Publication Date: June 5th, 2012
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Page Count: 294 pages
Source: Borrowed from Audris at YA Bookmark
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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.Monument 14 is an epic story about survival among 14 teenagers trapped in what is essentially a giant Target. Somewhat reminiscent of Ashfall by Mike Mullin (yet less violent) Monument 14 examines the different roles people take in the midst of a natural disaster. I loved this story from start to finish, and I devoured it in one day. There are so many characters, but each one has his/her own personality and I found it easy to distinguish among them as well as grow to love a few. The most action is definitely in the first 50 pages, as well as the last 50 pages, but every moment contained a tense situation that had me wondering how I would react. Monument 14 is a roller coaster of emotions that will have you gripping the edge of your seat until the last page.
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.
While Dean isn't the most admirable character, he is definitely realistic. He's flawed, yes, but he learns to deal with his insecurities and make the tough decisions that are called. He isn't your typical heroic male protagonist which I think is what made me fall so hard for him. I saw parts of myself inside of him. That person who longs for their crush from afar, lets jealousies get the better of them, and even succumbs to peer pressure. That was Dean, as well as myself, and that's what really drew me to him. His brother Alex is also an amazing character; he's brilliant to the point where he manages to save them all on more than one occasion.
The story itself is fast paced and psychologically thrilling. While there isn't much action, the pyschological aspects really drew me in. I found myself wondering, "What role would I take on in this situation? Would I be the leader? The guy doing drugs in the sports section? The mother?" It really made me wonder how I would handle the situation myself, and I think any book that makes you think like that is a winner. The different obstacles the kids have to face are insane, from crazy survivors to an infectious gas, it's all so surreal... yet so realistic. That's the most frightening thing about a book like this: It can happen in real life!
Emmy Laybourne has created an frightening situation in which teenagers must pull out all of their survival skills as well as grow up fast. Their psychological well-being is tested, and some fold under the pressure while others rise to the occasion. Monument 14 will have you flipping pages as fast as possible, because you'll need to know how it's going to end. 14 teenagers trapped in what is essentially a mall sounds like a party, but is it? Fans of post-apocalyptic, dystopian, and survival stories will love this one!