Friday, 1 June 2012

Review: Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne

Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne
(Monument 14 #1)
4 out of 5 stars

Expected publication June 5th by Macmillan Children's
ARC received through Netgalley

This book very much reminded me of Mike Mullin's Ashfall, only where Ashfall seemed like a Discovery Channel documentary, Monument 14 reminded me of an MTV show.

On their way to school brothers Dean and Alex get stuck in a hailstorm of massive proportions. Because of their heroic bus driver they are brought to safety in a shopping mall together with the other kids. Here they have to survive one of the biggest natural disasters ever, without any parental control.

This was an extremely quick read which I just breezed right through. Where other apocalyptic books are bogged down with descriptions of the world ending, Monument 14 is rather light on the gruesomeness. Most of the book it's just an afterthought - the only thing the main characters think about is how to survive in the here and now, not about what is going on outside.

For me that was both a good thing and a bad thing. It was good because I was looking for a light read, something more focussed on characters instead of plot. Bad, because at the end of Monument 14 I was left wondering what the hell I actually just read. It was a very entertaining book - but not that memorable.

I was glad that the little romance in this book didn't feel too forced or clich├ęd, but stayed very down to earth and teenager-y. The cast of characters is very diverse, with five year old twins, to high school seniors. It was interesting to read of such an odd bunch of kids, being thrown into a surreal situation where they have to care for themselves. I've seen it compared to Lord of the Flies, but even though I haven't read that one I am quite sure that there was a rather extreme anarchy in that one. That isn't the case in Monument 14. To be honest the whole bunch seemed to be very organised and responsible.

For an apocalyptic read Monument 14 is very low on graphic details or gruesomeness, and I would recommend it for people liking their books not too heavy. It also makes it accessible for a slightly younger audience, which most YA apocalyptic reads aren't. I'm looking forward to see what happens with all the kids from Monument 14.

Blurb

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.

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33 comments:

ilovebooks1972 said...

Good review!  I like your MTV vs.  documentary comment, I do agree with that!  Check out my review here:
http://misclisa.blogspot.com/2012/05/monument-14-by-emmy-laybourne.html 

Celine said...

Thanks! I'll check your review out too (;

Kulsuma said...

This sounds interesting! I love the cover! I don't like not knowing what's going on with the rest of the world in disaster novels though. Grates on my nerves.

Stephanie Verhaegen said...

Nice review! It sounds great. I really want to get my hands on this book. :)

pooja_sat said...

I like how you said Monument 14 felt like an MTV version of Ashfall. That does sound appealing! I loved the premise from the moment I read about it. I hope I enjoy the book as much. Loved your review :)

Ajoop @ on books!

Michelle Chew said...

This sounds like an interesting read. Not memorable but still sounds good. I'll be moving this up my TBR list. :) Thanks for sharing!

Megan Williams said...

Fab review :) sounds like the perfect in-between series read! 

Linny @ Linnys Literature said...

Hmm. I've seen a lot of "meh" level reviews for this one and I'm glad to see that you enjoyed it. I'm thinking it probably won't be for me. Not a big fan of light reads that leave me wondering what I just read, haha. They can be a nice break every now and then though. I like the whole idea of the ragtag group of kids working together to survive though. Anyway, great review! :)

Eli_y83 / eli yanti said...

so this book is recommend or not? i think is not a very good book to read but you give 4 stars :)

Celine said...

Yeah me too. And sadly this novel was only focussed on the US, there is absolutely no indication of what's happening in Europe or Asia. Maybe there will be some more news about them in the second part though (:

Celine said...

Thanks Stephanie! (:

Celine said...

Thanks Ajoop, I hope you'll like it too! But if you like the idea of it being an MTV version of Ashfall, I think you will (:

Celine said...

Sometimes you just want something fun and quick, and I think Monument 14 does a perfect job of that. I hope you'll enjoy it!

Celine said...

Thanks Megan! ^^

Celine said...

I guess it's just perspective. For a person that only reads contemporaries I think this won't be a light read at all, with people dying etcetera. But since I am quite used to some end-of-the-world stuff this was almost fluffy in comparison ^^. Anyways, thanks for stopping by, and I added your blog to my "Blogs I Follow" links thingy in my sidebar (:

Celine said...

I do recommend it, but for a certain audience. I thought it was quite fun and fast, which I know quite some people will appreciate

Mel @thedailyprophecy said...

Great review! Sometimes, I really enjoy a light, quick read, so I'll keep this one in mind! Thanks for sharing :)

Linny @ Linnys Literature said...

I guess I'm in the same boat as you - I never read contemporaries haha. And thank you! That's really sweet of you. :D I've been trying to decide myself if I should have like a "Blogs I Love" page or a list in the sidebar like you have. When I figure it out though, you'll be there of course. :)

Celine said...

If you're lazy (like me) you can just add the feed list thingy from Blogger. It automatically imports the blogs you follow and shows them off on your sidebar. It's quite handy, but in the end I decided that this is neater (: Yay!

Celine said...

Thanks Mel! You can't always read deep and dark stories, sometimes you just need something quick ^^

Artemis said...

Great review! I hear for this book for the first time. It sound very interesting. I'm really curious about it.

Katie said...

I borrowed an ARC of this from a friend but didn't end up finishing it - now I'm considering going back and doing so.

AnnaZed said...

I was interested in this book, and I'm in a queue to get it at the library, and I'll go ahead and read it. Still, I like my apocalyptic fantasies a bit dark and well ... apocalyptic. I don't know how interested I'm going to end up being in a bunch of kids in a mall.

Linny @ Linnys Literature said...

I think that I'll do that. I am lazy and I like the way it looks, very simple. Thanks! :D

Celine said...

Hmm, you might still like it. It's a very fast read, and there is still some gruesomeness and death to go around. I hope you do like it at least ^^

Celine said...

Thanks Artemis!

Celine said...

I'm looking forward to see what you think of the ending. It was a bit..weird.

Shelver506 said...

Hmmmm. This book is next in my to-read queue. You balance out the different facets of the book well. I can't wait to see how I like (or don't like) this book.

Celine said...

Thank you! I hope you enjoy it (:

Cayce said...

This book is on my TBR list. It reminds me of the Gone series by Michael Grant. Can't wait till it comes out!

Thank you for the great review!

DivineSecrets said...

I have this on my wishlist and I hope I'll enjoy it as much as you did. (: I remember I always liked watching armageddon films when I was 10 or so, or some other movies about natural disasters (vulcanic eruptions and such), that's why books in the same genre fascinate me so much. I hope I get a chance to read it asap. And of course, a great review as always! :D




Aleksandra @ Divine
Secrets of a Little Bookworm

Celine said...

Can you believe I still haven't read Gone.. That book has been on my list for so long!

Thanks for stopping by Cayce

Celine said...

I loved all the vulcano and disaster shows on Discovery Channel! I think I may have watched a slightly unhealthy amount of then. If you like that kind of thing, I highly recommend Ashfall by Mike Mullin. You can check my review on that one here if you're interested.

Thanks for stopping by Aleksandra (:

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