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?
Empty is an emotional story about one girl's struggle with being overweight and bullied. Even when some of the situations are hard to read about, the story keeps you gripped into the book.
POSSIBLE SPOILERS AHEAD
Dell is an amazing protagonist. Her life has clearly went downhill since her parents divorced after her dad cheated on her mom. After her dad cheated, she began to eat for comfort, and she gained much weight. At the beginning of the book, she gets cut from her softball team because she isn't in shape to play. Kids at school bully her. She doesn't think positively about herself, either. She makes self-deprecating jokes, and thinks about herself in negative ways.
The bullying in this book is awful to read about. The kids in the popular crowd tell her to moo and act like a sumo wrestler, and she listens to them. They are entertained by this and think it's funny. One of the boys who finds this funny is Brandon, the guy she's had a crush on since middle school. At a party, he takes her up to a room to show her a video of a sumo wrestler who falls down and can't get up. After showing her the video, he takes advantage of her. When people at school find out they went upstairs together, he claims she took advantage of him. She doesn't tell anyone the truth because she is sure that nobody would believe.
Cara, Dell's best friend, is not a good best friend. She has some good moments, but she mostly isn't a true friend to Dell. Cara is searching for a way into the popular crowd. When she gets invited to a party by Taryn and Sydney, she begins to ditch Dell for them. Of Cara's new friends, I found Sydney's character the most interesting. She did two things that contradict each other, and she didn't seem to be a completely awful person.
The ending of this book is completely shocking. It is definitely not a happy ending. It is the type of ending that leaves me wanting to see how other characters react. I would have loved to see the POV of Cara, or of Dell's mom, after this ending, but since the book is Dell's story that obviously wasn't going to happen. I just really wonder how these characters reacted.
If you like heavy, emotional YA contemporary, read this book.