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Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne

Monument 14 (edition 2012)

by Emmy Laybourne

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7116919,214 (3.62)10
Title:Monument 14
Authors:Emmy Laybourne
Info:Feiwel & Friends (2012), Edition: 1, Hardcover, 304 pages
Collections:Your library

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Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne


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This book had lots of details and it had many conflicts in the book but it was a good book ( )
  LeeB.G1 | Sep 30, 2018 |
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.

“Laybourne’s debut ably turns what could have been yet another post-apocalyptic YA novel into a tense, claustrophobic, and fast-paced thriller.” (Publishers Weekly)

When Dean raced out the door to catch the school bus, he didn’t realize it would be the last time he’d ever see his mom. After a freak hailstorm sends the bus crashing into a superstore, Dean and a group of students of all ages are left to fend for themselves.
They soon realize the hailstorm and the crash are the least of their worries. After seeing a series of environmental and chemical disasters ravage the outside world, they realize they’re trapped inside the store.
Unable to communicate with the ones they love, the group attempts to cobble together a new existence. As they struggle to survive, Dean and the others must decide which risk is greater: leaving… or staying.

Monument 14 is a post-apocalyptic YA novel that transcends age barriers. If you like heart-stopping suspense, realistic characters, and new takes on survival novels, then you’ll love the first book in Emmy Laybourne’s Monument 14 series.
  JESGalway | Mar 15, 2018 |
Really good book! ( )
  EdenSteffey | Mar 14, 2018 |
I’ve read many end-of-the-world books, but I’ve never come across anything quite like Emma Laybourne’s “Monument 14.” Amidst the sea of dystopian novels, it’s very easy to find a common theme being developed in many books. However, Laybourne’s debut novel gives us an entirely different glance in a chaotic world.

With a blend of dystopia and coming of age, “Monument 14” takes us into a near future, apocalyptic Earth full of raw and intense events. Laybourne’s incredible storytelling and characterization turns this paperback into an enjoyable fast-paced thriller.

“Monument 14” starts off as a normal day with brothers Dean and Alex running to catch up to their respective buses. (We’ve seen it before, everything is going fine.) However, it turns into anything but ordinary. A sudden monster hailstorm begins, quickly destroying the high school bus that Dean is in. Fortunately, the bus full of younger kids and Dean’s little brother Alex is taken to safety, and the bus driver comes back to rescue the high schoolers who have survived. Dean, the narrator, is part of the lucky 14 kids who have been saved. We see all these catastrophes unfold through his eyes as we discover how 5-17 year olds behave when trapped in a superstore and forced to fend for themselves as their only adult figure leaves to find help. It doesn’t seem too bad though right? I mean, they’ve got practically everything they need at their fingertips.

The events that follow are horrifically terrifying. Right at the start we are brought into a mega-tsunami, large earthquake, and a chemical spill that affects different blood types. I loved the basic cause of the apocalypse in this story – which unlike most books does not directly blame human action for the collapse of the planet. Though a bit far-fetched, I think this aspect of the book makes it stand out amongst the midst of many dystopian novels today.

Emma Laybourne’s version of the apocalypse is what makes “Monument 14” work. I’ve started to grow tired of all the typical scenarios we get bombarded with in nearly all apocalyptic novels. Of course, stories like this don’t have many different endings, so I expected it to end in savagery as a modern day “Lord of the Flies” or everyone gets saved and lives happily ever after. However, Laybourne takes a completely different route which makes this all the more interesting and just enough room for a sequel.

In such a small setting, characters become extremely vital. Even though we can only see them through Dean’s point of view, Laybourne gives us a descriptive look at each character equally— not an easy task to accomplish. Between the 14 characters, we have 6 kindergarteners one of whom speaks little English. We also have Alex, Dean’s brother who is a middle school genius; another middle schooler and 6 high schoolers who all must come up with a way to organize themselves. Each name comes with a background, which helps us better understand how they would cope with this trauma, and Laybourne acts as an excellent psychologist in describing this.

That being said, I was rather disappointed by the portrayal of the three main girl characters. Josie, Astrid, and Sahalia were not very uniquely created or developed throughout the story. They all had the ability to be great characters which is why I was dismayed to find this since surely Y.A. novels have grown past “the Mom, the beautiful Athlete, and the Bad one.”

Knowing that this was a young adult novel, I was prepared for some romance, but the romance in “Monument 14” is anything but one-of-a-kind. Dean, our bookish, and not popular but loveable narrator has long been in love with Astrid, who he describes as “champion diver on the swim team, scornful goddess, and girl of my dreams.” To make it all the more merrier, Astrid just happens to be dating dumb but popular jock Jake. Thus, we see stereotypical love triangle start to form. There’s also another love triangle that begins between “Motherly” Josie, bully Brayden, and pariah—but natural leader—Niko. I won’t hold it against Laybourne though, this is no love story.

Though this book definitely had its flaws like any other story, it’s a good read for dystopian fans. It’s all too real scenarios and wide variety of characters gives this novel amazing potential. “Monument 14” has set the standard high and is opening new opportunities to a new era of genres like this. The cliffhanger that Laybourne leaves us on doesn’t bother me too much; this half-ending , new beginning promises a remarkable and thrilling sequel, and frankly, I’m excited for what’s to come next.

Near the end, when the kids figure out what to do next, Dean says “Saying goodbye to them hurt like I was getting stabbed in the heart” and let me tell you, ending this book felt exactly like that. ( )
  Kimchi8811 | Feb 14, 2017 |
Dean didn't say goodbye to his mom that morning. He watched is brother Alex, in eighth grade, get on his bus and he got on the one to high school in Monument, Colorado. It was an ordinary day for Alex - avoid the popular kids in back and try to be invisible.
But then the hail began....but there's far worse coming
On an old television, news has reached the Dean ,Alex and the others that NORAD's chemical storage has leaked. And it's turning people into monsters, building on their rage to kill.
Most of all, they wonder if their parents are still alive...and just how many survivors are left in the world that has come undone.
This is future survival fiction at its finest! Look for a sequel to this incredibly fast read that will take you to the edge of your seat!
Includes Common Core pair :)
Full review on my blog, or link on @yabooksandmore

  jothebookgirl | Jan 3, 2017 |
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For my brother
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Your moher hollers that you're going to miss the bus.
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Trapped inside a chain superstore by an apocalyptic sequence of natural and human disasters, six high school kids from various popular and unpopular social groups struggle for survival while protecting a group of younger children.

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