Monday, May 30, 2011

Review: Empty by Suzanne Weyn

Summary: 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 Niki, Tom, and Gwen may find what they need to survive. But their lives are never going to be the same again. (From: Goodreads)

Why I wanted to read it: A near future world running out of gas and oil, sounds like the perfect disaster scenario.

My thoughts: A world running out of gas does not sound like a very far-fetched scenario and by reading this book it made me realize how many products that we take for granted are actually based on oil. The idea is pretty terrifying, the book itself actually not that much.  
The story is told from the perspectives of three different teens: Gwen, Niki and Tom. There is a bit of a love triangle going on there (not a very interesting one though). Gwen is a teenager living with her brother who deals in black market goods. She has a crush on Tom, but he is initially more interested in Niki, a shallow and spoiled cheerleader.

I did like the first part of the story where we get to meet the characters and see increasing oil prices, leading to a scarcity of products and of course chaos. Halfway through the book the story became a bit lame to me and some of the actions by the main characters did not seem to be well thought through (yes, I am talking to you Tom!). I did not like the ending at all, it was way too "happy", unrealistic and ignorant of the actual state of the country. 

The story was interjected with news paper articles which I thought was a good way to add information. However, the writing style did not really reflect the way news articles are usually written so it did not work for me. 

Empty was a quick read with a thought provoking topic. I did like it because the theme is right up my alley, but in all fairness it was not a great book. It was clearly aimed at a teenage audience, so I would not easily recommend it to more mature readers (even if they usually like YA).

Challenge Check: Dystopia Challenge

Rating: ❤ (2.5/5)


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