Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne
Release Date: June 5th, 2012
Feiwel & Friends, 294 Pages
Source: Advance Reader Copy
Age Group: Young Adult
Series: Monument 14 #1
Fourteen kids. One superstore. A million things that go wrong.
In Emmy Laybourne’s action-packed debut novel, six high school kids (some popular, some not), two eighth graders (one a tech genius), and six little kids trapped together in a chain superstore build a refuge for themselves inside. While outside, a series of escalating disasters, beginning with a monster hailstorm and ending with a chemical weapons spill, seems to be tearing the world—as they know it—apart.
I finally got around to reading Monument 14 and I don’t regret it, but I was left wanting a bit. The opening scenes of the book, the first chapter, pulled me in immediately. I was riveted and had to know what was going on. I gave the book 3 ½ stars overall, but only because there was something lacking that was difficult to put my finger on. Perhaps, it was the static environment of the Greenway, the store the kids of Monument, Colorado, made into their refuge.
I would categorize this book as an apocalyptic, young adult book that should be read by teenagers and older. The language wasn’t ridiculously obscene, but the violence and gore could be disturbing to kids younger than 15. I consider this book to be an interesting mix of Lord of the Flies and various other (post)apocalyptic YA books that I have read.
Whenever you have a group of kids ranging from elementary to high school age that are stranded in an equivalent of Wal-Mart, with zero adult supervision, abundant resources, no contact with anyone on the outside, and hardly a clue as to what is happening to the world as they know it…things are bound to get interesting [read: chaotic & hostile]. I can’t even imagine dealing with adults during a time that feels like the end of the world…when it is everyone for themselves, much less, taking care of 8 year olds and preventing hysteria.
The end of the story leaves us wanting to know more. I wanted so badly to understand what was happening outside of the store, wanting to know who survived (if anyone), and how everyone was going to make it. I was okay with the ending of the book. The author made me want to know more…read more…wait expectantly for the next book (if there is one), but at the same time, I am okay if that is how the entire story ends. Laybourne did a fantastic job leaving the reader wondering what will happen next.
If you want a quick read, this is your book. It didn’t take me long to finish it, and that was just reading before I went to bed for a week or so. The characters are the kind that, even if they don’t stick with you afterwards, you care deeply for them while you’re reading and hope that they get a ‘happily ever after’.