23 June 2012

Review: Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne

Monument 14 (Monument 14 #1) by Emmy Laybourne

Published: 5 June 2012 by Feiwel & Friends

Pages: 294 (hardcover)

Genre/s: YA, Post-Apocalyptic

Check It Out: Goodreads ~ Amazon ~ Amazon UK ~ The Book Depository

More Info: Emmy Laybourne's website

Synopsis (Goodreads)

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.

My Thoughts

I loved the idea of Monument 14 - fourteen kids across a wide age range stuck in a superstore in the midst of tsunamis, earthquakes and a chemical weapons spill. And it is a great idea that for the most part is very well executed.

Told through the eyes of Dean, the action begins right from page one, and keeps a pretty good pace the whole way through. As the kids are stuck inside a superstore, there's not a lot of information on exactly what is happening in the outside world, just snippets that they garner from a near-obsolete TV found in the electronics section, and far more focus on how the work together to survive.

With such a large range of kids, from the school jock down to the cute twins that constantly talk about their beloved mother, the kid from a hardcore religious background, the 13-year-old that is desperately trying to fit in with the older kids, there is a lot going on to keep your attention. And of course, as any of us can imagine, as kids suddenly thrust into a very scary, adult situation, they react in pretty much the ways you would expect - there aren't any suddenly miraculous 'I can build a bomb from a paperclip and a role of tape' style moments, and some of the issues that they face as a group are issues facing any teenager today.

Ms. Laybourne's writing style is pretty straight-forward and clean, and all the characters (except the two teenage girls who I had trouble distinguishing from each other in a few places) are pretty individual and stand out from the others. I didn't have a huge connection with the main character, but that didn't really bother me, as there were so many other great characters to focus on.

However, there is a continuity problem in the closing part of the book - something that I believe should have changed the ending a great deal. Otherwise, I really enjoyed Monument 14, and if you like YA PA, there's definitely a big enjoyment factor here.


  1. I'm so glad you gave Monument 14 a positive review. I've been hearing a lot of good things about this book and plan to buy it soon. Dean sounds solid and I'm glad there's no 'miraculous genius' in the group. When authors execute that method well it's great but when they don't it just seems silly.

    I was wondering though since you're a sponsor for Midsummer Dream Fair. What did being a sponsor entail? What did you have to do?

  2. Yea! Glad to hear that we get to experience the kids individually. And equally happy there are no unrealistic miracles. I really look forward to this one.

  3. Wow this sounds like a book I should read, as it's similar to one I'm working on when I'm not editing. :-)

  4. I have been wanting to read this one for a while. It sounds so exciting!.



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