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June 07, 2012

Review: Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne - Juhina

Monument 14

Title: Monument 14 (Monument 14 #1)
Author: Emmy Laybourne
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Publication Date: June 5th, 2012
Genre(s): Young Adult (Post Apocalyptic)
Challenges: Debut
Source: NetGalley
Format: Digital ARC
Pages: 294
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.
WOW. That was my reaction at the end of the book. That was ONE HELL OF A RIDE! Throughout the whole book I was addicted, I could not put it down, kept on reading and reading and I guess I blame my new fascination in survival novels. Put a bunch of characters in an enclosed area and let them try to survive and you've got a very happy reader (me). However Monument 14 just didn't lose its momentum! It kept on going and the addition of little kids into the mix was just pure genius. I found the characters in Monument 14 much more likable, even though some were plain old jerks, however they all at some point banded together because in they end they all want to live. Also, the addition of the little kids gave them more responsibility and they upped they carefulness and just dimmed on their selfishness. I did have one or two characters that I just did not like, including one of the 13 year olds and a typical senior jock. 
What I love in survival books is how the survival instincts of the characters kick in, and their race against time, limited resources, and basically staying sane in order to survive begins. In Monument 14, you experience all of that through the characters, and even though its told from a male POV, and I'm not fond of them, I actually felt connected to him, except for his a little too desperate one sided crush on one of the other characters. I really enjoyed Emmy's writing, the sequencing of the plot, and how she stuck to logic throughout the books, and trust me while this might seem as an obvious thing, a lot of authors derail from it towards the end of the book. 
I must say, I loved the chemical spill and how different blood types react differently to it, my only question is, how can they not know their blood types? Emmy adds in the fight for survival, natural disasters, but doesn't forget the emotional side of the story, and I loved how the little kids were taken care of, how the kids grew attached to some characters, and it broke my heart to know they don't have their parents at such a young age and very crucial time. Also there is some romance thrown between some of the characters, I honestly have mixed feelings about the romances in the book but since they don't take up a big part of the book I didn't give much thought to it. However, we reach the end of the book and then there was a HUGE point to the romance, because that ending? wow.  
All in all, Monument 14 was such a thrilling novel, and I did not even know it was part of a series until I started writing my review so I am a bit giddy about that, since the ending was a bit unsatisfactory and open ended, but knowing there is a sequel? oh my, I can't contain my excitement waiting!!  
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  1. I just met Emmy tonight and adored her!! I seriously am soooo excited to read her book - and I've heard so many great things about it! I can't wait to get lost in this world of survival!

    Great review, Juhina! :D

    Sierra @ Yearning to Read

  2. Ooh I jus reviewed this book today! I enjoyed it as well, thought it was fairly well done :) AND SO EXCITING! Just like you said, all the way through i could NOT put this book down! I had to knwo what was happening :)

    Glad to hear you enjoyed it, Juhina!

    Brenna from Esther's Ever After

  3. I think this is the most excited review of this book I've seen so far. Most people seem to think the stakes weren't raised enough or whatnot. It sounds like a cool premise though, so I'm glad you loved it. I might have to check it out at some point. Oh, and I don't know my blood it's common...

    I always comment back,

  4. I've heard so much about this book! It sounds awesome, great review :)

  5. Sounds very promising! I generally don't read survival type books because I end up dreaming about it. >_>

  6. Emily Laybourne captured my heart with her wonderful characterizations and plucked my nerves as I waited for the next thrilling ordeal the students faced. I loved the fact that the kids were in charge and managed to be so resourceful. Brilliant! Great first book. I am anxiously awaiting the sequel. I have to know what happened to these kids!

  7. I love survival stories! And good characters? Now I'm intrigued. :) Lucky for me, I was sent all the Fierce Reads titles for review, (though I still have yet to read this one and Struck). Glad to hear you enjoyed it!

    grace (Alaska Hunts)