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The Book of Essie

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  402 Ratings  ·  117 Reviews
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 phenome
Kindle Edition, 336 pages
Published June 12th 2018 by Knopf
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  • The Book of Essie by Meghan MacLean Weir
    The Book of Essie
    Release date: Jun 12, 2018
    A debut novel of family, fame, and religion that tells the emotionally stirring, wildly captivating story of the seventeen-year-old daughter of an eva ...more

    Format: Print book

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    Availability: 25 copies available, 1852 people requesting

    Giveaway dates: Jun 01 - Jun 18, 2018

    Countries available: US

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    Feb 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
    Every once in a while, a novel comes along that is both timelessly beautiful and unbelievably timely. The Book of Essie is such a story. Meghan MacLean Weir has given us a young heroine who is at once authentic and courageous — and a tale that is wonderful and mysterious and relentlessly surprising.
    Book of the Month
    Why I Love It
    by Troian Bellisario

    Alright, confession time: I am NOT a fan of reality television. I’m sorry, but I just don’t get it. So when I began reading The Book of Essie, a story about a 17-year-old woman who’s spent her whole life on a reality TV show, I was worried to say the least. Worried, that is, until I realized that this surprisingly gritty girl was actually planning to blow up the show (and her family’s image) from the inside, and she had just the plan to do it.

    Essie is the younges
    Mar 09, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Recommends it for: Lynne
    Shelves: general-fiction
    Whoa! I am not sure I know how to put into words the way I felt after reading this book. Sick to my stomach for one thing; the subject matter is highly disturbing. Yet, at the same time, there is no denying the novel is utterly riveting. My three star rating has nothing to do with the quality of writing nor the engrossing aspect of the book. Rather, I deducted points because it is so very, very unsettling.
    Certainly playing well into the times in which we live, The Book of Essie centers around a
    May 10, 2018 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
    I'm here for the rainbow holographic foil.
    Terri Suda
    I can't help but sum this up as a mosh of The Duggers and V.C. Andrews Flowers in the Attic with the tone and readability of Little Fires Everywhere. A quick read - engaging, enjoyable and unique. A good beach read!
    Katie B
    Seventeen year old Essie Hicks has grown up in front of the camera. Her religious family are the stars of the hit reality program, Six for Hicks. Essie's mother, Celia, is mortified when she finds out Essie is pregnant but she comes up with a plan so the rest of the world won't find out the awful truth. Essie though has a plan of her own and she is going to enlist the help of Roarke, a boy at school who won't give her the time of day, and Liberty, a reporter who knows what it's like to live your ...more
    Borderline 4-stars // I'm always really interested in books about cult culture.
    Mar 18, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
    I liked this well enough to keep going, but it was extremely predictable. It is an easy fast read. Nothing challenging or special about the book. Maybe even a little on the YA side. It brushes on some serious issues, but never gets deep into them. It is more on the feelings of the characters. I left the book feeling very unsatisfied. I loved Rourke but felt the author didn't give him enough voice and brushed over his issues. Without giving any spoilers, I felt the two main issues with Esse and t ...more
    May 04, 2018 rated it liked it
    Shelves: 2018, first-to-read
    I tend to stay away from books dealing with religion; however, there was something about The Book of Essie that intrigued me. I wanted to know more about Essie. I wanted to know more about her family's reality show as well as the many secrets hidden behind the scenes of the show. As it turns out, The Book of Essie was an engrossing, interesting read. I easily finished it in one day, but there were several times where I felt more plot/character development was needed.

    The Book of Essie contains t
    May 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
    This book comes out on June 12. Thanks to Beth Meister for sending me a readers copy! Really, really good!
    Jun 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
    We all know reality TV isn't real but the idea that it's not only unreal, it's down right manipulative, strategized and fake is somewhat disappointing, even if I secretly know that the way it works. No family has been ever been more "fake" on their reality show than the Hicks family, whose "Six for Hicks" show has made them millions, and famous. (I couldn't help but think of the Duggars as I read this)

    The strong willed daughter, Essie is pregnant. Just a teenager, her mother knows that this is n
    Amber Garabrandt
    May 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing


    Essie is the youngest of Pastor Hick’s children, and has lived her life on television for her family’s show Six for Hicks. It doesn’t really allow for a normal childhood or life in general. Everyone thinks they know her from the show… but they know nothing- and she’s ready to change that.

    Rourke is the handsome school athlete. Everyone likes him- he has the looks, grades, and talent. Unfortunately that won’t get him far without money- college is expensive and his parents are about to loos
    Jun 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    This is a timely story that draws on the Duggars, other religious conservative movements and culture, and the me too movement. It centers around Essie Hicks, a 17 year old pregnant reality TV star, her conservative family's solution to her situation, and her own plan to use it all to her own advantage. Part of the story is also told by a reporter named Liberty Bell, who grew up in a conservative religious movement herself, and wrote a book detailing her bigoted views when she was just a teenager ...more
    Jun 10, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
    The Book of Essie is an utterly readable book. I raced through the majority of it in one sitting and enjoyed every second of it. Meghan Maclean Weir's writing is simply, clean and easy to marathon. In other words, it's the perfect summer read.

