Title: The Book of Essie
Author: Meghan MacLean Weir
Original Publication Date: June 12, 2018
Genre(s): Contemporary, Fiction
Goodreads Synopsis: 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 Essie is pregnant, she arranges an emergency meeting with the show’s producers: Do they sneak Essie out of the country for an abortion? Do they pass the child off as Celia’s? Or do they try to arrange a marriage–and a ratings-blockbuster wedding? Meanwhile, Essie is quietly pairing herself up with Roarke Richards, a senior at her school with a secret of his own to protect. As the newly formed couple attempt to sell their fabricated love story to the media–through exclusive interviews with an infamously conservative reporter named Liberty Bell–Essie finds she has questions of her own: What was the real reason for her older sister leaving home? Who can she trust with the truth about her family? And how much is she willing to sacrifice to win her own freedom?
My Mini Review
I am so disappointed that this was my first read of the year. I found this book on Goodreads’ best releases of 2018 list or something and unfortunately, fell into the hype– the synopsis sounded right up my alley but, The Book of Essie, definitely was not. Obviously, Meghan MacLean Weir has strong opinions and she wrote this to shove them down our throats.
I did not relate to or even like ANY of the characters. There were three different POVs included but, all of their voices were so incredibly similar that I’d get confused on whose story line I was immersed in every time. There was no flow in the writing, transitions weren’t smooth, and the author’s attempts at poetry fell flat. I rolled my eyes at it all and was never able to concentrate fully on the words. I lost focus way too often while reading this when usually I can get lost in a book no matter my surroundings (if I’m actually enjoying it).
Liberty’s POV and background was a snooze-fest. Every single one of her chapters could have been left out of this book and the story still would have gone the exact same way.
Not only were the characters horrendous and the writing completely off, but the story itself was incomplete. What was this even about? There were a variety of plots being thickened, there were morals being taught on every other page but, none of the problems were really solved in the end… was there a lesson we were supposed to learn somewhere?
There are still loads of unanswered questions, but my biggest one was why was Roarke sent to Holden Park in the first place? The whole time, they play around about telling us, but they never do. Did I miss it or was it never mentioned? I mean, I can kind of guess but is that all we get? Our own imaginations for this one?
My Rating: 1 out of 5 stars
Dates Read: January 02-January 13, 2019
My Favorite Quotes
“The best lie, Candy always says, is the one that is ninety-nine percent truth. It’s easier to sell.”
“I know what it feels like to want to be anywhere but inside your own body.”
“People are funny that way. They remember only what they want to and manage to forget the rest.”
“It’s not that I look any different, not really, but somehow the makeup blots out more than just my imperfections. It makes me feel like I’m covered in armor and impenetrable and I begin to see the appeal.”
“They really seem to like each other, I’ll give them that. But love is an entirely different matter. Love takes time. It takes energy.”
“In person, I sometimes heard my own words as I was speaking them and realized how cruel they were, how hurtful, because there was no way to avoid the pain visible on the other person’s face.”
“There’s no one who is not, deep down, truly selfish.”
“The result is the only thing that counts, not whatever happened behind the scenes.”
“But I think I prefer the sort of things no one else realizes are beautiful, or that they don’t appreciate for what they really are, the things other people walk right by.”
“I feel lighter. Other people’s problems can do that, I guess. They don’t make anything better, but at least they provide a distraction.”
“People are capable of creating beauty, not just destroying it.”