Review: Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne

Title:  Monument 14
Author:  Emmy Laybourne
Series:  Monument 14 #1
Publisher:  Feiwel and Friends, an imprint of Macmillan
Publication Date:  June 5, 2012
Pages:  294
Format/Source:  Hardback/Purchased

Age Group/Genre:  Young Adult/Science Fiction, Post-Apocalyptic

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 launch yourself 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. (Cover and synopsis from Goodreads)

Fast-Paced and Action-Packed…

I love apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic books and movies, so I knew that I’d love Monument 14.  I love the fact that these kids are stuck inside of a Super Target-style store, and that there’s a map of the store on the inside of the cover.  And I read this book in one day, which is saying a lot, because I normally take several days to read a book.  I had other things to do that day, but I was so engrossed in the story that I didn’t want to put it down.

The pace was quick, and there was lots of action and conflict throughout the story.  I mean, just the beginning when the kids are on the school bus was a crazy scene in itself.  And then everything that happens after they get stuck in the store was exciting and intriguing and completely seemed like how these kids would react in such a situation.

One of my favorite parts was when Dean gets inspired to write a poem in the middle of the night, and swears it’s awesome, and then in the morning he can barely read his writing and there are places where he has underlined, but there are no words above the underline.  This kind of thing happens to me a lot!  I get an idea for a plot or something while I’m drifting off to sleep so I write it down and in the morning I realize it either doesn’t make sense at all or it’s a horrible idea.

Kind of Censored?…

The only thing that kind of bothered me about the book was the fact that sometimes it seemed a bit censored.  Like a person would use a curse word and it would just have the first letter and then a big line.  I can understand why an author might not want to include certain words in their book, but I feel like it should have been left out, or it could have simply stated that the character cursed.  It’s not a huge drawback to the story, but it did kind of take me out of the situation and made me wonder why the author or publisher decided to do that.  Because I feel like in this situation, those teenagers are going to curse.  And I know that some readers don’t like reading curse words, so I understand why they might want to be left out, but I feel like this was a strange way to do it.

Great Quotes…

Here are some of my favorite quotes from Monument 14:

“And here’s the hilarious part–it was a FORESHOCK.  Apparently, that’s what happens when you’re about to experience an 8.2.  It’s an earthquake so big it sends messengers ahead.”

“You know you have a hangover when Christmas tree lights hurt your eyes.”

“I was left there, wearing an apron, feeling like a middle-aged mother whose children have discovered the mall.”

“Sometimes, when you’d least expect it, the grief would chop your legs out from under you.”

My rating for Monument 14, by Emmy Laybourne:

Actually 4.5 stars.  I was sucked into this story, and I really didn’t want it to end.  I can’t wait for the sequel, Sky on Fire!
Find it:  Goodreads │ Amazon │ Macmillan
You may also enjoy:  The Maze RunnerPure
Disclaimer:  I purchased this book myself.  I was not compensated in any way for this review.


  1. Brittany @ The Book Addicts Guide

    January 31, 2013 at 3:18 pm

    Hahaha I was exactly the same way – I didn't like the censoring. Either put it in, or don't at all, I think.
    I was surprised at how much I actually liked the book though! I thought it was great :) Glad you enjoyed it too!

  2. Andrea @ Cozy Up

    January 31, 2013 at 5:36 pm

    I actually wasn't the biggest fan of this book. I didn't really like the characters throughout the story, and I felt that it was just kids trying to play house for most of it. I'm glad to hear that you did like it. I'm not really sure why it is a series but I'm a little intrigued to know where the story will go after this.

  3. Kate Midnight Book Girl

    February 2, 2013 at 6:14 pm

    I really want to get to this book someday. Eventually we're all going just buy our own library/bookstore. You know that, right?

  4. Kay

    February 3, 2013 at 5:40 pm

    I'm so glad you enjoyed this book! I loved it when I read it a couple of months ago. I can't wait for the next one to come out. The book really does start off with a bang with the hail storm!

    I see where you are coming from with the censored thing. I hear you there. :)

  5. Bittner

    February 3, 2013 at 6:11 pm

    I think I might have to go ahead and read this one. You and Kim both seemed to love it so much. Great review Andrea!

  6. fakesteph

    February 8, 2013 at 5:19 pm

    HAhaha… one day I wrote down a CRAZY plot that was going to be THE NEXT BIG THING and when I woke up it was about a teenage girl dating the father of her best friend (who has a crush on her) and also superheros. WTF.

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