ARC review: Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne
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 hurdle 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.
In this debut post-apocalyptic Young Adult novel from the incredibly talented actress/screenwriter/lyricist/singer/author, Emmy Laybourne, we are introduced to a group of kids and teenagers (ages 5-18) who are trapped in a superstore while civilization collapses outside the gates. Despite the fact that they have a fairly decent shelter that provides basic needs, they soon discover that the thing they need and desire more than anything else is their parents and comfortable homes.
The more time that passes as the kids are waiting to be rescued inside the store the more things begin to change outside. When a chemical is released into the air, people’s personalities begin to change based on their specific blood type. Things escalate in a heartbreaking scene that pins brother against brother and children are hurt by the hands of other children.
MONUMENT 14 is an emotional book that examines various personality traits in a survival situation. Think LORD OF THE FLIES meets LOST only set inside a Wal-mart style supercenter that provides essentials and shelter and then add some science-fiction elements and you’ll get a good idea of how the story flows. I admit, this wasn’t what I expected and that being said, I’m not sure now what exactly I had been anticipating, but I liked the book and couldn’t stop reading it despite the few slow moments and times that I knew what was coming next. I think Laybourne’s history as an actress and screenwriter helped her character development and aided in creating a story that seemed to play like scenes from a film in my head.
Emmy Laybourne has written a new series that is entertaining but definitely not for those sensitive to obscene language (blasphemy), sexual situations, and violence or opposed to cliffhanger endings.
Recommended for older YA preferably 15 & up