Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Review: Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne

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  • Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
  • Publication date: 6/5/2012
  • Pages: 304
  • Source: eARC from NetGalley/Macmillan
Purchase: Amazon | B&N | The Book Depository

Overview

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.


My Thoughts

Kids trapped in a superstore together after some crazy weather phenomenon? This book just sounded too good to not want to read. This book gets right into it. No slow build up to an event, not getting to know people first. Nope, just BAM!! Into the story. I liked that. Unfortunately that didn't last. It slowed down quite a bit after that with an occasional exciting part. This is told from Dean's POV kind of as him telling us about it, and us following him through things. There is a lot of different characters that we get to know in this book. At first it was a bit overwhelming trying to remember who each person was, but I really liked it once I was comfortable with all of them. 

Dean is not a popular kid. He is kind of socially awkward actually. He doesn't fit in and being trapped with the other teenagers and kids in the superstore brings out the best of him. There are still cliques even only being 14 of them, but you see it start to break a little, though never completely. Dean just wants to survive and hopefully somehow find his parents if they are still alive. He feels like he needs to protect his brother, but his brother doesn't really need the protection and seems to be pulling away from him. This takes a toll on Dean mentally too among other things.

I won't really go into the other characters since there are so many of them and they all play an important role. I will say though, that I really liked each and every one of them in some way with the exception of Robbie. OMG I really hated that guy. I kinda had him all figured out to begin with so I wasn't surprised at what went on with him. I hope that isn't really spoilery... anyways, he didn't fool me at all. There was that other kid I didn't like much too, but I can't remember his name right now lol. You will know who I'm talking about if you read it though.

I thought that the idea of the chemical that ends up being leaked from NORAD and has different affects on the different blood types was pretty cool too. (In a creepy sort of way.)  It was a neat little twist to make it more than just a story that takes place after a crazy volcanic interruption, tsunami, and earthquake. They do find out the hard way which makes for great reading. I know that they are supposed to be trying to survive trapped in the store, but there was never really that feeling that they were that scared about what was going on. They just set up, figure out a way to keep organized and that's that.

In general I thought the book was pretty good. There were a lot of little things that bothered me a bit about it, but nothing major and nothing that I really feel like going into because it's just me being picky. There was some good action in the book at times but not enough to really say its action filled. There were also a lot of slow parts that I felt kind of just dragged a bit. The characters were great to get to know, but I never really felt any attachment to them. I am a very character driven reader so I think that made me not enjoy this book as much as I wanted to. It was a pretty short book though and I got through it rather quickly. I am curious to see where the story goes from here and will definitely pick up the next book. 3 out of 5 stars.

17 comments:

  1. I've seen this book around a bit, the verdict seems to be that it's enjoyable but not exactly life-changing. The whole plot sounds like some horrible Day After Tomorrow-type nightmare. I'd be freaking the heck out as opposed to these kids who seemed to "have it together". I don't think I'll necessarily be jumping at getting this book but it's on my tbr list so perhaps someday down the road I'll give it a shot. Great review! I was sort of confused at the whole gist of the story but you opened it up a little more without being spoilery. :)

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    1. I think it really had potential to be awesome. The good thing is, this is just the first book so I am looking forward to reading more.

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  2. I'm so mad that I missed out on this one when it was on NetGalley I really want to read it. I have been seeing alot of not so favorable reviews but I just love the idea of them all being stuck in a store! One of my fav movies is The Mist and ever since watching it, that idea has totally intrigues me. Great review love!

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    1. Awww. It was a decent book. I did enjoy it, it just wasn't fabulously awesome or anything.

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  3. Well poop logs. I'm sad to hear you felt no attachment to the characters. That can kill any great story. It sounds great otherwise...

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    1. Yea, I really need to feel some type of connection to be able to really get into a book. I liked it though. I just wanted more out of it.

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  4. I just read a review of this the other day that was very similar, so I'm not sure if I'd enjoy this or not. I would definitely expect the characters to be a bit more tense and frightened of the situation...I'm also a character person to, so I like getting close to certain ones.

    -Lauren

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    1. I mean it's obvious that they are concerned, but I don't think they portray a lot of the fear. The children do whine and complain or cry that they want to leave and find their parents, but I would be freaking out!!

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  5. I'm reviewing this tomorrow -- it reminded me a little of Trapped by Michael Northrup. And I was NOT expecting a cliffhanger ending. I'm not sure why, but I thought it would resolve at the end.

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    1. I knew it was going to be a series since it said #1 on goodreads. I wish I had liked it more.

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  6. I love when books get off to an awesome start. Sorry that it slowed down a bit, but I'm glad you enjoyed it. Nice review, Amy!

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    1. Yeah, I was expecting it to be really awesome with how it started, but then it became kind of boring. :( I still did enjoy it though.

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  7. I've been reading an abundance of books lately where I don't connect with the characters. =/ I'm happy to hear that you did still like it, though.

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    1. I'm very character driven reader, so it really sucks when I lack that connection to them. I think if I had felt a bit more connection to Dean I would have liked it better even with it being a slower paced book. It felt more like he was taking at us rather than taking us through it with him.

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  8. Great review! I was really curious about this book because it did sound really interesting, especially everything with the storm and the chemical spill. I might still pick it up but I probably won't rush out to buy it now. I'm a really character driven person as well so that is disappointing and it's also hard for me to get through a book that is paced slow.

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  9. aww, I reallllly enjoyed this book! but I understand what you mean about it slowing down, and UGH I HATED ROBBIE TOOOO!!!

    awesome review!, too bad you didn't like it as much as you hoped!

    - juhina @ Maji Bookshelf

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    1. I can see why people are loving this book. I think I just wasn't in the right mind frame for a psychological book and I was expecting more of a fast paced read.

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