REVIEW: Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne

02 March 2013

Series: Monument 14 #1
Publisher: Hatchette Childrens Books
Publishing Date: April 4th 2013
Pages: 352
Book: For Review*
Format: Advanced Reader Copy (ARC)
Genre: Young Adult (YA), Science Fiction, Dystopian, Survival, Adventure.
Reviewed For: Chicklish
Spoilers: *if you want to read the spoilers, highlights between the asterisks*
Blurb: 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 barrelling 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.

It’s no fun being stuck in a shopping mall with no adults around.
We may all dream of it at sometime in our life, the freedom, being able to do what you want, but when it comes down to it, no-one would want to be; and most of us – I hope – have never been.
Dean gets thrown in at the deep end when he and some little kids get trapped in a superstore and have to fend for themselves. 

When I got offered this book to review I took it, not having read any of these ‘trapped in a school//mall stories’ before. I didn’t enjoy it as much as I had hoped, but it was overall an enjoyable read and I was pleasantly surprised when I found out it was written from a male POV having not read many lately, but as I said, I found out after quite a few pages.
At the beginning I had no idea whether the main character was a girl or a boy, so I have to admit, I flicked through a few pages until I saw a name given to the main character – Dean - then went back to where I had started.

It was a bit confusing at first, and although I now knew his name I kept forgetting because there was nothing to remind me but after a while I got used to it.
One thing that slightly annoyed me was the fact that the author kept repeating things, as if thinking we had such a lack of interest for her book that we had forgotten what had happened a few pages back. As I read in a review of this book by Giselle over at Xpresso Reads, "because, remember [...]" was used a lot, as if we weren’t smart enough to have caught on to what was happening.
Definitely a pet peeve of mine.
Overall Monument 14 was enjoyable, but not something I would pick if I had a choice of books in front of me. Some characters interested me and the main ‘catastrophes’ had promise, but after a few chapters everything fell a bit flat. The ending, though, did leave a little spark of excitement curiosity in me so I will read the sequel just to see what happens.

*Thank you to Luisa for sending this to me in exchange for an honest review


  1. Great review! It is a shame that it had a few flaws but I'm glad you enjoyed it overall. Like your said, this book wouldn't be the sort of thing I pick out either, but I might try it soon. Thanks for posting! :)

  2. what is Dystopian? i haven't heard that one before.

  3. Great review! I've actually read quite a few negative reviews on this book so I think I'll be giving it a miss... Not only do I usually not get along with male narrators but if the most intriguing plot lines are being dominated by love triangles and such then I'm pretty sure I'd get extremely annoyed! I mean, with an apocalyptic book you would expect it to be focusing more on the world ending and the catastrophes that are ensuing instead of the main character's love life!

    Sorry if it sounds like I'm rambling, haha! Anyways. Thanks for sharing this great review!

  4. Sometimes romance just doesn't work in a book, and I wish authors would stop trying to force it in. Even though this didn't blow you away, I'm glad you found it fairly enjoyable overall. Fantastic review! :)

  5. Yeah, I'm pretty much with you on this one - it was quite good but nothing particularly stood out for reminded me a lot of Dark Inside by Jeyn Roberts which also follows a group of teenagers following an apocalypse, but which I thought was more exciting... Great review, though! :D

  6. Great review! I really wanted to read this but I'm not sure if I will now. They should definitely have focused more on what was happening on the outside instead of what the characters ate for breakfast! :P

    Thanks for the honest review! :)

  7. All I have to say is I disagree. I thought this was a fun read, for a dystopia, and I really enjoyed it! Nice review :)

    1. i'm glad you liked it...but I DID NOT. ;p Thank you.


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