Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Review: Empty by K.M. Walton

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Empty
K.M. Walton
Series: Repossession #1
Publication date: January 1st 2013
by Simon Pulse

Dell is used to disappointment. Ever since her dad left, it’s been one let down after another. But no one—not even her best friend—gets all the pain she’s going through. So Dell hides behind self-deprecating jokes and forced smiles.

Then the one person she trusts betrays her. Dell is beyond devastated. Without anyone to turn to for comfort, her depression and self-loathing spin out of control. But just how far will she go to make all of the heartbreak and name-calling stop?

*A copy was provided by Simon & Schuster for review purposes*
A very shocking novel, this one. Yet, as the author pointed out in the end notes, she didn’t write a book to shock, she wrote a realistic book on teenage bullying and how it can inflict self deprecation to the point of depression. These are the types of books that teenagers can get something out of. Bullying is not uncommon, and you CAN get help. You can talk to someone about what is happening to you. High school is the hardest, and often lowest, point in some people’s lives, thus I’m always satisfied when a book can be so incredibly moving, as well as possibly help those in a similar situation through impossible times.

Empty is the perfect title for this novel, as this is how I felt when I was reading it. Empty. Emptiness for her detrimental self portrayal. Emptiness for her lack of confidence. Emptiness for her loneliness. My heart felt sorrow and pain for this beautiful person who just couldn’t see her true self; who she could be. After her father left, Dell turned to food. An excessive amount of food that was matched by an excessive weight gain. Losing her spot on the baseball team is only the beginning of the consequences. Though it’s funny–in a very depressing way–that most of the consequences is caused by her attitude. Dell feels like she’s losing everything and everybody, making her efforts at dieting a far away thought. Eating, like smoking or drinking, is one of the ways people use to cope with the stresses of life. and this book really shows how this can become the end-all to a once healthy young girl. The more she ate, the lesser she thought of herself, making her want to binge even more. A never ending circle. This is why I could understand her even when her obsession became borderline irritating. You can’t just assume she’s able to stop, or to control it, even when she knows what it’s doing to her. Professional help is what she needs to achieve this. So yes, her self deprecation is excessive, and yes she’s incredibly hard on herself, yet she continues in her bad ways, but this is a realistic portrayal of such a situation.

Such a story needs a lot of emotional output, and for this you need well developed characters. Despite her depression, Dell is a very sweet person. The way she takes care of her sister is admirable. I loved the bond that she shared with this toddler, and having a toddler myself, I could easily relate. I also found her secondary characters to be very distinct. You have the best friend, the popular crowd, the jerks, but they aren’t just cut personalities to fit the story, they felt real to me; I felt the impact every single one of these people had on Dell.

Frustrating on many levels, this book makes you feel helpless. Every single one of you will want to help her. You will scream at her to realize what she is doing to herself. You will yell obscenities at her destructive thoughts. But in the end, the only thing you will feel is empty. This is both a warning, and a recommendation.

4 Hot Espressos

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Canadian blogger, wife, mother, coffee lover, and sarcastic at heart! She has had a love for all things bookish since before Amazon and eReaders existed *le gasp*. You can also find her organizing tours and other fun things at Xpresso Book Tours.
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22 Responses to “Review: Empty by K.M. Walton”

  1. Nick

    This sounds like a really powerful read, Giselle. It seems so emotional. I’ve always thought that books about bullying are the hardest to read. I’m glad to hear that the author did a good job with Empty. I love that the book made you yell obscenities. It just shows how immersed you were in the book!
    Beautiful review, Giselle!

  2. Gabby

    This sound very emotional and heartbreaking. It looks like the author did a very good job at make the you feel what 100% into the book. I really like when you just get lost in a story,even if it is a sad one!
    Amazing Review !

  3. Amy

    I think I would really like this one. It sounds like it’s very emotional. I really love issue books especially when they don’t gloss over things and seem very real. Great review baby cakes!!

  4. Kathy Ann Coleman

    I’m really torn over whether to read this one. I’m pretty big on reading stuff that’s going to be difficult to hear / see / watch, but anything to do with weight is something that can hit pretty close to home. Doesn’t bug me *now*, but I certainly remember how it was in high school! Might download a sample if there’s one available and see if this ‘clicks’ with me.

  5. Renae

    You really make this sound like my type of novel! I love books that have you as a spectator, with that “helpless” feeling you describe. That’s a feeling I only ever get while reading contemporary/realistic fiction, and it’s one of my favorite things about the genre—that experience.

  6. Jen (A Reading Daydreamer)

    Oh my goodness, this one sounds like a heartstring-tugger! I’m glad that EMPTY is one of those novels that really reaches out to the reader and can help people out. Dell seems like a really realistic character that’s believable. She must be so sweet if she is depressed, but still willingly to help out her baby sister! This is a fabulous review, Giselle. I’ll take this as a recommendation. :)

  7. Jenni @ Alluring Reads

    Gisellllllllllle I think this sounds like one for me! Wow this sounds so moving. I have a thing for books that deal with eating disorders, I think because it has affected my life so much growing up (not me specifically but people that are very important to me) It’s a scary thing. And I know that I am not to an extreme with it, but I am totally an emotional eater. You piss me off? I cry. I eat cake! BAM I feel better… anyway… yeah… great review!

  8. Leanne Yang

    This one sounds like a very heartbreaking novel. I don’t feel as if I’ve ever been bullied harshly, but I’ve still got high school. Like you said, it’s the hardest and lowest point in some people’s lives. Thanks for the review, Giselle.

  9. Christina

    “But in the end, the only thing you will feel is empty.” <– I see what you did thar!

    I’m so desperate to read this author’s books, but my library didn’t buy Cracked, so they probably won’t buy this one either. Wahhhhh!

  10. Maji Bookshelf

    wow… This book seems like an emotional one. It is definitely hard for a book to stir up so many emotions inside of you, to the point that it makes you empty. wow. I definitely love books that touch me, so this will be a book that I will love. Lovely review dear!
    - Farah @ MajiBookshelf

  11. Kate @ Ex Libris

    This book kind of broke me a little. I am always glad to see tough issues confronted in YA books, but I did feel that the parents were a little one dimensional. I have very mixed feelings about the ending. I liked the honesty, but it has to come with a warning because it is so dark. I would worry about a teen reading it if they are also in a dark place. As important as it is to show the impact of cruel behavior, I also think it’s important to show survival. I’m still not entirely sure how I feel about this book, overall.

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