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June 5, 2012

Review: Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne

Monument 14
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. 
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.

If you guys have been reading my blog for a while you'll know that I'm always looking for a great survival story. Teens trapped somewhere with few or no adults trying to survive?! That is definitely my kind of book! Those stories always pull my attention, sadly, they usually don't keep it. So I've searched and tried new books until I came across Monument 14. While I was excited (because I mean, come on! who doesn't think about natural disasters and the end of the world? It is 2012 after all), I went into it a bit skeptical, but WOW was I surprised! This is one of the few survival stories that I have truly enjoyed!

I think the possibility of natural disasters occurring and how unpredictable they are is what makes this premise so exciting and scary. The story takes place 12 years into the future, in the year 2024. Disaster strikes and leaves fourteen kids trapped in a Greenway (Walmart type store) with no adults. The technology in this future is different from what we are used to. It all revolves around these tablets and a network. So when the network goes down they have no way to communicate with anyone.

Picking up this book I thought it was going to be more about the events occurring on the outside, like the natural events, the mega tsunamis, hailstorms, chemical spills and other disasters but it was surprisingly more about the characters. There are so many characters in Monument 14 and I loved every single one and what each one brought to the story. There aren't a lot of young adult books narrated guys but this one did it very well. Dean writes everything in a journal and the story is told through that journal. The little kids were a sort of relief for me.  Even though he is kind of strange I really enjoyed seeing the events through his point of view. After intense and scary moments one of them would say something that just brought things back a bit and they were just so cute! The twins were probably my favorite. I just loved the way they looked up to some of the older teens, especially Dean. The older teens are trying to bring normalcy to this terrible situation and I understood that. Imagine being trapped with 6 elementary school kids with nothing to do, I know they would drive me insane! All the characters go through changes and there is great character development. Especially one of the characters, Sahalia. She goes through incredible growth as a person and I was so proud in the end.

The story itself was captivating and had me hooked from the very beginning. It starts off with a major hailstorm and from there all the events pile on to create this action packed read. So much happens within the first few pages that leaves you wanting to read the whole story as fast as possible. I did not want to put it down! There were some slow moments but the whole story turns when a chemical spill occurs and leaves no one safe. The only safe place is their safe haven they've created in the Greenway. From there things pick up even more and I didn't put it down until the very last page. The ending had me feeling so many emotions and I became attached to all the characters. Monument 14 definitely leaves you wanting more. I can't wait for the second book! You will definitely want to pick this one up!

There is also a short story that goes along with monument 14 that you can find here.

And if you need more convincing just watch the awesome trailer:


  1. I'm still debating about whether I want to read this book. However, I've seen a lot of reviews lately where the majority rule it's an enjoyable read. With a lot of characters sometimes a few outshine each other. I'm glad to hear that the vast amount of characters ended up enhancing the story. Awesome review! I can see you're very enthusiastic about the book so maybe I'll lean more towards *reading it*. :)

  2. I always enjoy reading new authors and as of late have found books that my teens could also read , well worth the time! Monument 14 is a book from emmy Laybourne that has left me awaiting volume2. A captivating story with recognizable characters that engage you.

  3. OMG1 That book! I finally have Monument 14 and it is a ARC! I can't wait to read it.

    grace (Alaska Bear Hunting)