Released: January 1, 2013
Publisher: Simon Pulse
You can read the Goodreads summary here.
Dell is fat and depressed. Her father abandoned her family leaving them practically destitute in exchange for a young, dumb, newer-model wife. Dell's best friend Cara is attempting to break into the popular crowd and that leaves Dell feeling abandoned and unloved. Dell's mother is addicted to pills and a bitch. The only positive thing in Dell's life is her baby sister, whom she loves dearly.
The first thing that struck me about Empty was Dell's character. Dell does not let us forget that she's overweight. In the beginning of the novel, it seemed like every other sentence Dell narrated involved her feeling fat. I understand what it's like to be fat and how overwhelming and depressed that can make you feel, but in Dell's case, it seemed so over the top. I wanted to have genuine feelings of sympathy for her, but she made that a little difficult in the beginning.
But in Dell's defense, her life does kind of suck. Her family is falling about and when her best friend Cara starts abandoning her, things go from bad to worse, especially when they attend a party together with the popular crowd. It was after that that I really began to have sympathy for Dell. I just wanted her to find some happiness... and maybe a psychologist. Dell's love for her sister also made her a much more likable character. They way she described how sweet her baby sister was, new baby smell at all, it was very touching. I would love to see a sequel to Empty which focuses on Dell's sister when she becomes a teenager. Give Empty a read and I think you'll agree that would be very interesting.
The ending. I'm not going to give it away even though I'm probably the only person in the world who will read this book and totally not see it coming. I did not see it coming at all. Dell completely surprised me and even though I felt little emotion about her from the beginning, I did have a good cry at the end of this novel. That surprised me... maybe I felt a little for Dell after all.
Three stars. Empty started out a little off to me, but got better as I kept reading. This book is far from horrible and for the most part I did enjoy it. If you're a fan of depressing contemporaries (I know you are, who didn't love TFIOS?) I recommend you give this one a read. It's a very fast, easy read that might just surprise you.