July 10, 2012
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.
Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne
Publish Date: June 5, 2012
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
** This book was provided to us by the publisher for an honest review. We were in no way paid for our opinion **
This. Book. Was. Amazing. It was brilliant and awesome and breathtaking and every other word that adds up to awesome. The synopsis of the novel was enough to have me more than interested and I have to admit that I was a bit doubtful that Monument 14 would be great enough to keep my attention and keep up with having a great plot. I was very, very wrong. As some of you may have already figured out, I’m a big fan of dystopia. Love it. Love everything about it. Most dystopias take place after the end of the world, after all of the really tough stuff—Monument 14 takes place during the end of the world in the year 2024 when a series of natural disasters begin to destroy the world.
The start of Monument 14 had me already on the edge of my seat when the main character, Dean’s school bus is attacked by hail. After almost everybody on the bus is killed, Dean and the remaining few teenage survivors are dragged onto a elementary school bus and seek refuge in a Greenway (which is like a giant Walmart). After a major earthquake, a biological weapon spill that targets people in various ways depending on their blood type—the fourteen kids from the city of Monument find themselves trapped inside of the Greenway while they attempt to adjust to this new lifestyle and survive.
As you can see above, the story is full of awesomeness (true story).
I have to admit, I was surprised by the way that author Emmy Laybourne portrayed all of the characters. All of them were unique and spot on considering that more than half of the characters were young children: The high school kids still held their prejudices and had to learn how to put those aside to survive. And the way that she detailed and described the story and setting had me feeling more and more like I was in the story myself, watching Dean when he had to hear all of the younger kids whine about wanting their parents or becoming just like Dean when he goes into a rage when he’s reduced to the corrupt outside air. The way the novel was written was in a way that I found interesting, it was in the first person but was also told in a memoir type format. I thought it was refreshing.
The one thing that I loved most about the story was the chemical spill. Because if the natural disasters weren’t enough you needed to add in the fact that depending on your blood type, you may or may not survive. As most of you know, type O is the most common blood type on the planet and (of course) everybody with blood type O turns into a raging monster. Almost like the Incredible Hulk, but without the green skin or sudden change in body type. And it’s permanent so long as you’re in the corrupt air.
As a story that kept me on my toes, had me addicted and had an ending that I didn’t see coming—Monument 14 is a story that I would recommend to fans of dystopia, readers who want something that will thrill them, or somebody who wants a story to grab them and never let go.
Monument 14 is an instant favorite.
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