tribute to her life.
I never got to meet Esther Earl, but I feel like I just spent the past few days with her. Esther was an enthusiastic and loving girl who passed away from thyroid cancer at the age of 16. Before she died, she inspired people everywhere to make the world more awesome. One of these people was the author John Green, who wrote The Fault in Our Stars in her memory.
Esther dreamed of becoming a published author, and at the beginning of 2014 she finally got her wish posthumously. After being diagnosed with cancer, this strong girl decided to write extensively about her feelings. Her parents compiled Esther’s journal entries, letters, blog posts, and drawings into a book called This Star Won’t Go Out. It’s a very special book, and I’m going to try and explain why it was so touching.
After writing my 30-Day Book Challenge post about Bridge to Terabithia on Friday, it’s tempting to just use that book again for today’s post. But there are several other books that have brought me to tears, so instead I have chosen to write about one that has been very popular and will soon be a movie: The Fault in Our Stars.
Recently I won a $100 gift card for Penguin books, which is about the greatest thing that can happen to a book nerd like me. I didn’t have a hard time finding books to spend the money on, but now the hard part is choosing which book to read first! Here are my options:
1. The New York Trilogy by Paul Auster
2. Orkneyinga Saga (I’m a nerd for Viking history)
3. The Time Machine and The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells
4. The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson
5. Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
6. The Madness Underneath by Maureen Johnson (sequel to The Name of the Star)
7. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
8. This Star Won’t Go Out by the late Esther Earl and her parents.
Are there any books on this list you would particularly recommend? Or any that you would like to see me read and review? Let me know below!