What do you think will happen?
Will life ever be the same?
Will it be the end of the world?
These are some of the questions Suzanne Weyn attempts to answer in this dystopian book set in the VERY NEAR future.
Title: Empty by Suzanne Weyn
Release Date: October 1st 2010
Published by: Scholastic Press
Source: Publisher (thanks, Scholastic!)
Buy: Amazon | Book Depository
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.
I really like the message this books conveys. There is hope. The world does not end. The world AS WE KNOW IT will end. Humans just have to find a way to start anew.
Reading dystopian books tend to be very scary for me, but I just can't seem to stop. There's that feeling, knowing that it can somehow come true, and that's what often scares me.
The premise for this book is really interesting, and very timely. Gas and oil are two non-renewable resources, and it is bound to disappear someday. But what if it happens now? Reading Empty made me paranoid in a lot of ways, and I am no better than those people in the book. I wouldn't know what to do when I wake up one day and realize that the world is falling apart because there is no gas.
Gas. It seemed so simple. Why would losing Gas be a big deal? But then as you read the book, you will realize how important it is. Power plants use gas. There won't be any electricity when the plants don't work because they don't have gas. No air conditioning on summer, no heater on winter. No phones, no tablets, no electronic devices because you won't be able to charge the batteries if you don't have power in your house. Without gas, vehicles wouldn't work. Trucks wouldn't be able to bring food and important supplies anywhere. People won't be able to eat. People will die because they can't take their pills and prescriptions. And what is more important than food and medicines? How about losing oil? Then you realize how many products are made with oil, and losing all of them is unthinkable. See what happens when something you depend on suddenly disappears? People start to become desperate, and with desperation comes chaos.
The idea behind the book is plausible, and it's something you can't ignore. I had a hard time continuing to read the book because I keep thinking that this can happen soon. Imagine how hard it is to live when that time comes. How will people cope with the meltdown of the world?
The tiny bit of teenage romance took my mind off things for a while, since amidst all that was happening, Suzanne Weyn was able to inject a bit of teenage angst and complicated relationships in it. It's a welcome distraction, however, the characters were a bit flat for me. They didn't have much time to develop, maybe because the book was more focused on tackling the problem w/ gas and oil. But I did like Gwen's character. The rest were too weak to leave much impact on me, but Gwen's character was the type which shines in the face of adversity.
Despite the scary premise, Empty conveys a hopeful message. The world may have ended, no, the world AS WE KNOW IT may have ended, but the new one, a world where people will learn to find ways to live anew, has just begun. It will be difficult, but it can be done.
Empty might be more enjoyable if it was made into a movie, because the entire premise the book was based on is something that people might understand more if it was made into one, but as a book, it isn't so bad.
I would love to read more of Suzanne Weyn's works because the plots of her books seem to be always interesting, and Empty is a proof of how good Suzanne Weyn can be. There might be a bit of things she has to work on (make her characters more lively and interesting) but her ability to think of a unique story like Empty is what makes me want to read her works more.