Title: Monument 14
Author: Emmy Laybourne
Series: Monument 14 #1
Published: June 5 2012 by Feiwel and Friends
Length: 294 pages
Warnings: violence, sex references 13+
Summary : 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.
Review: It’s a normal day. Dean and his brother are on their school bus as normal. they don’t know that it’s not a normal day. They don’t know that they’ll get caught in a hail storm, and forced to take refuge in a supermarket. Fourteen kids of different ages end up without adult supervision and you end up with a post-apocalyptic Lord of the Flies.
It all starts off very quickly and promising, with the bus crash happening in what would be the first few pages if this wasn’t a kindle file. And then the teacher leaves. And then....not much. Dean, Astrid, Jake and the other older ones have to deal with the little children. So there’s fourteen of them, in a supermarket, nobody knows where they are, or what’s out there. But with food, water, sleeping bags and enough to survive. so it should be ok...right?
The idea is definitely Lord of the Flies- (side note-in a creative writing thing we did while studying LotF, I’m sure one of my classmates did a bunch of kids in the supermarket) children left after a disaster, no adults to protect them, no real idea of what to do.
There are a few plot twists built into Monument 14, but they were all quite predictable. The virus-y thing was interesting though, something different, but it didn’t get too much attention, which is a shame. It did help move the story on though.
The characters break off and group up in the same way as LotF. You get the guy who thinks he’s the smartest and the toughest, the sensible ones, the ones trying to keep the peace and so on.
Their interactions are on the fine line between believable and stereotypical (which are stereotypical for a reason). You get a good sense of the desperateness for familiarity, for survival, for normal life, but sometimes it feels as though it’s a little bit forced.
As I said, plot “developments” weren’t amazing. It’s nice seeing everything happen and such, but it just doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. And the ending was really anticlimactic.
Overall: Strength 2 tea to a book with a promising start, but from then, goes downhill.