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Source: eARC from publisher
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Format: Hardcover, 294 pages
Release Date: June 5, 2012
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.Monument 14 is a novel that immediately caught my eye. I mean... being trapped in a superstore? I think we've all had that fantasy at some point (I know I certainly did). There are so many directions with which the author could have taken the story and I would have been thrilled! Unfortunately, while I did moderately enjoy this book while reading it, it did not live up to my (admittedly high) expectations.
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.
I think a large part of the problem for me was the main character, Dean. I was actually rather surprised by the choice of having Dean as a main character and while I can appreciate that the author was trying to use a character that I could sympathize with, it just didn't happen for me. I honestly found Dean's narration dull and frankly bizarre at times. It's the end of the world and everyone except your little group of school children may be dead... but you're going to spend lots of time writing in your journal about the exact dishes you prepared at every meal?
Some of the younger children were adorable (especially the twins!) and they had some fun adventures that were entertaining to read about but, for the most part, I felt the characters clinged to stereotypical roles.
An exciting and intriguing plot twist presented itself when NORAD chemicals start to make an appearance. The chemicals have different results on different people but without spoiling anything, I'll just say that some of the effects were pretty dramatic.
With events such as these, the action in the book increased substantially and I found myself very intrigued to continue reading. At some points, I did feel as though events happened randomly and I would have liked better flow but for the most part, Monument 14 was entertaining to read.
Despite the fascinating premise, Monument 14 failed to earn my complete adoration. However, I am interested in reading the sequel, especially if there is a change in narration!
Cover Comments: I really like it! It's so dramatic with the stormy sky and backs of the characters... It almost looks like a movie poster!