Monday, July 2, 2012

Review: Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne

Monument 14 
by Emmy Laybourne

Release Date: June 5, 2012
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Pages: 294
Genre: YA Disaster/Survival/Sci-Fi
Source: Netgalley
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
Haunt Author: Website | Facebook | Twitter

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.   ADD TO GOODREADS

I loved that this is exciting right from the start. Dean is on his way to school like any other day when all of a sudden a giant hail storm hits causing his school bus to roll and crash. The bus driver of the younger kids, including his brother, picks them up and then drives them right into the Greenway superstore, saving their lives. The bus driver, the only adult, takes off to walk to the hospital to get help and never returns.

This very diverse group of 14 kids of all ages and backgrounds must decide what to do and how to survive. The psychology major in me loves these type of books with a group survival dynamic. It is interesting to think what a random group of almost strangers of all ages will do. There was a lot of chaos, arguing, and clashing. The small kids cry and want to go home, the older jock guys just raid the pharmacy, do drugs, drink, and play foosball, the boy scout wants to clean and come up with a plan, one girl is in shock and not speaking after seeing her friend die, there is the little boy who wants to pray all the time, another boy who didn't speak much English, another kid that had some pretty crazy stories, a young girl that wanted all the male attention, and Dean's super intelligent brother figures out the electronic equipment to see what is going on outside.

The world suffered the worst natural disaster in recorded history, the book takes place in 2024. The biggest tsunami in recorded history struck which also caused a breach of chemical-weapons storage units and the chemicals cause all different blood types to react differently. Some go crazy and violent, some hallucinate, some blister, and some are fine except for going sterile. YIKES! The chemicals will be in the air for 6-12 months. The chemical part was a little outlandish for me but I think the purpose was for them to basically be stuck with no way of knowing if their parents are okay or what they should do but to stay put to avoid the air outside. As expected, everyone has different ideas of what should be done.

Dividing up jobs is difficult and Dean ends up as the cook. Luckily they ended up in a giant superstore so they have plenty of food, sleeping bags, medical supplies, clothes, water, and other necessities such as candy to bribe the younger kids. It really sucks they got stuck taking care of them. I wouldn't be able to handle not only dealing with my own problems but also taking care of little kids as well. Dean is a nice guy and known as a bit of a skinny loser. The other guys pick on him and are big jerks. They just want to get high all day but the little kids love him. Dean pines for Astrid, the girl he has been in love with forever, but she is into a different guy. I felt bad for Dean for a large part of the story but he really holds it together and helps everyone. I felt like the situations were explained realistically even though there were some yucky details such as a lice outbreak, no showers, and a toilet problem but I was happy they were dealing with serious issues. Nothing was glossed over. The ending is left very open on a bit of a cliffhanger.

"Obviously everything has gone to hell but I am supposed to be in charge so I just thought I'd ask!"

"You know, you'd think that being locked in a Greenway during the end of the world would bring out the best in everyone, but-surprise!-Brayden was still an a-hole and a bully."

Rating: 4/5

Part of The All Male Review Challenge ~ Male Protagonist Dean

30 comments:

  1. OoOO I didn't know this had a male POV!!! Awesome!! I think I'm going to read it for the Challenge too! It actually sounds like such a great book and I see you really liked it :)

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    1. Yeah I was really surprised too but I do love male POVs! I had to do a bit of research to find more books with male POVs because sometimes you just don't realize it until you pick the book up. I enjoyed Dean's character and the story was really exciting. I hope you enjoy it too!

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  2. Oh I'm glad to hear this has a male POV - I didn't know that either! Although I do generally prefer the female POV, it's nice to get something different every now and again. This sounds like a really exciting read! Great review, Jen! :)

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    1. Yeah I usually prefer a female POV but I am enjoying the male POV more and more. It is a nice change to get a different perspective. This book has some really exciting scenes.

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  3. Yay for the All Male Review Challenge! I had no idea this had a male POV either, but since I'm so excited to participate in the AMRC, I'm definitely more pumped up to read this book especially if it's awesome! :) The "group of very different kids stranded together to survive" thing reminds me a bit of This is Not a Test by Courtney Summers, and since I really loved it there, I'm positive I'm going to love it here too! <3

    Amazing review, Jen! It's always awesome to read a book that deals with serious issues too :)

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    1. I love the All Male Review Challenge! This needs to be an all year challenge! I am really looking forward to reading This Is Not A Test because I do like when a group of people end up stuck together. I was glad there were some difficult issues that were dealt with. It felt realistic.

