Monument 14 by: Emmy Laybourne (2012)
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Genre: Dystopian/ YA/Survival
Summary: The year is 2024 and a horrible hailstorm, a tsunami, earthquakes and a chemical spill tears the nation apart. Fourteen kids ranging from kindergartners to seniors in high school are stuck in a superstore. They must work together to stay alive. Dean, one of the high school kids, is a writer and this story is his journal of what happens inside the store.
Review: From the very first page of this book I was captivated. If you haven’t read this book yet then you absolutely need to. It isn't perfect, but it reals you in. I really enjoyed it and will be reading the next one.
“I expected the story of our hailstorm to be all over the news. It wasn't. Our little hailstorm was nothing.” (pg. 33)
Warning: Once you start reading this book you will not want to put it down. Even the cover is captivating. You will also start to wonder what your response would be, and how you would act, in this situation of survival.
Let’s talk about the characters. I have a mostly love with a tiny bit of hate relationship with the characters in this book. At first I was concerned that the age of some of the children would annoy me, it is hard for me to read books where the main characters aren't at least 17. I was dead wrong to be concerned. Every kid in this book makes you feel for them in some way or another. They are in no way annoying; they are interesting, cute, funny, and heartbreaking. The author not only created wonderful memorable characters, but she made them believable. These kids are trapped without their parents in a superstore when the world around them is crumbling and their actions make them seem real, from screaming for their mothers, to being so tough that you would never guess how young they are. Alex, Dean’s younger brother, is my favorite character and I promise you will love him too.
There is only one problem with this book and yes it deals with the characters I just raved about. This book doesn't do a great job at portraying women. They are kind of cliched and somewhat stereotyped. The strong boys fight it out to be the leader of the group, but what about the girls? They are usually portrayed as the weaker ones. I also want to note that I do realize that this book reads a little like the breakfast club, which is a little annoying, but this divide between cool and uncool kids is still present in our society. Therefore that part didn't bother me that much, especially because in the end the kids show us that it isn't about who is popular and who is not. What is really nice is that Dean is the main character of this novel and he is just an average kid.
I don’t want to say anything else about the plot and the actions the kids take to survive. I want you to be surprised like I was. All I will say is this; the chemical spill is interesting and a twist that I thoroughly enjoyed. I know I have some negativity in this review but this is still a really good book.
I do have some good news. If you read this book now, you only have to wait until May to get your hands on the next one. Trust me when I say that you will be waiting impatiently. The one thing this book doesn't give you is answers to all of your questions.
Rating: 5/5 BUY Monument 14