C.penn's Reviews > Monument 14

Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne
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Jul 29, 2012

really liked it
Recommended for: Readers Lord of the Flies, Hunger Games, Beauty Queens and other survival based works of fiction.

Mounment 14 by Emmy Laybourne, is a funny, touching coming of age read that takes place during a time of ridiculous and epic tumult for the main characters.

It's just another normal day and Dean is of course running late to catch his bus.

It's all down hill from there.

On the way to school a freak hailstorm severely damages the bus and sends them careening into the parking lot of the nearest superstore.

Most of the students have died. The rest are injured, traumatized or in the case of the younger survivors, oblivious to the dead seriousness of their situation. Fourteen kids, six teenagers, two thirteen year olds and six little children find themselves trapped in this superstore, waiting out the hailstorm, the chemical explosion, and the raids alone.

I enjoyed this book primarily for Dean's narrative, he's got this amazing quality about him, he's not the most popular kid in school and he has a fierce crush on the girl from the swim team and he is honest, about everything, the whole way through, start to finish.

I give Laybourne points for the pacing of this story, all of the amazing events that happen are spaced with just enough time to recover from the first tragedy so you can handle the next one afresh. One of my favourite moments might have been the chemical explosion that turns people with type o blood into raging, violent monsters, it's hilarious in the fact that Dean's thought are amazingly rational and lucid, and in the light of the situation, very very funny. "Ah, I wanted to slaughter him. I really did. I wanted to tear him limb from limb......apparently, I bit him" moments like that these brilliant pieces of comedic gold that gave so much life to the story.

The characters too were also alternatively likeable and loathe worthy, I thought that was very interesting because it helped to dilute the hero and villain complexes that authors sometimes inflict upon their characters. Your favourite character did something unforgivable the next--nearly strangling a child for example, and it created this wonderful perspective on what makes us humans. The way these kids cope and lash out at each other, fall apart and rebuild together is so true and raw to how people can be in the darkest hours and brightest moments.

While I am not a staunch sci-fi post apocalypse reader, I must say I thoroughly enjoyed Laybourne's debut novel a great read for male and female audiences with characters who truly go through a spiritual growth spurt. You will laugh and cry, great fluid read.

Here's keeping my fingers crossed that there will be a sequel. :)
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