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The Book of Essie

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3.93  ·  Rating details ·  22,172 ratings  ·  2,878 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
...more
Kindle Edition, 336 pages
Published June 12th 2018 by Knopf
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Faith Ryan I actually really liked Liberty's perspective. Real-life versions of her (or the young her) drive me insane, but I found her backstory so fascinating…moreI actually really liked Liberty's perspective. Real-life versions of her (or the young her) drive me insane, but I found her backstory so fascinating that I was disappointed that we didn't see more of it. I will say that I was really furious when she basically convinced Esther not to publish her book for fear of hurting others. But, having finished the book, I liked that her perspective was there to contrast Esther's final decision. In Esther's shoes, I probably never would have considered anyone else's pain but my own, and while I think she did the right thing, I do appreciate in retrospect that Libby was allowed to have her say as well.(less)
Carrie A
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)

Community Reviews

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Average rating 3.93  · 
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 ·  22,172 ratings  ·  2,878 reviews


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Larry H
Jun 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars, rounded up.

Praise the lord!

How quick we are to judge people, even if (or especially) when we don't know them. This is even more the case where celebrities are concerned—we think we know the people we see on television or read about in magazines, yet quite often they're far more complex, and their lives are more complicated than we could ever imagine.

Esther "Essie" Hicks has spent nearly every minute of her life in the public eye. Her family has been a reality show staple with Six for
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Lola
TRIGGER WARNING – Abuse.

For a long time, I didn’t read stories with religious themes. Not because I was prejudiced against them. On the contrary, I tried a few when I was a teen, and they seemed too ‘‘preachy’’ for me.

So because I had bad experiences with those, I thought the theme was just, well, not for me. Little did I know, not all books exploring similar themes and topics read the same way and include the same content.

In this case, for instance, while Essie’s family is religious – clearly,
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Meredith B.  (readingwithmere)
4.5 Stars!

I finally finished another BOTM book in the same month I got it! I read this as a buddy read with the #essiebuddies on Instagram and it's really sparked some great stories and outlooks on mega churches and religious experiences!

Essie is a seventeen year old girl. Her father is a Preacher in a Mega Church and her family are stars of the show Six for Hicks (Think Duggars but not as many kids). Essie is the youngest of the bunch. The family has one persona on the TV that people either
...more
Maxwell
Jun 21, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018, botm, i-own-it
[3.5 stars]
I thought this book was very addictive, especially towards the beginning. The premise alone is very intriguing and I really wanted to know what was going to happen. But after about the 2/3 mark of the story, it kind of went exactly where I was expecting, and by the end I was slightly underwhelmed. In the beginning I was hoping for some big twist or some unexpected element that would have pushed this to a 4 or even 5 star book, but I could see once I got farther in that it was going to
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Chris
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.
Jenna
This should be called The Book of Excess. It has every, and I mean EVERY, major YA novel and/or After School Special type of melodramatic plot point going on, all stuffed into a mere 300ish pages and distributed between three different characters/narrators. It’s like a relentless BOGO blowout sale on teen tragedy. And the teens all suffer from a kind of Dawson’s Creek syndrome in that they are way wiser than ever possible beyond their years or their experience in a tiny and extremely ...more
Vanessa
Jul 10, 2018 rated it liked it
Interesting concept, I did enjoy the idea of the book better than the execution. It had all the makings for an excellent read. However I did not fully buy into the characters and storyline, it was all too contrived, with too many themes thrown at you, it was hard to care about the main issue which was a pretty big deal and a major whammy which should have felt like a pivotal moment, instead it felt like it was barely addressed. I should have felt rage and anger but instead I felt nothing. I felt ...more
JanB
Jul 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Essie has been living her entire life under the glare of TV cameras. She’s the youngest of 6 kids on a reality TV show called 'Six for Hicks'. Her father is an evangelical minister and her mother is the woman behind the man, a devout and demure wife and mother. At least in front of the camera.

The only problem is little of what the public sees on TV is real. And now 17 year old Essie is pregnant and their public image (and sole means of their considerable wealth) is threatened, unless a plan can
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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
...more
Carol (Bookaria)
Sep 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
There is something about the prelude to imminent scandal that hooks me to a novel.

Only in books though since I don't watch much TV or have an interest in real-life drama.The fact remains that I did not expect to be so drawn into this story as I was!

Esther Hicks (or Essie) becomes pregnant at seventeen. She is the daughter of a well-known evangelical preacher and has grown up under the scrutiny of the media due to her parents' successful TV show Six for Hicks.

