Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Empty: By Suzanne Weyn



It's the near future - the very near future - and the fossil fuels are running out. No gas. No oil. Which means no driving. No heat. Supermarkets are empty. Malls have shut down. Life has just become more local than we ever knew it could be.

Nobody expected the end to come this fast. And in the small town of Spring Valley, decisions that once seemed easy are quickly becoming matters of life and death. There is hope - there has to be hope - just there are also sacrifices that need to be made, and a whole society that needs to be rethought.

Teens like Nicki, Tom, and Leila may find what they need to survive. But their lives are never going to be the same again.


I was looking forward to Empty. I had read Xisle by Steve Augarde and Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi, and this book sounded in my opinion a lot like these books, because of its dystopian future based on a lack of resources. I thought it looked fun, exciting, and like a great book to read.

Boy was I wrong.

Empty bored me from page one. It was a preachy book that was filled with hollow characters and a poor plot. No one wants to read about the horrors of the environment without a decent story behind it, and this is especially true in a young adult/children’s book. But that’s exactly what Empty did, it read like a boring memo about the frightening rate we are using our resources.

Not only that but what little story the book did have felt disjointed and jumbled together because of the splintering of the many points of view of all the different characters in the book. If the author had chosen just a few of these characters to concentrate on then I feel confident she could have at least salvaged part of the story line.

That said, what really annoyed me was that this book could have been really good. The author did a horrible job breaking the book into too many perspectives and ultimately making it too preachy. Yes, there are successful ensemble books, and there are many books which convey important messages about the environment that contain decent if not good plots, but this just doesn’t happen to be one of them.

3 out of 10


Publisher: Scholastic Press

Published: October 1, 2010

Price: $17.99

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