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  4. You know, this book just seems awesome to me. I love the disaster/survival aspect to the story. I'm really glad you enjoyed Monument 14. Great review!

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    1. I also love disaster/survival books. I love seeing the drama and the pressure to work out a plan and figure out how to survive.

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  5. Just like everyone else, I too had no idea it was a male POV. I'm still on the fence about reading this one. Thanks for the review.

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    1. I enjoyed Dean's POV. Thanks for stopping by! Hope you enjoy it if you decide to pick it up.

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  6. This book sounds great! And it has male POV, I'm definitely checking this book out. Thanks for the review!

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  7. No clue this one was male POV! Very cool. I'm not really a fan of cliffhanger endings, but reading this one seems worth it. And like I've always said, if you are ever caught in an apocalypse, be sure to trap yourself in a supercenter.

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    1. I'm not a fan of cliffhanger's either. This one wasn't too bad but it definitely left you wanting to know what will happen next. And right?! A superstore is the best place to be. Sleeping bags, air mattress, food, medicine, water, your set!

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  8. I've heard so much about this one but I haven't gotten around to reading it yet! I saw it in my bookstore yesterday and almost picked it up, but at the last minute I put it back. Now I'm rather wishing I'd gone ahead and bought it! Oh well...next time. Anyway, excellent review! <33

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    1. Yup always next time! So many book choices it can be a hard decision. I love sci-fi but don't read too many. Really enjoyed the group stuck in a superstore aspect of this one though.

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  9. I've seen some great reviews for this and I'm glad to hear you really enjoyed it! Your review made me understand a bit more because I didn't know what exactly made it so they couldn't leave. Awesome review!

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    1. Yeah I was a little confused about what it would be about. I knew there would be a disaster but to keep them permanently stuck there was also a chemical spill. I loved all the kids trapped together. Made for lots of drama!

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  10. I've had my eye on this one for awhile. Really excited for a book with a male POV...it's so rare these days. Great review.

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  11. Great review Jennifer! While I didn't love this one I'm sure a lot of people will. (I didn't hate it either it was just very slow for me). I'm super intrigued by the ending for sure I think the 2nd would be more up my alley. I also liked how nothing was sugarcoated it made it more compelling! Great review, love!

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    1. I found it pretty well paced until around 75% then it got slow for a little bit. I was always interested in the latest drama in the superstore. Yeah I really loved all the details and that nothing was sugarcoated. There was some nasty stuff! LOL I'm really looking forward to the second one. Curious what will happen with Dean and Astrid! And also what will happen with Alex. I'm wondering if it will switch POVs between them so we know what happens with both groups?!

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  12. Awesome review! I'm really glad you enjoyed this one overall. I've heard various things about it, but I am curious about the group dynamics as well. I keep forgetting this book has a male POV but that's really awesome.

    -lauren

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    1. Male POVs are awesome! I love group dynamic books. I love seeing a mix of people fight and argue and then come together.

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  13. This is an awesome review! Looks like a kick-a** read as well! ;) lol-ed at your inner psychology-major coming in. That actually really hooked me on to this one ;) (I looooved my psychology class this year) Anyway, thanks for sharing yet another great review! I shall be checking this one out!

    Vivian @ Vivaciously, Vivian

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    1. Yes I loved all my psychology classes. I just love seeing how people react to things especially survival and working together.

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  14. I had seen the book around but I had never even read the summary, sounds pretty interesting, though I'm worried abut the stress factor... was it stressing to read? Being in that sort of situation would drive me crazy, reading about it would probably also drive me a bit crazy... But if it has a lot of action maybe it is worth a try :)

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    1. It was a little stressing at times. The little kids stressed me. All ther whining and needing to be taken care of. lol I'm not a kid person! But otherwise some of them had fun just drinking and playing foosball which would have so been me. If I have to hang out in a superstore for six months or so I'm going to party! lol Help

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  15. My review for this one goes up soon. This was for sure an interesting read.

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    1. Yes I enjoyed your review! I also enjoyed the drama!

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