Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary Fiction, Publication.Date January 1st 2013 Pages: 256 Published By: Simon Pulse | Website K.M. Walton
EMPTY on Goodreads My review copy: Review copy provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.
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There are things I’d like to vanish from my life—maybe even a person or two. I’m not talking about killing anyone, but having them gone would be sweet.
Dreams of my future have shriveled into tiny bits of pain. The rest of my walk to school I pretend each pebble I kick is one of my dried-up dreams. It ends up being stupidly unsatisfying because the pebbles are too small. I need stones - solid and strong enough to break windows. My withered-pebble dreams are useless. Empty and weak.
I want to feel the surge of pride that comes with hard work and success. How could I have let myself fall apart like this?
I may be a dreamer, but I am not an idiot.
Dell is overweight. Since last summer she has gained over 70 pounds. Her life is a big mess. When her father checked out on her and her mom, Dell's "emotional eating" started. She turned to food for comfort and stress relief. Unsurprisingly, this has only made matters worse. Her weight quickly became an out-of-control problem, resulting in even more stress. Her plans for the future and carrier dreams were shattered when she got cut from the school's softball team. The only thing that's keeping her alive is her best friend, Cara, but she, too, seems to be getting more and more distant. Between problems at home and being ostracised at school, Dell finds herself in a very dark place. She is a tough girl. She puts on a brave face and pretends all the cruel jokes, mean remarks, stares and name-calling don't bother her, but on the inside she is crumbling.
Wow, what an incredibly affecting novel! I feel like my heart has been wrung out like a Shamwow! This one here is going on my-top-favorite shelf and I can definitely see myself coming back to it over and over again.
Dell's narrative voice is raw, realistic and infused with real emotions. She makes witty jokes and hides behind a mask of confidence and cynicism, but if you look closely you can easily see through her act. You can practically taste the sadness, the fear and the pain this girl is experiencing. You can hear her silent screams. You can feel her desperation and just how lost she is. And you end up genuinely caring for her. K.M. Walton's character development is masterful. All her characters - especially Dell - are convincing, complex and well-drawn. It's virtually impossible not to get emotionally involved in the unfolding events. This book sucks you right in and keeps you hooked on until the very end. I absolutely loved it.
It's not a secret that I appreciate well-written issue books that explore meaningful (and often difficult) subjects. And Empty is one of the best issue books I have ever read. It's poignant, thoughtful, intelligent and brutally honest. K.M. Walton does not hold back. This book is not for the faint hearted or overly sensitive people. It contains scenes of violence, abuse and some coarse language. And while it's a thought-provoking and eye-opening read, because of it's overpowering darkness I would not recommend it to people struggling with depression or eating disorders. It's just too depressing to stomach when being in a difficult place yourself.
Overall, Empty was a truly breathtaking and memorable read that will stay with me for a very long time. K.M Walton is undoubtedly a supremely gifted writer and I'll be sure to follow her writing carrier closely !
Bio: K. M. Walton is the author of Cracked (Simon Pulse ~ Simon & Schuster 2012), Empty (Simon Pulse ~ Simon & Schuster 1-1-2013) and the co-author of Teaching Numeracy: 9 Critical Habits to Ignite Mathematical Thinking (Corwin Press 2011 - lead author Margie Pearse) for mathematics teachers K - 8. As a former middle-school language-arts teacher she's passionate about education and ending peer bullying. She gives school presentations on the topic "The Power of Human Kindness." She lives in PA with her husband, two sons, cat, and turtle.
January 2nd – Review and Author Interview at Libby Blog with Ange Schmelzer http://marmaladelibby.blogspot.com/
January 3rd – Review and Author Interview at Bookish with Evie Seo http://evie-bookish.blogspot.com/
January 4th – Review and Author Interview at Kaidan’s Seduction with Taneesha http://kaidansseduction.blogspot.com/
January 5th – Review at Uniquely Moi Books with Jodie Baker http://www.uniquelymoibooks.com/
January 6 – Review at Novel Thoughts Blog with Jennifer Dee http://www.novelthoughtsblog.com/