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Please Log in to save it permanently. 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 Monument 14, 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.


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Three of the kids in the store have just that type and Hulk out into murder machines if exposed, but beyond one slight threat, the O -ffected heh, puns don't really factor into the novel at large. There's a teen offed in the first ten pages but the rest of the novel doesn't live up to that level of death - which as macabre as this sounds, I was disappointed by.

In tragedies, people die. In cataclysms and natural disasters like on this scale, even some of the initial survivors would die. While the kids sadly don't devolve to Lord of the Flies status there's only one real fight and it's pretty one-sided and deserved , I had hoped for a more cutthroat approach to the 'after' part of this. The ending does redeem Monument 14 a bit because it went an entirely different direction than the previous pages had seemingly lead to. The surprise alone helped his pull a higher rating that the one I had preemptively assigned to it.

I actually liked the bait-and-switch and think it will lead to a hopefully better, less romantically-inclined sequel. With all that said, the best line of the book: "I can always spare a moment to delouse a friend. View all 7 comments.

Monument 14 (Monument 14 Series #1) (Paperback)

If you want to read about surviving a cataclysmic disaster — Ashfall does it better. If you want to read about people turning mysteriously and insanely violent — Dark Inside does it better. If you want to read about a disparate group of kids holed up Breakfast Club style— This is Not a Test does it better. Was it to be a gripping and intense survival story? A nightmarish portrayal of government experimentation gone wrong and let loose on th If you want to read about surviving a cataclysmic disaster — Ashfall does it better.

A nightmarish portrayal of government experimentation gone wrong and let loose on the unsuspecting population? A Lord of the Flies style examination of human nature and the conflict between individuality and the common good? Because Monument 14 does none of things exceptionally well, let alone successfully combine all three.

This is baffling because while the novel contains many of the necessary elements for a suspenseful, high-stakes plot, the result falls flat. After a brisk start, the story becomes tedious and trivial. Monument 14 is related by Dean, unofficial scribe of the group, who begins to record events in a notebook considered quaint in the undisclosed future the story is set in.

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The writing itself is straightforward and concise. The opening chapters of the novel adequately capture the shock and fear of the group in the aftermath of the mega-tsunami, as they begin to discover that the violent hail storm is the least of their worries. From there, however, things descend into petty power struggles, boredom and ransacking of the store shelves, which is far less interesting than it should be.

Former boy-scout Niko tries to maintain order, Brayden and Jake get drunk and high, Josie becomes a surrogate mother to the smaller children, Dean lusts after Astrid from afar. They try to deal with the issues of dwindling electricity, head lice and avoiding the contaminated air. These are all issues that might reasonably be faced by a group of teens and children in such a situation, but there was no real sense of urgency or threat. The reasons for staying inside homicidal maniacs, unstable conditions, unleashed chemical?

Still, I might have enjoyed this book more had it not been for the manner in which Laybourne chose to instigate the climax. Of all the ways events could have been set in motion, why that one? This is a disaster situation. There are crazy, violent people outside. Why trigger things with view spoiler [ an attempted rape?

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Frankly, it was unnecessary and very poorly handled. Tossing in a sexual assault to progress the plot is not okay. So much of the potential went to waste here, and I do believe there was potential.

View all 3 comments. Mar 18, Jo rated it it was ok Shelves: e , oh-come-on , , for-review , ya.

Monument 14

Living in Walmart? Bad things happening to them? And oh my goodness, YES. But, ladies and gentlemen, I am officially disappointed and sad.

Monument Sky on Fire (Monument 14 Series) Book Review and Ratings by Kids - Emmy Laybourne

I thought this book was going to be how I imagine what would happen if The Breakfast Club found that they had survived an apocalypse [something I imagine more than I am willing to admit. Fan fiction is in right now, yes? Because, come on, how awesome would Molly Ringwald be in a disaster situation? But no. There was no Molly Ringwald. There was no peril. There were no megastunamis.

There was no president who was deciding who should go into the underground bunkers. We got some kids running around doing not much and moaning about it. And then an ending where everything in the entire world happens in the space of about three pages. What is your reasoning for doing that apart from the fact there is going to be a sequel?!

Also, there were still no megatsunamis. Because if it had been all completely awful I would have just gotten over it and struck Ms Laybourne off my list of writers that I like to read but there were great moments in this that if they had just been expanded this book would have been excellent. Also, those little kids are the cutest kids in the entire world. So sweet. I bet she had adventures…and megatsunamis. I received a copy of this book from the publishers via Netgalley. You can read this review and lots of other exciting things on Wear the Old Coat.

View all 11 comments. Getting me to read one without whining too hard is no small feat, my friends. But even though Monument 14 has been getting some very mixed reviews, I felt weirdly drawn to it from the start and surprisingly enough, ended up enjoying it.


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  • None of it is too hard to imagine: the chemical disaster, weather gone mad, people affected according to their blood type, child predators using the opportunity to do their absolute worst. Really, this could all happen tomorrow! Who could have predicted that they wouldn't be going to school at all, but that they would end up in a superstore with twelve other terrified kids and with raging weather outside. In such claustrophobic environment, characters become extremely important. Characters, on the other hand, showed how great a writer she is, despite this being her debut.

    She did more than just flesh out Dean and Alex, she breathed life into all 14 of her characters equally. Each name came with a complete person with opinions, backgrounds, traumas, and more importantly, coping mechanisms.