The Secret Side of Empty Book Review

Book provided by Running Press for an honest review!


Secret Side of Empty Cover


The Secret Side of Empty Review

By: Claire Rankin


The Secret Side of Empty published on March 11th 2014 is new release by Running Press Kids. As usual we are a bit behind in the times but we’re going to go ahead any way. A novel that deals with the realistic fluctuations of the teenage mind, no matter how intelligent and intuitive, The Secret Side of Empty deals with M.T.’s, the main character and through whose perspective the story is seen, journey of self-doubt and frustration.

M.T. is a straight ‘A’ student who actually enjoys college level English, while she is only a senior in high school. However, her promising future, as everyone sees it, is nonexistent as she and her family are illegal immigrants. She doesn’t have the basic paperwork that citizens take for granted by living in America. The novel deals with the American dream in the realistic terms that come from entering America illegally, as is a common source of debate in the country today.

M.T herself is surrounded by a diverse array of characters. Her mother, who is tired and searching for purpose while attempting not to anger her physically abusive husband. M.T.’s father is a man who has been broken by the actuality of the American dream. M.T.’s littler brother, Jose, is a typical little boy and, as sweet as he is, he doesn’t realize what goes on around him.

M.T’s friends, and subsequent, boyfriend have no idea of her illegal status and thus she lies to almost everyone in her life. She lies to her parents about what she does every day, between a boyfriend and tutoring money that her father feels entitled to. She lies to her friends about her family, her best friend has never been to her home.

The novel is a very realistic view on the teenage experience. Like many things in the teenage experience the novel moves in a way that allows the reader to think about the small events in M.T.’s life as large events. However, the novel’s movement can seem almost sedentary in the instance that the event in comparison to other modern novels are intimate and compound themselves on one another. But don’t just take my word for it see what others have to say.


Official Review:
“Author Maria E. Andreu draws from her personal experience to tell a story that is timely, relevant, and universally poignant. Certain to be an enduringly popular addition to school and community library YA Fiction collections” — Midwest Book Review


Customer Review:
“The book was cram packed with issues to make it an important social piece, but most of it lacked in sincerity [. . .] I think that this type of story needs to be told more often. The fact that the author, Maria, actually experienced what it was like to be illegal makes the story credible.” – Shaleh a reviewer on


The Secret Side of Empty can be purchased at bookstores such as Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Goodreads, etc.

I hope you enjoy your copy if you choose to grab one .

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