Review: Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne

Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne
Series: Monument 14 (# 1)
Release Date: June 5, 2012
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Pages: 294
Source: book won in a contest

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.


Review: I suppose that everyone has fantasized about being locked in the mall overnight or the store of their choice at least once. For fourteen kids ranging in age from five to seventeen it happened; along with a few adults thrown in to cause more problems as if they didn’t already have more than they needed.
This opens up the doors for more catastrophes than what are going on outside at the moment. Outside there are hail storms…super tsunamis…and a chemical that reacts to your blood of which O reacts the worst.

While inside the store you get your normal fights, looting, lice and even a love triangle of sorts. I don’t know if it really counts when all sides aren’t really aware of the others involved. But, through it all these kids pull together forming alliances you wouldn’t expect just to survive. It just shows that if you work together there is a chance for survival.

Now I can go on but there is so much that is going on that it is just easier for you to read this story for yourself. I do want to say that in a way Ms. Laybourne did a nice job taking each character giving them each their own identity. I thought at times of “The Breakfast Club” with disasters. I didn’t like the stereotyping that went on: for instance there was one boy quite young actually a little on the feminine side that was given the job of cooking. There are real men that aren’t gay that are actually rather good cooks. Also, a young girl of about thirteen that dressed a little provocatively so she was supposedly a slut…they didn’t even know her or her background. Later this same girl goes through something that really bothered me as it is a YA novel. I found that this was maybe a little too much for some readers in that age group to handle. There was an altercation between two brothers that was written in a realistic manner that was believable.

I would have enjoyed more information on the chemical spill that reacts to your blood type because that was different than most disaster that authors write about. I enjoyed how each kid (and there were a lot) was given their own identity which them very personable. They stuck with you throughout the story. The idea of throwing kids together and making them survive was a good idea. Interesting…

Overall I liked the story but was not totally in love with it. A good idea with a lot going on which kept you on your toes but too broad leaving some things unanswered for me or perhaps not answered to my satisfaction.

Not a light read…It does make you think.