Posted on May 29th, 2014 by audra
In these categories Review, Society's Bookshelf

Book Title: Monument 14
Author: Emmy Laybourne
Release Date: June 5, 2012
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Source: Purchase

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.


It was just any other normal day. A group of kids from kindergarten to high school were on their way to school when everything went wrong. Their bus is destroyed thanks to crazy hail and the kids are rescued by another bus driver on a mission to keep the kids safe. They have the perfect place to wait out the apocalypse; The Greenway, a mega store akin to Wal-Mart. They are seemingly set until rescue, but of course things start to go awry.

They quickly discover that some of them have an odd reaction to the air. Some turn into crazy rage monsters while others break out in horrible blisters. These kids have to figure out how to navigate this new world hidden away inside the Greenway without any adults when the bus driver leaves to get help.

I had begun to think that this genre had gotten a little played out. Monument 14 broke through those barriers in my mind and had quickly become a favorite of mine. I’m a little ashamed it took me so long to finally read this. I couldn’t wait to go out and buy the second book in the series. I love the action and even the everyday mundane activities within this book. I loved the fights, the make ups and the suspense this book brought. Each character was so well crafted that I just wanted to be right there with them experiencing this (of course not really). Laybourne did an amazing job crafting this world and the characters within.

I really had some reservations going into this book. The thought of a book being entirely contained inside one store wouldn’t keep my attention. This couldn’t have been further from the truth.  Laybourne did a great job pacing the high action moments with the everyday endearing moments. She really sold me on each and every character, which is amazing considering how many characters there really were. Sometimes it’s hard to keep track of who is who when there are too many characters in one book, but each one was so distinct without being obviously diverse that it was just such an amazing read.

Order: Amazon|Barnes & Noble|IndieBound


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