Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne
Published by Feiwel and Friends
My Review: 8.5/10
Your mother hollers that you’re going to miss the bus. She can see it coming down the street. You don’t stop and hug her and tell her you love her. You don’t thank her for being a good, kind, patient mother. Of course not—you launch yourself down the stairs and make a run for the corner.
Only, if it’s the last time you’ll ever see your mother, you sort of start to wish you’d stopped and did those things. Maybe even missed the bus.
But the bus was barreling down our street, so I ran.
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.
So if the blurb didn't freak you out enough, let me add my little spiel. In a world where disaster was impossible, disaster strikes. At least half the nation is dead. And instead of a means of fighting this disaster, the government, whom you have no choice but to trust with your life, is just as lost as you are.
Let's begin with our narrator, Dean. Dean was so cute and nerdy that you would have no choice to love him. His humor and honesty, combined with his raw adolescent fear make for an awesome telling of this apocalypse through his eyes.
Our other characters include his brother, three popular kids, (popular and unpopular kids coming together. Breakfast Club anyone?) and some unpopular. A handful of children (who were so extremely cute and innocent by the way. Some of them I'd love to grab up and hug.) Each one is immature in their own way and must mature to the occasion in order to survive.
I don't normally go for books where everything takes place in one setting, but I'm glad I went for this one. Like the characters, I felt so lost and confused and scared (for them of course). I was left to ponder what possibilities of life there were. Even though almost the entire story took place in this superstore, danger lurked around every corner. With every page there was a new surprise, something hooking me enough so that I'd have to turn to the next one. Not to sound cliche, but I was glued.
Despite the bloody action and gritty violence, this book also had its sweet spots. Not only was it a story of survival, but it was a story of love, sacrifice, fear, love, and most importantly, growing up.
Monument 14 has something for everyone and will leave you questioning your relationships, your surroundings, and wondering if you'll survive.
If you want me to read the sequel to this book, let me know! I'll try to read it as soon as possible, while this story is still fresh in my mind.
See you later, Serial Readers.