This week's recommendation is another book. Because my entire life is books. Seriously, the publishing company, the part time job at the library, the bookkeeping. Okay, that last one is a stretch, but it has the word book in it and I love the word bookkeeping because of the triple double letters.
The Book of Essie, y'all, read it. I don't watch reality TV. I don't care about reality TV. When I saw it was a Book of the Month Club option, I scrolled right past it. My scrolling came to a screeching halt when I saw the review by Troian Bellasario. Spencer Hastings is, and always will be my favorite pretty little liar. And I like Troian. I mean, based on interviews and her Instagram. Her review started a lot like mine. Loudly declaring she's not interested in reality TV. But, like Troian, I was hooked by page eleven. Seriously.
Essie, a seventeen-year-old who has grown up in a very Duggar-esque household, has just told her mother she's pregnant. Off camera, of course. The public relations team, producers, executives, and Essie's mother immediately try to determine how to spin this. Essie's thoughts and opinions aren't even considered. Weighing their options, the mother comes up with a plan she forces Essie to carry out. Little does mother know, Essie has a plan all her own. With the help of a former nationalist/militia member/God and country enthusiasts turned journalist, Liberty Bell, Essie formulates a plan that will expose her family's deepest, darkest secrets, ruin the show, and give her the escape route she needs.
At first, I thought this was going to be a book basically mocking reality shows and the families who live in this bizarre world. And it does do that. But, it also touches on a lot of other issues like conversion camps and how they are not only horrible, but also completely ineffective. How, if given the chance, people who grow up in unorthodox conditions and cult-like situations, really can do a 180. Often, the way to reach them is not through fighting and name calling, but rather an open dialogue and trying to understand their point of view. And then explaining, patiently, how that point of view may be flawed. It's the patiently part that's really difficult.
So, click here to buy the book. It's awesome. You won't regret it.
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