Engaging Methuen Readers

Fault in Our Stars/This Star Won't Go Out

Real Life vs. Fiction: “This Star Won’t Go Out” & “The Fault in Our Stars”

This book review is by our teen contributor, Abigail.

This Star Won’t Go Out is a biography/autobiography/memoir that follows Esther Grace Earl on her battle through an extremely rare case of Childhood Thyroid Cancer. Esther was a young “Nerdfighter,” someone who is a fan of John and Hank Green’s YouTube channel “Vlogbrothers.” She was also an avid writer, and an active member of the Harry Potter Alliance (HPA).

“She loved words, felt their power, and believed in the magic of story.”


Since this book speaks for itself (5 out of 5 stars, obviously), I’ve included my comparison of John Green’s character Hazel Grace, from The Fault in Our Stars, and Esther Earl.

TFiOS’s main protagonist is 17 year-old Hazel Grace Lancaster, a thyroid cancer patient with nodes in her lungs. According to John, Hazel’s story is very much inspired by Esther Earl, a 16 year-old who passed away from the same cancer Hazel has. Even though John has said previously that Hazel’s story is NOT Esther’s, I still see a lot in common between these two beautiful women:

  1. Both are TOTAL fangirls (like me!)- Esther was a complete Harry Potter fan, and was even an active member of the HPA (Harry Potter Alliance). Hazel was obsessed with a fictional book named An Imperial Affliction, and was so taken over by it that her boyfriend, Augustus Waters (a cancer patient in remission), gave up his dying wish to Hazel (who had spent her wish on Disney World pre “miracle”) so that she could go to Amsterdam to meet the author!
  1. Both women were very “daring” and strong. Even though Esther was dying, she lived life to the fullest and was optimistic until the very end. Hazel, although she was down half a lung, climbed every single staircase and ladder at the Anne Frank House. Even though it is not touched upon in the book, I truly believe that the reason she insisted on doing so was because she didn’t want to waste “their” wish. Her favorite (fictional) author, Peter Van Houten, ended up not being very hospitable, and so they left his home. Feeling very regretful about “tricking” them into coming to meet Peter (by pretending to be him in emails), his assistant suggests that they go to the Anne Frank House. So, they do. Since there isn’t an elevator, she must climb up several flights of steps and a ladder to get to the top floor. And she does. Yay for determination!!!

There is also many more things they have in common, but this list would drag on and on and on…yeah. So, those are some important traits that Esther and Hazel have in common.

If you would like to check out the This Star Won’t Go Out Foundation, click HERE!!!


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