Book Review: Monument 14

Book Review: Monument 14Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne
Series: Monument 14 #1
Published by Feiwel & Friends on June 5th 2012
Pages: 294

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.

Emmy Laybourne's debut, Monument 14, was a surprising and often shocking read. See that first part in the blurb? That is part of the opening page of Emmy Laybourne's Monument 14. Hands down one of the most haunting openings I have ever read in a post-apocalyptic tale.

Monument 14 is the type of read that pulls you in and leaves you wondering, 'Could something like this, ever truly happen?' As with most post-apocalyptic reads, there is a questionable level of believability. An earthquake, a volcano, or a chemical spill, all of these are common in our world today. All of these, in an instant, could change our lives, our world into a place that is no longer the same as it was before. But unlike the events that we are familiar with, Monument 14 takes the disaster up a few notches. Or at least, we are lead to believe it does.

Monument 14 had immense potential for a post-apocalyptic read. But sadly, most of its potential is lost as most of the incredible, disastrous events take place outside of our characters' safe haven. Instead of our characters having to fight to survive, they are pretty darn cozy hidden away in a grocery store. Oh, sure there are a few nail biting moments where the outside elements sneak their way inside. However, these moments pale in comparison to when some of the biggest disagreements occur over uncertainty for the night's dinner choice.

But before you go thinking that this may be common post-apocalyptic read, it isn't. Unlike most post-apocalyptic reads where our characters are fighting to survive. Not knowing when or where the next meal may come from. The characters from Monument 14 probably have the most idealistic position of any post-apocalyptic situation I have come across. Food. Shelter. Security. It is all there. All they have to, honestly, deal with is each other.

Final Verdict:

It may sound like I did not fully enjoy Monument 14, but quite the opposite is true. Monument 14 was a fast paced read that I devoured. And with the ending promising more, I am very much excited for the next installment. However, the believability of Monument 14 was a bit off. Sure, I know that situations like this could happen, but it just seemed too perfect. Having everything you could ask for at your finger tips and the outside threat being minimal. I just don't think that I can buy into the world and situation that Emmy Laybourne presents fully.

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