This Star Won’t Go Out : Book club discussion questions

This Star Won’t Go Out is a series of journal entries and  This star won't go out coverother writings by Esther Earl, a teenager who died of thyroid cancer. The book is about her opinions, and frustrations, and doesn’t fall into the easy cliches of writing about the ill. It’s a short, but deep, read, and I hope you find it as worthwhile as I did.

Our book club discussion questions contain spoilers.

Discussion questions:

  • What do you think of Esther’s writing? How do you connect with it?
  • The members of Catitude write about how some people say internet friendships are not real friendships, but that theirs are deeply meaningful. How did they form a community with such deep bonds?
  • The book has a tension between marking Esther as exceptional, and demanding that sick people not be defined as a moral lesson for the well. How well do you think the book negotiates this problem?
  • Is Esther’s joyousness in the face of her cancer childish? Why?
  • Esther Day, which is a custom in Esther’s web community, is a day for telling people that you love them. Who do you (non-romantically) love, and do they know?
  • John Green’s best-selling novel The Fault in Our Stars is not about Esther’s life, but his writing was strongly affected by his friendship with Esther. Can you trace any connections between the works?

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