Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne

Publication Date: January 1, 2012

Publisher: Feiweil & Friends

Genre: Young Adult Post-Apocalyptic

Series: The Monument 14 Trilogy, Book One

Format: Hardcover

Pages: 294 pages

Source: Purchased

Buy It: Amazon | Book Depository

Rating: 2½ sm

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.

This book has trigger warnings for: attempted rape, slut shaming, depression, drug abuse, and alcohol abuse. If this triggers you in any way, I do not recommend picking this book up.

I’ve been really struggling on how to review this book. I apologize if this review is formatted a little differently from my others. I originally rated this book three and a half stars, but upon further reflection, I have decided to knock it down a star. I enjoyed the general premise of this book. It starts at the beginning of a super storm and is set in Monument, Colorado (which I actually live fairly close to). It follows kids, ranging from high school age to preschool/kindergarten age, who take refuge in a superstore (similar to a Super Walmart). I enjoy post-apocalyptic novels, and what kid doesn’t dream of getting stuck in Walmart and having everything it has at your disposal? I know I did when I was younger.

We’ll start with what I liked about the novel. The original premise, as previously mentioned. This book was incredibly fast paced and took me no time at all to read. I enjoyed the scientific twist with the chemicals being released into the air, and how they affected the characters in the story. I thought it was interesting, and definitely nothing I’ve seen before. I enjoyed that this was less about the action of a post-apocalyptic story, and more about how the storm and being trapped without their families affected the characters mentally. I found it very interesting.

Now we’ll talk about what I didn’t like about the novel. I don’t believe we got enough back story as to why these storms and such were happening; we got a little, but not enough to really satisfy me. I’ll touch a little on each of the trigger warnings I listed above. First of all, the depression part is fairly obvious. These kids are trapped, as their world is ending, without their families. It’s bound to happen and made perfect sense for the book. The drug abuse and alcohol abuse happens with one of the high school students. I don’t really have an opinion on this, to be honest.

As to the other topics of attempted rape and slut shaming, I’m not going into tremendous amounts of detail on these issues. Doing so would be spoiling things and frankly, I think the fact that these were even issues in this book is disgusting. Let me clarify as to why I feel that way. Both of these subjects were directed at a thirteen-year-old girl. I think it’s completely ridiculous to put a thirteen-year-old in a sexual light. There was absolutely no reason for that to be in this book. Let me put a disclaimer out there: I have no issue reading about topic subjects such as these, in the right circumstances. I don’t believe this was needed in this novel, at all.

Overall, I would not recommend this book. To be frank, if the attempted rape and slut shaming of a thirteen-year-old were not present in this book, I would have given this book a higher rating. I would probably even been telling you to pick it up right now. I cannot do that, and feel good about it. I just can’t. I did read the second book, it was quite a bit shorter and was a lot better than this one.

*The image and synopsis were both taken from Goodreads. Clicking on the “add to goodreads” image above will take you to the Goodreads page for this book.*

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