Esther Grace Earl was the inspiration for John Green's The Fault in Our Stars. That's certainly what drew me to this book. But that's not what kept me...moreEsther Grace Earl was the inspiration for John Green's The Fault in Our Stars. That's certainly what drew me to this book. But that's not what kept me reading.
Esther Grace ("Star") was diagnosed with thyroid cancer when she was just 13. This diagnosis not only changed her life, but changed the lives of her entire family. Throughout her illness, she found strength and comfort in her family, but also in an online community of Harry Potter and John Green fans. Her videos on YouTube and her blogs about her life and her pursuit of living in spite of the odds became instantly popular. This book is a compilation of her writing and art and the writings of family, friends, and acquaintances that became part of her life.
Although we all know the outcome (the illness took her at age 16) there is an overall feeling of hope, laughter, and joy. Filled with drawings and anecdotes that sometimes elicit laughter and sometimes tears from Esther's writings and those of her friends and family, this is a great book!
If you are a fan of Green's or just want to read something uplifting, this book is a must. We all have challenges, but it's how we deal with them and what we do in life to make an impact on others that counts. Esther Grace Earl's star won't go out as long as there are Nerdfighters or Wizard Rock, or Harry Potter Alliance members, or the TSWGO foundation. This book doubly ensures that her spirit will live on. (less)
After all the hype and excessively positive interviews and an amazingly low price for the Kindle version, I decided to purchase this book.
The beginni...moreAfter all the hype and excessively positive interviews and an amazingly low price for the Kindle version, I decided to purchase this book.
The beginning was AMAZING! interesting, beautifully written and shocking! The ending was equally wonderful. Through the middle of the book, however, I began to lose interest and had to force myself to continue. I'm so glad I did.
When a young man loses his mother in an act of terrorism, he does something impulsive that will have a lifelong impact. The story follows Theo from New York to Las Vegas and back over 20 years of sorrow, longing, anxiety, and everyday life. There are twists and turns, moments of hilarity and great sadness. Just what you want in a good novel.
In a near future USA, the Spore War has killed all the middle-aged people, leaving only "Starters" -- teens and younger -- and "Enders" -- the elderly...moreIn a near future USA, the Spore War has killed all the middle-aged people, leaving only "Starters" -- teens and younger -- and "Enders" -- the elderly. Because of advances in medical care, people are living longer (well over 100, even 200 years!) and laws have changed to accommodate that. Teens are forbidden to work until age 19 so there are jobs for older people. "Unclaimed minors" (minor children without parents/grandparents) are relegated to the streets to survive, camping out in empty office buildings and gathering food wherever it can be found.
One solution for both Starters and Enders -- young people can rent their bodies to older people. Via technological advances and thanks to implanted microchips, older people can rent the body of a teenager to experience all the things that their mature bodies can no longer do.
This is the story of one of those teens. Callie longs for enough money to get medical help and a real home for her and her brother, so she goes to the "body bank" to rent her body for a few weeks. Little does she know that this will lead her to an adventure that threatens her life and allows her to uncover the real truth behind Prime Destinations (the body bank). It's a fast paced story with lots of twists and turns. Compared to The Hunger Games because of the dystopian setting and teen drama, but this is truly a different story. The audiobook is read by a wonderfully cast young woman whose voice adds to the suspense and drama.
One complaint -- there are many moments of introspection. Callie spends a great deal of time worrying over her choices and sometimes the story drags...we get it, she's conflicted! This can get tiresome. The worst moment -- when near the climax the author inexplicably decides to retell the story in several paragraphs. I thought this was unnecessary. I had just read (or in my case listened to) the book up to that point, no need to reiterate the tale. Just move on.