Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Review: Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne

Monument 14 (Monument 14, #1)
Title: Monument 14
Author: Emmy Laybourne
Publisher:  Feiwel & Friends
Publishing Date: June 5th 2012
Pages: 294
Genre: YA Apocalyptic
Series: Monument 14 #1
Source: Audio


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.

I really enjoyed this book. It was an apocalyptic book that didn’t really feel like an apocalyptic read. This book had some elements of apocalyptic, realistic fiction, and bits of a psychological thriller added to the read. I overall enjoyed all the separate parts put together to give me an overall intense read. The pacing was good, the intensity could have been a bit more but I was happy with it. The character development was strong for me and the story was quite interesting and different than many post apocalyptic I have read.

The end of the world has started, well at least that is what it looks like. Crazy weather, chemical spills, crazy people. It’s a fight for survival, especially for this group of kids who crashed in a bus and had to escape into a superstore to wait out the bad weather. This wait out becomes months with not knowing completely what is going, stuck playing house, and wondering what is next. It’s a book about survival and growth.

I really liked this book. I can’t say that it’s a book that will stay with me, some parts can be quite forgettable but the read was good, it had me glued to my seat, and I want to read more.

What I really liked about this book is the setting and the tone. The world is going crazy and these group of kids from elementary to high school are trapped inside a superstore taking care of each other. I mean first off… what luck. If I was going to be trapped anywhere a superstore would be good. Food, lodging, entertainment, clothing…. Its all there. Well that just made things a bit more interesting. This setting created a safe feeling place for these kids which made it hard for them to really latch on to the idea that it was nuts outside and their lives could be in danger. Of course in time this realization comes but it gave me the time to get to know that kids individually, their pre-apocalyptic personalities. Their true selves before. This gave the characters great room for growth. This setting also created a tone that was able to change throughout the book. Creating an event for more than just a story.

In the beginning things were easy. We will wait out the weather they said, they have plenty of supplies they said, we will be find they said. Let’s have some fun they said. Well we all know things don’t stay easy and things don’t last long, especially if the world around you is going haywire. So things started a bit different than the way they ended. Which by the way. Quite and ending.. cliffhanger for sure.

The character development was good, I liked a few, I hated a few, I felt indifferent about a few. This too me is good. I connected to them, even when I didn’t like them. I felt I knew them enough to understand why they said and did, even when I hated their choices. There was a variety of characters, some cliche too. That happens when there are bunches of kids. Speaking of, we had different age groups in this book, which also went over well with me. The older had to figure out how to take care of the smaller. This made for a few intense and humorous situations. Overall, I really enjoyed the wide variety of characters and their extreme and flawed personalities. It gave room to grow and mature. Some did and some didn’t. I think this worked very well for the character development side.,

Really this book didn’t have too much action. This is probably the one thing I didn’t care for in this book. I would have liked a bit more action. It never felt slow but it was a lot of time in these kids heads and I think I would have enjoyed some blow off steam time to get out of the distressed, crazy, and random thoughts of kids.

I listened to this book on audio and loved the narrator. He really brought the characters to life and gave them individual voices. He also seemed to get the tone and mood just right. Just how I would have imagined the story in my own head. I would love to listen to more with  Todd Haberkorn as the narrator.

It was a solid read for me and although there was little action and a cliffhanger ending, I am very happy to continue with the series… not just because of the cliffhanger ending.

Emmy Laybourne

Emmy Laybourne is a novelist, public speaker, screenwriter and former character actress.

Emmy’s Monument 14 trilogy has earned critical praise ("Frighteningly real… riveting" - New York Times Book Review, Editor’s Choice) and has been nominated by readers to the YALSA Teens Top Ten in 2013 and won in 2014.!

Emmy’s new book SWEET tells the story of a luxury cruise to launch a new diet sweetener that goes comically, then tragically, then terrifyingly wrong. It got a perfect 10 from VOYA and hits the stands on June 2, 2015

Before her life as an author, Emmy performed original comedy on Comedy Central, MTV and VH1; and acted in the movies "Superstar," "The In-Laws" and "Nancy Drew," among others. Emmy loves visiting school and libraries. Find out more at:


  1. I loved this series <3 I just need to read the last book xP but I think it definitely gets better :D I'm so glad you liked it!

    1. I am on the second one now and wow so intense at times.

  2. I don't see enough people reading this books! I liked them a great deal. I totally agree with you that they may not be very memorable but they are entertaining reads. I hope you like the other books! I did. :)

    1. i just finished the second book and liked it even more. I agree it doesn't seem to be read that much. They are good.

  3. Haha, yeah, things are always fine at first and then all goes to hell, but the setting sounds fun, in the way that it does set the tone of the book. Glad you connected to the characters, but that cliffhanger ending would kill me, haha. :)


Imagination Designs