    The Book of Essie is the story of a girl born into a megachurch/evangelical/reality tv family. When Essie discovers she's pregnant, she begins to manipulate the people around her and we watch as the cover up of her pregnancy begins to unfold exactly as Ess
    May 19, 2018 rated it liked it
    I was impressed with this debut novel from Weir. It offers a penetrating look at a glitzy pastor and his family featured on a popular TV reality show. They look all put together in front of the cameras but there are devastating secrets being hidden. Being a Christian, I was concerned how Weir would handle this topic. I think she did a fine job and I appreciate how she handled all the issues.

    Essie, the youngest in the pastor's family, is pregnant at seventeen. Similar to what I remember as a teen
    May 14, 2018 rated it liked it
    Honey Boo Boo, the Bates, Little People Big World, the chance to spy into a family a bit more average than the Kardashians has been available to us for well more than a decade now. More progressive than the Duggars, but less contentious than the Gosselins; The Book of Essie approaches the TV fundamentalist reality family in a bit of new way. The older Hicks kids have flown the coop—Caleb is planning a run for senate, but why has no one seen Lissa since she left for college years ago? Unbeknownst ...more
    Martha Owen
    Jun 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    This book is so good! Glad it was my book of the month choice. I was a little Leary about it.

    Essie’s family is much like the Duggars but her mother is more fame crazed. Essie has a secret that if it gets out would completely ruin her family. Roarke also has a secret that he could never tell anyone.

    Together Essie and Roarke along with a new friend Liberty Bell navigate their secrets to no longer hide anything.
    May 12, 2018 rated it it was ok
    I appreciated receiving a free digital copy of The Book of Essie by Meghan Mclean Weir for my honest review. I had a hard time getting interested in this story. I kept reading this book because I was curious to see if there would be a sudden twist of excitement that I wasn't expecting. Unfortunately, that never happened.

    The story deals with several different issues that several characters are separately dealing with. It was too much. I couldn't bring myself to root for any of them. Two of the ma
    Sally Stieglitz
    May 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
    The Book of Essie, Meghan MacLean Weir

    First of all, thank you to Penguin Random House for the advance copy of this book! I was immediately intrigued by the quote on the bright blue cover (why they since have changed it to artwork for the official release is unclear, but it’s much less attention grabbing now). Consequently, even before opening the book, I was captured by Essie’s story, a mix of The Scarlet Letter (yes I caught a few sly nods to Hawthorne) and reality TV, with echoes of the carefu
    May 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
    Shelves: 2018ng, kindle
    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 phenom
    May 12, 2018 rated it liked it
    What an interesting book! I'm not sure what my original curiosities were about it, but the book was not what I was expecting. It had an interesting sequence of events, some I didn't expect and some I hoped turned out different than they did. Essie is a likable character, who after basically being forced to say this or do that or conform with this for the show, pulls the strings to make her unexpected pregnancy play out the way Essie wants.

    The book is written from three different perspectives: E
    Paige Ladisic
    Jun 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
    Content warning: Rape and incest.
    Katie Harder-schauer
    I'm working on writing my review right now, but it will be posted here after it goes live on my blog. I will say that I was pleasantly surprised by the course the story took.
    May 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
    Shelves: egalleys
    I read this as an egalley from Penguin's First to Read.
    I liked this book. It looks critically at reality tv as well as extreme evangelicals. The author does a good job of including current scandals, but with a slight twist so you can't say that she is directly criticizing one particular famous family. My only criticism is that I had a hard time believing one reality tv show could last that many years. The rest of the plot was fairly plausible, though. The author does a good job of keeping the r
    May 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
    I found this to be a very interesting read. I feel it really handled the elements of this story very well. The characters of Essie and Roarke rang very true to me. The story was fast-moving and the ending completely surprised me. Great book from a new author!
    May 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
    Shelves: fiction
    I received an ARC of this novel via the First to Read Program by Penguin Random House LLC in exchange for an honest review.

    Esther Hicks is the youngest daughter of a highly popular televised evangelist. Most of her life has been publicized as part of the "Six for Hicks" reality show in which her father preaches fire and brimstone for sinners. When Essie becomes pregnant, her mother Celia works with the producers to find a solution that will both boost the show’s ratings and hide the pregnancy fr
    May 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
    I was looking over reviews on Goodreads and quite surprised that people were upset over the portrayal of religion in this book, and I don't feel that it was a portrayal of religion, rather the portrayal of Essie's experience in her family, with their particular church.
    Written in alternating points of view from Essie, her fiance, and the woman who is helping Essie to tell the story, The Book of Essie is extremely well-written while touching on some very sensitive topics.
    Growing up on television
    Melissa Rochelle
    May 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
    Shelves: read-2018, arc
    REALLY liked this one. This is so perfect for anyone that loves reality television that focuses on families. Perfect summer reading guilty pleasure kind of read.
    May 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
    Shelves: fiction, read-in-2018
    Disclaimer: I received a free ecopy via First to Read in exchange for an honest review.

    Essie's story is both sad and compelling. I liked the backdrop that she is part of this famous family due to their reality TV show because it sets the stakes high. Adding in the family's strong religious beliefs and Essie's pregnancy out of wedlock sucked me in. The writing is really good because it made me feel creeped out as more of the situation is revealed while keeping me hooked and wanting to continue re
    May 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
    received from Netgalley. High 3-4. Really enjoyed.
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