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.
Publisher: Square Fish
Release Date: June 5, 2012
When I first read the synopsis for this novel, it reminded me of the Gone series by Michael Grant (one of my all time favorites!!). While reading it, though, I discovered that it was much more different than I thought!
Sure, there were young children trapped in a place together during some disasters having to take control, create order, and ration supplies - but it was definitely more of a "surface" novel. It kind of touched on some harder subjects, but it seemed to be written for possibly more of a younger audience and didn't go into much detail.
For example, there were some deaths in the beginning of the book, and I don't think they cared nearly as much as people in their situation actually would. In addition, they didn't really talk about their families much or seem to care about them until about halfway through. I know that if it was me in that situation, I would have immediately been wondering where my family was!
I didn't get as immersed in this novel as I expected to, and I felt like the middle kind of dragged on a little, and was mostly just dialogue. Don't get me wrong, this was still an enjoyable read! It just wasn't exactly what I was hoping for.
I liked that the characters were pretty easy to follow along with. Though there were a lot of them, they each had unique personalities and played their own role in the storyline, and I could tell them all apart.
I think some of the choices the protagonist made were a little infurating. For example: HIGHLIGHT FOR SPOILER >> (When he chose to stay with Astrid, the girl he liked, over going to find safety?? She hadn't given him the time of day before, and then she wanted him to stay with her and he oh-so-happily obliged. NO.)
Regardless, Monument 14 was an entertaining read with a lot of suspense and action in the beginning and the end of the novel. Though I probably won't find myself picking up the sequel, I think it was a nice read!