The Book of Essie

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Member Reviews

Thanks to NetGalley and Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group for a digital ARC copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

WARNING THIS REVIEW HAS SPOILERS.

Skip this one. Teenagers probably relate to it, but it mostly is a mishmash of stories pulled straight from the news--a radical group takes over a national park; a televangelist makes hoards of many off duped followers; a family is followed by reality show cameras; a famous family with dark secrets of molestation; camps designed to "cure" ; and, for good measure, a guest appearance by the Afghanistan girl who was shot by the Taliban. Mix them all together, and this book is written.

The characters are all too good and...

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Follow Essie Hicks, teen star of the reality star Six for Hicks, which details the daily life of her conservative, Christian family. The fabric of the show is disrupted when the family discovers Essie is pregnant. Essie’s mother tries to decide how to spin the story. Meanwhile, Essie uncovers her family’s secrets and works to break free.
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Thanks to NetGalley and Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group for a digital ARC copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

In the way of the Duggars, a reality TV family famous for their ultra-conservative views & ever-expanding brood, The Book of Essie tells the story of a televangelist’s family who is famous for broadcasting their lives on a reality TV show, Six for Hicks, for over two decades, and the subsequent aftermath when the baby of the family, Essie Hicks falls pregnant at the age of 17.

A pregnancy scandal like this could ruin the carefully planned and plotted lives of the Hicks, who have become extremely wealthy and famous by promoting the word of God and putting...

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So so good. I guessed the climactic secret midway through - but that did not detract from its power.
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This story could have been ripped from the headlines! Finally, after years of living in the glare of her family's reality TV show, Essie takes control of her life. She's in a terrible predicament and hasn't seen the big sister she adores for years. Why has she cut off all contact with her family? With no one to turn to, Essie's on her own and with everything at stake, she's got one chance for freedom and a future. Meagan MacLean Weir reveals the complexity of Essie in tantalizing layers and nothing is as it seems. It's a delight to unravel the depth of this character. It's not just the spellbinding story - you want to finish the book because Essie's journey is inspiring and brave.
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Everything you have always wanted to know about a televangelist and his family is in this book.  It shows the true human side - the family is not as perfect as the picture presented on tv, hopefully not all of them are this bad.  Poor Essie is pregnant - and NOT married.  The trials and tribulations her mother goes through to get the job done just to protect the family name are simply beyond words.  Essie has a secret however and manages to blast the whole family apart.  She creates a new family for herself - one far superior to her birth one.   Well-done Essie!
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The Book of Essie is a very compelling story that pulls together many timely topics. Teenage Essie is a smart, relatable young woman who deals with pregnancy, family and friendship while living on the set, so to speak, of her family’s reality TV show. This is a quick read, yet tough issues are not oversimplified. Recommended for both adults and teens.
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Well paced and very readable, The Book of Essie offers a behind-the-scenes look at contemporary celebrity reality TV world. A coming of age story that is also a story of female empowerment and friendship, The Book of Essie touches on filial allegiance, family dynamics, sexual violence and the redeeming power of bearing witness.
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I received an ARC of this novel from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I was rooting for Essie and heartbroken for Libby and Lissa.  Rourke is perfectly flawed and is the true hero of the story.. 

 This novel is so timely in light of our reality television fixation--it left me wondering what will become of the children who are brought into that sort of fishbowl existence.
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I spend through this book...it sucked me in and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Definitely tackles a multitude of difficult issues but in a way that relates.well to recent events.
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I received a DIGITAL Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. From the publisher ---

A debut novel of family, fame, and religion that tells the emotionally stirring, wildly captivating story of the seventeen-year-old daughter of an evangelical preacher, star of the family's hit reality show, and the secret pregnancy that threatens to blow their entire world apart.

Esther Ann Hicks--Essie--is the youngest child on Six for Hicks, a reality television phenomenon. She's grown up in the spotlight, both idolized and despised for her family's fire-and-brimstone brand of faith. When Essie's mother, Celia, discovers that...

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I could not put this book down, but I do have to say that it was a bit predictable. I would recommend it though.
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Thank you NetGalley for providing an ARC in return for my unbiased review. 

I picked up this book thinking it would be a popcorn read - a "torn from the headlines" title from the world of reality television. It did not disappoint. Though it feels a little preachy at the end, and the mystery is not difficult to solve, it was an enjoyable read and I look forward to reading other titles by Weir in future. I will recommend to patrons who enjoy topical novels with heart.
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I was excited to read this book based on the blurb alone.  With today's current celebrity reality climate, it seemed fitting to read something that deals with some of the social issues we face today.  It is very poignant and speaks to today's #metoo movement.  I was rooting for Essie and secretly hoping she was going to be strong and take on the establishment.  What a strong, courageous character.
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The Book of Essie is a great summer read. It brings hypothetical dirt from behind the scenes of reality TV shows we love to hate.
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Absolutely amazing. I loved Essie and Roarke. What a story of strength and triumph!
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Essie is the youngest child on a reality television show featuring her family's religious life. When Essie realizes that she is pregnant, she manipulates her mother into arranging a marriage to a gay boy from her high school that she barely knows. Everything Essie does, including contacting her sister who ran away years ago, is to secure her freedom from her oppressive family. In order to tell her story, Essie reaches out to Liberty, a journalist with a past just as crazy as Essie's.

My biggest complaint about this book is that the author really tried to tell two stories, Essie's and Liberty's. She had them both unravel at the same pace and reveal at the same pace...

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