AUTHOR K.M. Walton
PUBLICATION January 1st 2013 by Simon Pulse
READ February 05, 2013
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?
Adele, or Dell as her friend calls her, has been struggling with overeating and her weight gain since her father up and divorced her mother for a younger 2.0. Dell was such a frustrating character for me. She goes through some extremely difficult situations and keeps everything inside which just forces her farther into the downward spiral she is on. I wanted, so many times, for her to open up to her mom, of her friend Cara, or even someone at school. I, as an adult reader, knew that the majority of her problems at one point in the novel were just made exponentially worse by the fact that she kept everything inside. The emotions built up inside of her and the only way for her to make them go away was to fill her stomach up with something else, food. I have obesity in my family and I have seen exactly how emotions affect eating and weight gain. I think Walton did a phenomenal job at tackling this addiction (that is so often thrown off as NOT a valid addiction) in a very realistic light. Yes, it was very hard to read at times but it was real.
The relationships within these pages were so flawed. I really didn’t know how to gauge her friend Cara at any point in the novel. At one point she is encouraging Dell to act as a sumo wrestler and “moo” for the popular kids so they can be in the “in-crowd” but in the next breath she is pushing Adele to come out of her shell and use her amazing voice in the school talent show. Even at the end of the story I had no idea at all how to read her. I think she loved Adele a lot and I think she was genuinely worried about her well-being but her longing to be “cool” clouded her judgment in a lot of instances. Adele’s mom was struggling with prescription drug abuse and her dad was off with his new fling so neither of them were around to help her at all. The one beautiful relationship here was Adele’s love for her little sister Meggie.
Touching on bullying, rape, addiction and depression, empty will piss you off and it will make you feel for Adele. The ending is one that I will definitely be thinking about for a long time because it really ends at a total crossroads and we will never get to know where it goes. I really think it was the perfect ending for this story to let the reader take away from it what they will and I am sure that will be completely different for everyone. If you like heavy issue books that knock the wind out of you, pick this one up people.