Author: Suzanne Weyn
Publish Date: October 2010
Publisher: Scholastic Press
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)
Generally speaking I’ve always thought one end of the world story the same as any other. How many different ways can the world really end? As broad minded as I am, I’ve never thought about it this way and this is the most obvious.
In the not so distant future… I know we’ve all heard that before, but with the way things are going today, it’s scarily accurate. Empty definitely paints a realistically, different future society then we think about today. We never thought we could move backwards instead of forwards… and that’s just what happens. Our story takes us through the lives of three teenagers that even in the beginning struggle hardships. Gasoline is already at an all time high, and food deliveries are scarce leaving supermarkets bone dry.
Our three characters each come from different lifestyles: we have the lower class Gwen, who lives with her older brother in a rundown A frame house. The middle class is Tom. He lives in a nice development but it’s nowhere near the top of the hill. Then there’s Niki who’s never been denied anything in her life, she lives in a lake front property and now has to make serious adjustments.
Of the three I feel for Gwen the most. She has the most troubles but she makes the fastest adjustments. It’s almost as if having nothing, starting over from the ground up is much easier for her to accept and adjust too. She makes the reader feel that no matter then hardship there’s never any reason to give up.
In the beginning our characters were more concerned with living like they usually did, which meant worrying about boyfriends, and who likes who, and school. However as things progressively get worse, especially with the help of Mother Nature there’s no point in pretending in the normal. Thus there’s not a lot of romance in the book but with everything else going on, it doesn’t need it.
The plot was definitely a page turner. From the beginning the reader is kept in thrall with the news snippets, and the complications of living without oil. Which means living without electric for some, without heat or hot water, even without some plastic products (shampoo or soap). It’s certainly an eye opener as well. Could you handle living without oil?