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Review: Empty by Suzanne Weyn

[ 9 ] April 16, 2011 |

Reviewed by Jennifer Jensen

In a future that could possibly become ours, a group of teenagers suffer the consequences of a world that has exhausted its non-renewable resources. Shallow teenager Niki’s biggest concern when the United States goes to war with Venezuela over the remaining oil is that she can’t wear contacts anymore and now has to be seen in her glasses. Second-string football player Tom, who has always had a thing for Niki, finally gets a shot at trying to date her now that the world is quickly falling apart and she is vulnerable. Social outcast Gwen finally gets the opportunity to talk to Tom, whom she has been crushing on for a really long time.

These three teenagers are the main characters in Empty by Suzanne Weyn. Because of natural circumstances that throw the world as they know it out of control, they must work together to once again unite the community of Sage Valley and keep hope alive. While the adults around them give in to their most primal instincts, Tom does a tremendous kindness to his friends and neighbors by seeing that those in need the most get the food and supplies to keep them alive. After Gwen’s home is burned to the ground, she seeks shelter in an abandoned cave. The secret she finds there will give the world a way to start over–if the adults can stop fighting for one moment to hear the voices of their children.

Empty is a bit of a departure from the previous book I have read by Suzanne Weyn. I loved her retelling of Anastasia in The Diamond Secret for the Once Upon a Time series (even if it did too closely follow the animated WB cartoon), and I have another of her books on my shelf to read called The Bar Code Tattoo. I couldn’t resist getting a copy of this book since Weyn is an author I am growing to admire more and more with each book of hers that I read.

At just 192 pages, Empty is a wake up call for all of humanity. It’s a fact that the world is running out of oil and that we need to develop ways to keep our electricity going and our cars running that do not involve fossil fuels. Though this book is geared for ages 12 and up, it is one that parents should read with their children. Then the parents of those children should recommend it to their own friends, until everyone has read this–especially those in positions of power who can begin the change that we need to survive as a race.

Rating: 3.5/5

Jennifer graduated from the University of Utah with a BA in English. She occasionally dabbles with her own fiction writing, particularly with the Young Adult and Paranormal genres. She currently resides in Utah with her husband and daughter.

Review and giveaway copies were provided free of any obligation by Scholastic Press. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.

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Category: Children's Books, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Social Issues, Young Adult

Comments (9)

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  1. 8
    girl says:

    omg what a fascinating story.

  2. 7
  3. 6

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  4. 5
    Danielle says:

    ALL I HAVE TO SAY IS:
    Bland,Predictable,GOES NO WHERE.There was a horrible natuaral disaster in the book and i yawned right through the 40 pages of it. Mrs. Weyn, im sorry whighting books is not for you!

  5. 4
    Howard Vault says:

    I lOved the book

  6. 3

    Everyone knows we are running out of oil, or the countries that have most of the oil are going to stop selling so much to us sometime in the near future. Of that I wouldn’t be surprised.

    While I think the premise of this book is a good one, I would rather read a fact based book about this subject rather than a book that seems like it might have been written for the YA group and this subject.

    If we don’t start using more green ways to get around, Electric, Solar powered. Something other than oil and gasoline is going to have to be found for us to run our cars and other things we use oil for, sometime in the near future before we run out and start scrambling for it.
    Mary Kirkland recently posted..Had a small Health Scare Over the Weekend

  7. 2
    Colleen Turner says:

    I don’t think this is for me, but I can see its appeal. I don’t want to even think about what will (since we all know it is “will” not “if”) happen when we run out of oil. All the fighting, back stabbing, etc. that is already so prevalent in our society will sky rocket and, if a solution isn’t found quickly to satisfy the masses, there won’t be much world left when people seek to destroy everyone else and end up destroying everyone! See, too depressing for me :). Thanks for the review!

  8. 1
    Carol Wong says:

    I think that most people already know that we are running out of oil. This is an old song, I have been singing it for so long! I wonder why the author didn’t take the solutions and weave them into a book. I think I would pass on this if I was a pre-teen.

    Thank you for this review.

    Carol Wong

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