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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Review: Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne

Publication Date: June 5, 2012
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Series: Monument 14 #1
Young Adult
Pages: 294
Genre: Apocalyptic, Science Fiction, Thriller

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.
*Galley provided by publisher for an honest review*

When I first started reading the book I was disappointed for a little while. Emmy Layboure starts off with a little bit of second person POV and there I was, reading, thinking that the whole book was written in second person. I was like "Wow! This is going to be so cool!" But it quickly, after a paragraph or so, switches into the confines of first person narrative by the main male protagonist, Dean. Though I didn't get the epicness of second person in this apocalyptic world, I did get to witness it and read from the scarce and rare male first person. 

Monument 14 was a chilling book, taking place after massive environmental disasters and watching a mix of fourteen teenagers and children survive within their towns supermarket. The setting blew me out of the water because I've always wondered what it would be like to be trapped in my town's King Kullen or maybe Costco. The thought and the idea was wonderfully executed within this story. Though the characters didn't really grow on me--the harassment of Nico for being a boy scout, Sahalia just pissed me off to no end, and Jake and Brayden being very stereotypical football jocks--the ending of the novel did make me feel a little bit for each and every one of them. Only a little bit, though. 

Some scenes had me scoffing, trying to figure out how grossed out I should be after reading them. Dean's sneaking and accidental spying scene on Astrid and Jake made me cringe a little bit. I mean, it was just awkward, me being a girl and listening to this guy touching her chest and naming her boobs after Disney Princesses. I mean, WHAT? I couldn't wrap my head around it. And then you had Sahalia trying to be this cool, skanky thirteen-year-old and always hanging around the senior boys, Jake and Brayden. I'm sorry, but who names their child Brayden? It just made me laugh whenever he tried being this hot shot, football star. And Sahalia, like I said before, pissed me off. And the whole wet, see-through shirt with her made my nose wrinkle in disgust. Especially at Dean's comments towards it. 

Another thing that was strange but was actually a really interesting concept that Laybourne introduced to the novel was the blood types. Thinking about being in the same situation as the characters, now I keep wondering what my blood type is and how I would fare in Monument 14's world. 

Final Summation: Monument 14 is an increasingly interesting novel that gets you thinking, wondering what would happen if you were trapped in your local supermarket. With some highly sexual scenes and characters that really turned me off, this novel did keep my interest because of it's setting and wondering how the lives of the teens and children would play out. I don't really suggest this to younger teens.

First Line: Your mother hollers that you're going to miss the bus.
Story: A
Cover: A