Monday, August 27, 2012

Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne - Review

Pic & Description from 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.

One of the most enjoyable debut novels I've read this summer! Monument 14 started off with a bang, well ... by *bang* I mean an ungodly freakish hailstorm that set my nerves a-tingle straight off the bat! And that's only the FIRST disaster! Sicko that I am, I kinda wished the entire book had maintained its initial pace, but it didn't and I was sad.

But anyway, how many of us (raise your hands) have fantasized at one time or another about being *trapped* in a superstore, mall, etc? With enough diet Mtn. Dew, Keebler cookies, a half-way decent book section and plenty of electricity, I'd be in heaven. So, for all the angst, there was also something *cozy* about Monument 14.

Don't get me wrong. There were grim moments, peer power struggles, romantic triangles, and a few key points of interest.

One thing that irked me, though, was the fact that until a structured regime had been established, the kids appeared to be wasting the food - with such idiocies as having a Sunday ice-cream breakfast by opening a veritable plethora of ice cream cartons. This annoyed me because there were enough young adults present to have known better, or to have had a smarter head on their shoulders. I could forgive this lack of foresight from middle grade students, but not from those older students left in charge. And mind you, they did this WHILE they still had plenty of electricity and weren't in immediate danger of food thawing. The *mother* in me kept silently demanding they consume the perishables first, don't you know ;)

Then again, lest I come off as nit-picking, I really enjoyed reading about how the kids re-purposed their environment, similar to Quarantine: The Loners, minus all the freaky weird stuff. More like a Mom & Pop's version - fun & cozy stuff! :)

Now, not so fun nor cozy was the little matter of a strange, biochemical air-borne poison that affected the infected by virtue of their particular blood type. Without giving too much away, I found it a very creative plot twist, and kudos to the author for thinking up such a scenario.

All in all, if you are looking for an enjoyable, mildly dystopian fast-paced read, then I think you would like Monument 14. It appears to be open ended, so I imagine we may anticipate a sequel in the future.

Sex & violence - not too heavy in my opinion.

* I received this book as a gift from my beloved daughter (YAY for daughters!). I have not been compensated in any way for my honest review. So there ;D

EDIT TO ADD: (forgot to do this earlier)
Lenore at Presenting Lenore is having an incredible Dystopian August!
Tons of author interviews and giveaways, you DON'T want to miss this ;D
Hurry on over ... click HERE


  1. Sounds awesome! I get your frustration. I kind of went through that in Ashfall when the main character guzzled water by the bottle when fresh water was hard to come by. I am convinced I need to read this now. Thanks, Mary!

  2. @Elizabeth - Glad you liked! Funny, but I'm not sure if authors may sometimes *deliberately* have their characters commit what, to us the reader, appears to be a foolish/implausible action given the situation, or if it's just something overlooked.

    One of these days, when you & I are best-selling authors, we'll have to proof each other's work looking for annoying bits lol ;D

  3. Well this sounds like a great book! The description is a good reminder to tell the people we love that they are important to us. I have added this to my list- I always find it fascinating to see or read what people of different ages do in situations like this. Thanks for sharing.

  4. I certainly agree with you! I loved reading this one, though I did have some issues with it.

    Honestly, I think it would have been unrealistic if their first thought was 'we should eat the perishables.' Let's put the ice cream brunch down to morale, and to being kids free to have ice cream for the most important meal of the day for the first time ever. I was really impressed with how logical they were in getting things set up. Unlike in The Loners, where, for some reason, they decided to kill one another even though they could have shared resources and all survived. THE EFF WAS THAT.

  5. Oh! I have to get this one! Thanks for the review.

  6. Jess & Sully <3
    The cover alone is worth the buy lol

    @Christina - Valid point! Yeah, the Loners was pretty grim, and it was slightly disheartening to see how *vicious* & selfish most of the kids, without adults running the show, de-evolved. At the same time, it DID make for a truly exciting read ;D

    Update: NOW I'm able to access this page, without having to resort to the cache thingie. Wonder if it's an issue with Google Chrome??? Like I'd know lol

  7. I've definitely got to read this soon! However, I am absolutely an action girl, and I think I'd take the freaky weird of Quarantine over happy fun superstores any day. That said, I'm a sucker for anything close to post-apocalyptic, so I think I'd love this anyway :D

    I did miss the Dystopian event, but heading off to check out Lenore's blog anyway!


  8. @Ana - You will really enjoy Lenore's site, and make sure you check out her post with a really looooooooonnng list of dystopians!! It made my jaw drop (old, jaw drops easily, but still cool!) lol

    Quarantine: The Loners was so dark, it was like a train wreck that you couldn't tear your eyes from ;O

  9. YES! I can not wait for this one! And I love the cover, too! I can't wait to see what all the characters get up to, those in the bus and the ones still in the Greenway!

    grace (Alaska Bear Hunting)

  10. Hi Grace :) Same here, can't wait to read the next book in the series! I just finished reading The 5th Wave and thought it was another terrific read ... so many fun novels past & present to pick from. I have a hard time keeping up lol
    Thank you for commenting <3