Monday 4 February 2013

My review of Monument 14

Monument 14 (Monument 14 #1) by Emmy Laybourne
Release Date: April 4, 2013 (UK), June 5, 2012 (US)
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Monument 14 (Monument 14 #1)Fourteen kids. One superstore. A million things that go wrong ...
Fourteen kids stranded inside a superstore. Inside they have everything they could ever need. There's junk food and clothes, computer games and books, drugs and alcohol ... and without adult supervision they can do whatever they want.
Sounds like fun? 

But outside the world is being ripped apart by violent storms and chemicals leaking into the atmosphere that, depending on blood type, leave victims paranoid, violent or dead. 

The kids must remain inside, forced to create their own community, unsure if they'll ever be able to leave. Can they stop the world they've created inside from self-destructing too?

Monument 14 is an edgy and completely absorbing post-apocalyptic following a teenage boy named Dean, who is on his way to school in the school bus like any other day. Until the bus crashes and the bus tips over and all the children are helped out and sent to refuge in a superstore. There are no adults to look after them, to tell them what to do. Dean and thirteen other kids, including his younger brother, are stuck in a building with a long-lasting amount of food, clothes, books and all the computer games you could wish for. They must all remain inside the building because outside the walls are people dying due to the deathly storms and strange chemicals in the air which effect people in different ways depending on their blood type. They must find a way to communicate with the outside world and find rescue, before mayhem is caused inside the walls.

The author manages to hook you in from the first chapter with an explosive event that you will want to learn more about. I really loved the idea of fourteen teenagers being trapped in a supermarket and trying to find a way to communicate with the outside world, but also the idea that one child may turn on another. Monument 14 is described as "Lord of the Flies meets The Day After Tomorrow", and I don't think you could sum-up this book any better than that!

The book is told from Dean's point-of-view; a teenage boy who isn't that popular among others his age. I thought that he was a likable character who always tried his best to keep in control and help those around him. He had his flaws, I must admit, but I loved reading from his perspective because he is an honest guy who sees things for what they are. 

The one thing that sticks out for me would be the setting. Fourteen children and teenagers are stuck in a SUPERSTORE. I mean, how could that not be fascinating? They have everything they could ever need, plus more! I was anxious to see what they would decide to do inside: Stay sensible, don't touch the alcohol and try to make the place a home, or raid the junk food, play computer games all day and destroy products. Fortunately, there are a few born leaders who try to set up a good working community and keep calm, though there are a few who decide to fall off the wagon and cause a few problems, but that just made the story a load more interesting to read about.

Monument 14 will not be everyone's cup of tea, but it will please those out there who love a gripping YA post-apocalyptic with plenty of edgy and gripping moments. I expect Sky on Fire will be even better because the ending to Monument 14 was heart-breaking and left me with a bunch of questions.

- A review copy was provided by Hachette Children's Books.


  1. The book is getting mixed reviews from readers and I also have the hard time in deciding if I should read it. I'm not a big reader of apocalyptic books but this seems interesting. Thanks for the review! I have to think about it.

  2. I love this type of stories. Will definitely pick up a copy!

  3. I definitely have been meaning to read this one for a while. I need to get my hands on this one. Right now.

    Great review!

  4. I've always thought that the best place to be when there's an apocalypse is a Superstore... It's just the one place when you can get everything. So when I saw this book for the first time I immediately added it on my to-read list. I still haven't had the chance to read it but I really, really want to. Great review and I'm glad you liked it so much. I really hope I do too.

  5. Great review. You summed up many of my feelings on the book. I actually didn't expect to like it as much as I did, and it stuck with me.

  6. I've had this on my radar for some time. Now I'm psyched but with the heart-breaking ending I think I'll wait until the release of book 2 is closer at hand. These type of endings tend to give me anxiety fits where I worry about my book 'friends' until the next installment.