Review: Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne

Pages: 294
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Age Level: Young Adult
Source: Library

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.


I am a huge fan of books and movies about survival; not the kind where people get lost in the wilderness, no, I’m talking about the kind where people have to survive through the end of the world. The kind where the odds are against the characters and they have to struggle to survive. But what makes these stories even better is when the characters are kids. That is awesomeness that is Monument 14.The action starts off right from the first page. There’s no boring first chapter easing you into the story. And the pacing keeps up throughout the novel. There are no slow scenes with explanations and descriptions or dialogue, only constant non-stop action.

I loved having Dean narrate the story. He was able to put humour into an otherwise depressing situation. He is an observer, and I liked seeing the other characters through his eyes, as he never made them out to be any different than they were.

Yes, the characters all fell into stereotypes, even the little kids, but somehow it worked. It felt realistic in the sense that if a bunch of kids were trapped in a store, they would all be different. It also kept the story interesting as each character reacted with the others differently.

I thought the setting for the book was really unique, as was the idea for the chemical spill.

I absolutely loved the chaos that was the ending and the way it was left open for what is bound to be a very interesting sequel.

I would highly recommend this book to fans of dystopian and post apocalyptic books.


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