Julia's Reviews > Monument 14

Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review
Jun 07, 12

it was ok
bookshelves: young-adult, dystopia
Read on June 07, 2012

Rating: 2.5 - 3 (still debating)

There were fourteen kids on the bus that survived with Mrs. Wooly when the hailstorm ended, leaving the bus crashed by a superstore. When their teacher, leaves to get help, the kids, from kindergarten to twelfth grade, hold up in the store waiting for something to happen. When an earth quake hits and a major chemical weapons spill causes endless destruction, the kids are forced to seal themselves off from the world, and the world out from them. Now, they need to figure out how to survive on their own and deal with the reality that maybe nobody is coming to help them.

If you are a fan of Michael Grant's Gone series, you may very well enjoy this. Its got a little less action and violence, but the same struggle of kids trying to pull together to create their own, safe society. Monument 14 is a smaller scale version of Michael Grant's series (and also has a main character named Astrid), and follows the story of Dean, who is a silent (and very quirky) leader trying to hold the kids together. He has is strengths, as well as many weaknesses, and is in love with a girl who is not so interested.

I liked the story; there were some really well done scenes, but overall I wasn't as engaged in it as I was thinking I would be. The first 50(ish) pages of the story are upbeat and intense; a lot happens, including a crash, the hailstorm, the earthquake, and the chemical spill. After that, and for the large majority of the remaining pages, the story moves quite a bit slower. The kids argue, and some rebel, as leaders are chosen, duties are assigned, and some kids go AWOL. The middle of the book consists of chapters called "Rum," "I meet Pain Killers," and "We Get High;" I think the titles are pretty self-explanatory.

I was a little disapointed that so much of the story was spent on the main character tasting beer, taking drugs, and watching the jock of the group get naked with Astrid. There was a jerk, a jock, a nerd, a 13 year old seductress, etc... In short, they were the stereotypical motley crew of teenagers (with a couple of cute elementary school kids) that sort of tried to resemble The Breakfast Club but with less success.

The plot isn't very complex and so in some ways I feel that its catered more to the younger side of the YA readers. HOWEVER I do not think this is an appropriate read for younger readers because there are a few scenes/concepts that are a little more racy (even though they seem a little out of the blue, considering the tone of the rest of the story); the main two of these being: (view spoiler) The implications of these two scenes seemed to be trying to give this generally younger-teen story a young adult "sexy" twist, but I think the two extremes were a little much, and, as another review pointed out, it wasn't as pleasant or "attractive" as some other young adult romance scenes, but rather a little strange and even awkward.

The ending was kind of out of nowhere, and I'm not sure where its going to go in the rest of the series; it left off in a way that I think some of its potential was deteriorated. If the next book is from a different perspective, I think it could be more interesting, but if it follows the same character, it may also be somewhat slow paced again.

This being said, I did buy the book, and I plan on going to see the author to hear her speak; I liked the book, it just wasn't particularly great. I realize the review sounds overly negative because of the things I ended up pointing out, but my feelings towards this book are mostly neutral.

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read Monument 14.
Sign In »

No comments have been added yet.