Pub Writes

About the publishing Industry, editorials, and reviews

The Secret Side of Empty by Maria Andreu

Posted by Caitie F on March 12, 2014

Title: The Secret Side of Emptysecret
Author: Maria Andreu
Hardcover: 336 pages
Pub Date: March 11, 2014
Publisher: Running Press Kids
Rating: +++++

Summary from pub:

What’s it like to be undocumented?  High school senior M.T. knows all too well.  With graduation and an uncertain future looming, she must figure out how to grow up in the only country she’s ever called home… a country in which she’s “illegal.”

M.T. was born in Argentina and brought to America as a baby without any official papers. And as questions of college, work, and the future arise, M.T. will have to decide what exactly she wants for herself, knowing someone she loves will unavoidably pay the price for it.  On the way, M.T. must navigate first love, letting go of her childhood friends as they begin a life she can’t share, a difficult relationship with a father who grew up a world away and a mother struggling to find her way in America.  What is it like when the only country you’ve ever known says you don’t belong?  The Secret Side of Empty offers an intimate, often surprising glimpse into a story you often hear on the news but have never heard told this way before.


This book. This is the book we have been waiting for in young adult realistic fiction. It is a book that will change opinions and change lives. It tells a story that needs to be told and needs to be read.

There is so many stories on the news about illegal immigrants and they can be very judgemental and not look at the actual people involved. This shows what it can be like for a teenager going into adulthood trying to figure out how to live.

It is powerful and moving, and it is also just a wonderful story. M.T. has to try to protect her family, while figuring out what her options are. She has to sit and listen to fellow classmates talk about illegals like they aren’t people with lives and problems. She also falls in love and tries to enjoy it and just let some of all the crap in her life go and be in the moment.

Everything in this book is wonderful. I love that there is so much with her family. Her mother ended up being my second favorite character. They all deal with their situation in a different way. I didn’t always like what some of them did, but the reader really sees why and how it happened.

This is truly a novel that can change how some people see the world they live in. It will challenge your assumptions and it is a book that can show a side of life that most of us cannot even imagine.

I hope a lot of people read this, especially teenagers. It is one of the best young adult novels I have ever read.



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