This was an interesting and
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Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)
This was an extremely addicting story that covered a lot of really heavy topics (tw: sexual assault, teen pregnancy, abuse, religion), but honestly overall it felt like TOO MUCH was happening. I’d definitely say it’s worth a read if the subject matter interests you, but I personally didn’t get a lot out of this one.
Helene Jeppesen
Aug 02, 2018 rated it liked it
To begin with, this book intrigued me because it comes with a really special and time-equivalent plot: We follow a religious, American family who are also starring in their own, national reality tv show. The contrast between the religious , unmaterialistic life and the glittery reality life is highlighted from the beginning when Essie, the protagonist, is listening in on her mother having a discussion with the producer about Essie’s pregnancy and what to do with it.
But I didn’t much like how
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Kelli
Sep 28, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya
For its gorgeous cover and fascinating author profile, this book took me forever to finish. What started out as simply compelling devolved into a convoluted slog. There were so (too?!) many important issues present in this story that deserved more complex exploration than they were given. These were life-changing issues, yet a lack of character depth made it difficult for me to form a connection with anyone. There were also some unanswered questions and an element of predictably. Disappointing ...more
Elyse  Walters
Dec 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A family in the spotlight..... the ultimate - reality TV. I don’t even watch these type of shows ... “Big Brother?”.... but it doesn’t matter if the reader is a fan or not!

Addictive page turning from start to finish - it has everything one could ask for from a contemporary fiction novel. It’s SO GOOD!!!!!!
Great characters, excellent engaging points of views, terrific storyline, with many thought-provoking issues.

When a mother - Celia - plans to engineer an arranged marriage for her 17 year old
...more
Marie
I'm here for the rainbow holographic foil.
Marialyce
Oct 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
4.5 illusion is on the outside while reality is what is within stars
My reviews can be seen here: https://yayareadslotsofbooks.wordpres...

Essie is the daughter of a powerful rich family who make their fortune through the use of reality TV, featuring a religious theme. She and her siblings are constantly in the spotlight, giving up their lives to the eyes of the viewing public. They are controlled, given no free choice, and are literally pawns of the concept of money, superiority and supremacy.
...more
Ann Marie (Lit·Wit·Wine·Dine)
I enjoyed this book though I didn’t find it to be as “special” as I’d hoped. Full review to follow.
Brenda
Jun 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: giveaway-win
A solid debut with a timely message.

monica kim
Aug 08, 2018 rated it liked it
still contemplating this one, but tw for sexual assault/rape
Rebecca
I was super disappointed by this book. For the heavy subject matter this book deals in, the tone feels much too light. On top of that, characters don't really act (and react) like real people. I went into this with expectations it was adult literary fiction, but it read like YA, with three alternating first person narrators, two of whom are teenagers. There's nothing wrong with that, and I've read some excellent YA that does handle serious topics like the ones in this book very well, but the ...more
Gabby
Well this was quite a surprise. I normally don't read books that revolve around religion, because I'm not a religious person and it just doesn't interest me. But I do love reading books that revolve around a celebrity-type main character dealing with the public and the media and all the scandal. It's a guilty pleasure okay?

This story follows 17-year-old Essie Hicks, who is the youngest daughter on her family's reality show Six For Hicks. Their family is incredibly famous because of their
...more
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!
Sarah
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
...more
Debbie
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 ...more
Jamie beauty_andthebook_
Jun 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I don’t think I could shout from any more rooftops how much I LOVED #TheBookOfEssie by @meghanmacleanweir - I devoured the entire book in about half a day yesterday... centered around a teen from an evangelical religious family with their own reality show (a la Duggar family) when low and behold, the titular teen is pregnant...what can the family do to save face (and their empire), plan a wedding, of course!
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This book is SO unique and well done, the voices of Essie, Rourke and Liberty all have
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Iulia
Aug 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book was heavy. What I found most surprising was that it managed to keep me engaged up until the very end, on the edge of my seat. As for the subject matter, The Book of Essie tackles an amazing range of topics such as abuse, cultism, psychopathy and many more which I won't mention due to spoilers. Even with religion taking center stage, it does not become preachy at any point, which was something I fully appreciated. Unfortunately, there were some issues when it came to plot and ...more
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
Kimmery Martin
May 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The Book of Essie is a timely, engrossing, beautifully written story about a pregnant teenager from a famous televangelist family. I was immediately hooked by the premise and the questions it raises: How will Essie's family react when they find out and how will they manage the scandal? Who is the father of her baby? What will happen to her? The answers to these questions are unraveled through the voices of Essie, her friend Roarke, and Liberty, a television journalist with her own background ...more
Kate
Aug 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2019
4.5/5stars

Wow I REALLY loved this. The story is absolutely gripping and incredibly unique, Essie is such a powerful, strong character, the ending was so sad but beautiful and wow everything about this was such a ride! Docking 1/2 a star because I do dislike the stereotype that religious people are awful and use religion to justify the shit they do like many characters in this book did. But besides that, this book was EXCELLENT!
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