Friday, March 15, 2013

Monument 14 - Emmy Laybourne

Title: Monument 14
Author: Emmy Laybourne
Paperback: 294 pages (ARE version)
Publisher: MacTeen/Feiwel & Friends/Macmillan
Published date: July 2012
FTC: Received to review from publisher

I received this book as part of the Fierce Reads tour from MacTeen.  I have to admit that they have some pretty awesome books out there.  Shadow and Bone was my favorite but I also really enjoyed Cinder.  I also reviewed Struck which was ok and I haven't reviewed Of Poseidon just yet.  Monument 14 was actually pretty darn good.  There's definitely a sequel so I'm not sure if it's going to be a trilogy or what.  For some reason though this one didn't grab me like some of the others.  If the next book falls in my lap I'll read it but I'm not itching to read it like some of the others.

Back of the book:

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 weapon spill, seems to be tearing the world - as they know it - apart.

My thoughts:

Emmy Laybourne sets up this series with one of the most original and realistic apocalyptic events I've read about.  Monument 14 gets it's name from Monument, Colorado - a small town near Colorado Springs and more importantly, Cheyenne Mountain - the famous NORAD nuclear bunker.

Dean and his brother Alex are racing to make their school bus on time.  The opening scene of the hailstorm, the bus wreck, and the narrow escape as the bus rams into a chain shopping store is a pretty awesome start to the book.  Talk about pulling you right into the story.

After dealing with life and death situations, the rest of the book takes place inside of the superstore as the children, left alone without any adults, have to survive and figure out what is going on.  The whole story takes place through the perspective of not-to-popular high schooler Dean.  So while it's a story of an apocalyptic event, there's enough down-time in the store to eek out a lot of teen angst.  Of course there's Dean grappling with his popularity, some bullying by more popular guys, a big-time crush on a girl, being a big brother to Alex, and also trying to feed and keep calm a bunch of younger elementary school age kids.  I thought Emmy Laybourne did a great job of writing through a male teen's perspective.  

While it was a pretty original and fun read, it just didn't grip me enough to be excited about reading the next book.  The up side is that the next book will probably have more than one perspective and not just take place in the store.  I don't want to give away any spoilers but here's the next book's cover to give you an idea:

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