Saturday, November 10, 2012

Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne

Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne.
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends.
Pages: 294.
Release Date: June 5, 2012.
Source: Publisher.
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.

Books about disastrous weather always terrify me the most because out of all of the evil monsters out there, weather is the most likely to actually attack. This is why I was scared beyond belief while reading Monument 14. It's so authentic and realistically written. Add that with a group of clueless, frightened children and psychotic mood twists that seem straight out of the movie The Crazies ... well ... Monument 14 was pretty thrilling.

What I loved most is the diversity of the characters and the chaos that ensued when all of them were trapped together in the midst of a disaster. I feel like Emmy Laybourne really nailed the innocence of the children and the vulnerability of the older teenagers. I also loved reading how they all had to mature overnight. Basically, the dynamic of the characters was so entertaining that if the book didn't have the apocalyptic stuff going on, it still would have been very engaging.

But like I said before, the apocalyptic stuff - the weather - scared the crap out of me. I don't like being scared while watching movies but I love being scared while reading books. The level of terror and panic was juuuuust right and it balanced really well with the sense of hope from the characters.

And even though I wouldn't want to be in that situation, I couldn't help thinking the whole time "I want to be trapped in a department store!" I mean, only if the world wasn't ending or anything like that. All the clothes you can wear, books you can read, food you can eat. I'd tear a Walmart up. And there are TONS of time where Emmy Laybourne acknowledges this (because - lets be honest - despite what is happening outside, a little kid would have a BLAST being trapped in a place like that) and has fun with it. Those scenes were some of my favorite!

Overall, Monument 14 was the perfect mixture of creepy and powerful and fun. I know that if I ever get stuck in the middle of a killer hailstorm, Walmart or Target or KMart are going to be among the first places I run to. (Just kidding. Kind of. But probably) I definitely recommend you all check it out - especially those in the mood for something fast-paced, action-packed and character driven!

Other reviews for Monument 14:
Book Obsessed.
Chick Loves Lit.
Chicks With Crossbows.
Reading Nook.


  1. I haven't heard much about this one, but it seems like a book a might enjoy. I love being scared when reading. And this seems like a really, as you put it, authentic book!

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