Debbie's World of Books
My book reviews, book news & random rants

Empty by Suzanne Weyn

November 12th, 2010 by Debbie's World of Books

Source: Borrowed from the library

Publication date: October 1, 2010

Publisher: Scholastic

I give this book 3.5 out of 5 stars

Description from Goodreads.com: 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.

This book takes on a very popular topic about our dependency on oil and the effects all the usage of oil has on the environment and portrays what a life with dwindling supplies of oil may be like.  Although a bit preachy it was still a book I could not put down.

The Story Line

When gas prices on the rise there is always talk about how we rely on oil too much and how we need to find alternative fuel methods.  Yet, most of us still continue living without changing our lives much believing that oil will never run out.  What if that were not true?  That is a truly scary thought that Weyn takes on in this book.  She takes teens like Nikki who comes from a wealthy town that can afford to pay the high prices of gasoline and food to continue to live life without many hardships, Tom who comes from your average income family and Gwen, whose mother walked out on her and her brother so they were forced to live on their own, and follows them as they must deal with the oil shortage and life after a super storm hits their towns.  I really liked how their lives were weaved together nicely and didn’t seem like you were forcing the three together just for the sake of comparing their life styles.  The preachiness was a bit much at times as it is hammered into you how oil is used in manufacturing just about everything in our lives and how we depended too much on it.  But if you move past that I found it interesting to see how people learned to adapt.

The Characters and the Romance

I thought all the characters were well done.  I liked both Tom and Gwen and once Nikki started to wake up to the reality of life outside her privileged upbringing she became much more likeable as well.  As in pretty much every YA book there were hints of romance but it was nice that it was not the focus of the story.  You know who has a crush on who and who hopes to end up with who but it’s more of a side note and the focus remains on survival.  I really like when an author knows when a romance is needed and when it would just take away from the story.

This is a really quick read that I read in one sitting and it delivers a message that we should take to heart.

Posted in 3 Star Books, Books, Dystopia, Young Adult

4 Responses

  1. Ladybug

    I’ve been wanting to read this book :) It sounds like it has some important message for us all and I like that about a novel. Great review, Debbie.

    Have a wonderful weekend :)

  2. Michelle

    I felt like, for the subject matter, the story was way too short. There was definitely the preachy tone you mentioned too. I didn’t love this one but didn’t loathe it either. Like you, I’ve fallen right in the middle on it.

  3. Jeremy West

    Thanks for commenting on my IMM for this week. My brother has read Boneman’s Daughter and he loved it! He said it was one of the best books he’s ever read! I own pretty much all of his books but have only read 5 of them. I hope you can read more of his books!

  4. kay

    I found it a tad too preachy, too, but I really liked the idea. I think the setting could have given place to a bigger story, but all in all, it wasn’t a bad read.

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