September 12, 2012

Title: Monument 14
Author: Emmy Laybourne
Series: Monument 14
Publisher: Macmillan
Published: June 5, 2012
Pages: 294

From the Publisher: 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.

The Book Hookup is so excited to have Celeste’s friend Dawn stop by and review this book for us!
(she has a background in library science ~ squee!)
Thank you, Dawn xoxo

Dawn’s review:  **3.5 stars**
From the first chapter, it’s clear that Monument 14 is a post-apocalyptic Lord of the Flies, with a little Dawson’s Creek thrown in: instead of an island, the children (ranging from toddlers to teenagers) are marooned in something akin to Walmart, and they all talk like they’re 25 years old. The usual cast of characters makes an appearance, including the quiet leader, the alpha male, the jock, the ominous adult, and the Madonna figure, among others.

The book jumps right into the formulaic plot line, beginning with the main disaster (a tsunami that causes a worldwide blackout and chemical contamination) and continuing with steady stream of supporting disasters. The stranded children alternate between dealing with crisis, bickering, and comforting themselves with retail therapy. It wasn’t uninteresting or completely unoriginal, but with each new twist, I’d think, “Ok, here are the zombies” or “Ok, here is the love triangle.” Laybourne moved through almost every teenage and apocalyptic plot device, never pausing to take a breath.

That said, I still read the book in one sitting, unable to stop until I found out what happened in the end. It was easy to guess that this was going to be the first in a series, yet not at all easy to guess where it would lead. The ending was the strongest part of the book, where the characters showed the most depth and the plot showed the most originality. It was enjoyable enough that I’ll probably read the next in the series, but formulaic enough that I’ll wait until the paperback is on sale.

Thank you so much, Dawn! Loved your review, especially the way you describe the cast of characters.


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