Monument 14 by Emily Laybourne
Monument 14 #1
Release Date: June 5th, 2012
Number of Pages: 294
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
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.
There are books you start with no expectation, others you think you’ll love. This one was one of the latter. Sadly, I didn’t really enjoy this book. The thing is, it simply wasn’t for me. I was expecting a book full of action, full of interaction between the outside world and the students. Yet, I mostly found teenage drama.
Some of the things that put me off while I was reading this novel were the characters. I felt like there were way too many characters to follow. Also, I felt like they were too stereotypical for my tastes. I could almost guess what most of them would be doing next based on the way they were presented. The youngest children all seemed a lot more mature than they should have been for their age. Or maybe it’s just me. Then, the main character just didn’t cut it for me. Dean just felt off. His major crush on Astrid was a little annoying (am I the only one who find him creepy to spy on her?). There was simply something that felt wrong in his personality.
Another disappointment to me was the lack of outside threat. Yes, there are some people that come to them, trying to get in. Yes the air is having a strange effect on them based on their blood type. Yet, the end of the world seems to be happening, but we just see them inside the store. They are stuck inside a store, where most of what they need is available. It just made the book so flat to me. I felt like everything that could have been a challenge had been made easy. I was expecting more. There was so much potential in this book. The premise really caught my attention, but story could have happen without that much of an outside threat, and it would have felt a lot less disappointing.
Overall, I just felt let down by this book. I was expecting a lot more from it, and it really disappointed me not to be able to love this book. I had been excited about it since I first heard of it, and it just not being for me. Some will love it, I’m sure. It simply wasn’t me.