Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne

Monument 14 by Emmy LaybourneMonument 14 by Emmy Laybourne
Series: Monument 14 #1
Genre: Post Apocalyptic
Release Date: April 4, 2013
Publisher: Hachette Children's Books
Source: Publisher
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: two-stars

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 has an interesting premise. There’s a series of natural disasters which set off a whole chain of events, and eventually cause toxic waste to be released into the air. I really like post-apocalyptic stuff, and I was looking forward to this one because I thought it might help me edit my own apocalypse survival plan. Instead, it was a dull. So. Dull.

I didn’t connect with Dean, the main character. I liked that the author made him an outcast and a victim of bullying, but it got to a point where he was just making whiny complaints and not doing anything about it. I would have liked to have seen the bullying addressed more openly. Dean fought back with his fists a couple of times, but he didn’t really give the bully what for in terms of sticking up for himself mentally and emotionally. The bully also wasn’t told off at all sternly, nor did he face any consequences of his name calling. However, that might well be coming in the sequel.

I also thought that Dean was a complete idiot because he chose a girl over his brother and his family. NOPE. Family comes first, Dean! Did you learn nothing from watching Supernatural?!

The writing is probably what I liked the least about this book. There just weren’t enough descriptions. I think it was meant to feel as though Dean was writing these thoughts in a journal, but that made me feel very disconnected from the main plot and the setting. There was a lot of jumping from one point to another, and it just didn’t suck me in. I didn’t feel like I was in the shopping mall with them, I felt like I was looking in through a window.

Another issue I had was the use of “a-hole” and “F” in place of curse words. If you address themes such as rape, paedophilia, murder, and teen pregnancy, surely you can include a couple of assholes and fucks in there too. It just seemed strange to me.

There also wasn’t much survival stuff going on. Ashfall by Mike Mullin did all that stuff perfectly, in the sense that there was hunting, rationing, fighting to survive, and it was so exciting. In Monument 14, the kids in the mall barely even talk about rations. It was all too cosy.

I don’t think I’m going to be reading the sequel, but I’ll probably look up spoilers because I am interested in seeing what happens to Alex and the others. Dean, on the other hand, can run off and disappear. I was so uninterested in him, it was crazy.

14 comments on “Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne

  1. Judith 04/04/2013 7:57 pm

    “because I thought it might help me edit my own apocalypse survival plan” hahahaha. Anyway, I hate it when I can’t connect with a character. That’s probably one of the worst things that can happen (to me?) while reading. Especially when I just want to punch a character in the face. Oh, and I HATE IT when they turn swear words into something weird. Seriously? When I hit my head or anything I won’t go all “OH HOLY F”. Why should it be like that in books? It’s like American television. Nope.

    • Amber (Books of Amber) 05/04/2013 3:10 pm

      Look, I have an awesome apocalypse plan! Also a zombie plan. You can never be too prepared.

      I agree, not being able to connect is THE WORST. Characters are the most important thing to me, and often not even a great plot can save the book if I don’t like the main character. Like Taken, for example. Although I might read the second book in that series just because I hate myself.

      UGHHHHH. I HATE IT. I don’t mind it in sci-fi, because I find it quite funny when swear words evolve into ‘frack’ or whatever. But in modern YA? Nope. Just don’t bother at all if you’re not going to include them.

  2. Kim (YA Asylum) 05/04/2013 3:39 am

    Not connecting with the main character would really hinder your enjoyment of this book. I just bought it on my kindle so this review concerns me. Great review!

  3. Brooke DelVecchio 05/04/2013 10:45 am

    oh no, I hate not connecting! I met Emmy two weeks ago. She’s great!

    • Amber (Books of Amber) 05/04/2013 3:11 pm

      It’s the worst experience ever! Ohhh, that’s so great to hear. I’m glad you had a good time XD

  4. Jenea Whittington 05/04/2013 12:02 pm

    It’s tough when you don’t really care for the MC. I have seen this one, but I haven’t gave it much thought about it, so I will just keep it that way. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on it. 😀

    Jenea @ Books Live Forever

    • Amber (Books of Amber) 05/04/2013 3:11 pm

      Yup, I hate not connecting with the main character. At least I didn’t despise him, I guess XD

  5. Ellen Alwaysyaatheart 05/04/2013 2:22 pm

    I am sorry you didn’t connect with the MC. That’s always a bummer. I have been curious about this book. Thanks for the honest review.

    • Amber (Books of Amber) 05/04/2013 3:12 pm

      If you decide to pick it up, I hope you like it more than I did! I agree, not connecting with the MC often ruins a book. 🙁

  6. Jess Hearts Books! 05/04/2013 4:29 pm

    Oh dear! I agree that the premise sounds really interesting but I haven’t been hearing many good things for this one. Such a shame, there is nothing worse than a main character you can’t connect to.

  7. Mel@Thedailyprophecy 05/04/2013 6:14 pm

    Not connecting with the MC; these are – most of the time – books I end up putting on the DNF list. Disconnection from the plot and the storyline is even worse. I don’t think I will be reading this one any time soon. What a shame, because I did put this one on my list for the Dystopian challenge. Oh well, there are enough other Dystopians. Great review!


  8. Christina 07/04/2013 2:51 pm

    “Another issue I had was the use of “a-hole” and “F” in place of curse words. If you address themes such as rape, paedophilia, murder, and teen pregnancy, surely you can include a couple of assholes and fucks in there too.” Bahaha. That is an EXCELLENT point. I enjoyed this one, but it wasn’t an amazing book by any means. I’m really concerned about where the second one will go what with the teen pregnancy thing. I hate babies.

  9. Rachel 07/04/2013 11:55 pm

    This did sound like an interesting premise when I first heard of it. The main character sounds a little frustrating with how he handles things. Sorry this fell flat for you, Amber. Great honest review. 🙂

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