by Emmy Laybourne
Published by Macmillan/Feiwel and Friends
on June 5, 2012
Source: bought from independent bookstore
I have categories of things I try not to think about: A) things I don't want to do, like fulfill my 2012 resolution to take up spinning and B) scary things that actually might happen.
Monument 14 begins with a cataclysmic chain of events which could actually happen.
In Monument, Colorado, two busloads of kids are headed to school in when they are caught in a freakish hailstorm. The bus carrying high school students crashes and its surviving passengers are pulled to safety by the driver of the elementary/middle school bus. A handful of kids from each bus manage to take refuge inside a Walmart-like superstore. By watching the TVs in the electronics section of the store, the kids learn about the cause of the hailstorm: a volcanic eruption created a tsunami that decimated much of the east coast of the U.S., then an earthquake caused a breech in the NORAD chemical weapons storage facility in Colorado.
The older kids know that the situation is bleak, but they also decide to put on a brave face for the younger kids until help arrives. Then scary stuff starts to happen to them as well: the chemical spill seems to be having a strange effect on some of the kids, and there are people outside the store, rattling the safety gate and begging to get in.
My thoughts: I enjoyed this book. It was one part page-turning suspense story, one part post-apocalyptic Lord of the Flies remake. Emmy Laybourne did a good job of giving each character a distinct personality, while adding some simmering conflicts and rivalries, Breakfast Club style. The tension waned a bit as the kids finally got everything inside the store under control. Then there was an interesting twist that had me chewing my nails a bit.
High school student Dean, the main character, is mostly an observer, with one of the least distinctive personalities of the group. His brother Alex, the electronics expert, was a lot livelier. Mysterious loner Niko was one of my favorite characters, as was beautiful Astrid, who revealed a unexpected tougher side.
If you can't bear the idea of committing to another series, I'm sorry to say that this book does end in a cliffhanger. I had mixed feelings about that. On the one hand, this book had the urgent pacing and succinct characterization of a movie, so I was expecting to get that satisfying feeling of credit-rolling closure by the time my hand hit the bottom of the popcorn bucket. I felt a little miffed when that didn't happen. On the other hand, I am curious to see how this plucky group of kids makes out.
If you liked Trapped by Michael Northrup or plan to watch Last Family on Earth, the new reality show that awards the winning family it's own survivalist bunker, Monument 14 should definitely go on your TBR list. It intrigued me, keeping my interest from the first page to the last.
Dying to read this? Scroll down to the post below this one and enter my Debut Authors Giveaway Hop. Monument 14 is one of the choices!
I'm torn on Survivalist books. Like I really wanted to read "Life As We Knew It" and I liked it, but man, afterwards I had to have some really light reading after all that doom and gloom. I have the sequel, which I heard is darker (it's title The Dead and Gone, if that's any indication)and I've been putting off reading it because I know it's going to be bleak. I guess I have to really be in the right frame of mind to read this type book. It does sound like an interesting premise though:)ReplyDelete
I agree! those books kind of scare me, and at the same time, maybe they have information that would help me survive if I ever did end up in a survivalist situation.Delete
You know I definitely want to read this book! I love the premise of it. I'm glad you enjoyed it! I know there is a sequel, so at least I'm prepared for a cliffhanger ending! haha!ReplyDelete
As long as you're up for it. For some (dumb) reason, I totally didn't see it coming!Delete
I went into this knowing there would be a book after it, but I still was a bit let down by this book. I wish that there had been more emotion in it. I never really "felt" the seriousness of the situation. I am curios to see where it goes though.ReplyDelete
I did expect this book to be way more scary than it was. It certainly didn't give me nightmares. Since you know that I don't love super-scary books, I didn't mind all that much. But I can definitely see how some readers would expect more emotional intensity.Delete
even at BEA you are able to read!! you are amazing :)ReplyDelete
There's always time to read. On the way there. On the way back. And this morning, I arrived at 8 all wide awake, but all the people around me in line were really tired, so I finished a book on my Kindle.Delete
This sounds intense. I am still trying to read The Way We Fall, which is a Zombie-esque virus survival book. I like them but spread out. Doesn't Courtney Summers have one coming out soon?ReplyDelete
Yes! And because I love Courtney Summers so much, I am reading her book, which does seem to have a somewhat similar premise.Delete
OOOOHHH! so jealous!Delete
Sounds interesting. I put it on my tbr, but I think I'll wait until the series is out so I don't have to wait forever to find out what happens. :)ReplyDelete
That is sometimes a very smart idea! No going back and reviewing book one necessary!Delete
This sounds like a really good book! I believe I would enjoy this.ReplyDelete
I do want to read MONUMENT 14. Hate cliffhangers, so I'm going to wait for the series to be completed. Plenty to read in the meantime!!ReplyDelete
Eeeek! I need to read this one STAT! haha I've been excited about it since I first heard about it. So glad you enjoyed this one! Great review :)ReplyDelete
This one sounds fun! And scary. I'm always more scared by the plausible than by ghosts and monsters. Also... seriously so good to meet you!!!!!!!!!ReplyDelete
I need this book! Love the review Jen! I mentioned you on my blog!ReplyDelete
I'm so excited to read this! It sounds really creepy and full of action! Great review, Jen!ReplyDelete