Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
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 outstide, 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.
A big thanks to the publisher on netGalley for accepting my request in reading this book early!
Fourteen children are left to fend for themselves after a severe superstorm and the unleashing of a chemical weapon. They're alone, scared, a little angry for all good reasons and have so little of time left to know what to do with themselves . . . honestly what could possibly go wrong in an abandoned superstore building? Well let's just say . . . everything.
Emmy Laybourne's debut novel MONUMENT 14 was one of those few reads I decided to take a chance on, mostly because I loved the eerie dystopian-like cover and mostly because I really liked the sound of the storyline since it reminded me so much of Lord of the Flies only with a less island feel to it. As much as I wanted to love it, I'll be honest with you guys: it's the kind of book with a love and hate factor to it. The majority of the book was fast-paced, interesting and contained plenty of shocking twists for its readers . . . but I felt as if something was missing from the book. Mostly in the characters.
The storyline rarely had a problem with me but the characters - while the groups of kids were clearly written as stereotypical - didn't particularly interest me what way or another. With a book nerd, an outsider, a tech genius, a jock, a bad boy, a beautiful girl, and a skanky girl . . . I can see many readers of MONUMENT 14 will be able to identify with at least one of those characters alone. However, while I don't mind stereotypical characters but there still wasn't enough drive from the characters' actions and with a possible apocalypse going on in the outside world of this superstore setting, I wanted and expected some of the characters to take action or do something heroic to impress me, but like I mentioned before none of the characters really interested me and it was the main reason why I'm giving this book a lower star rating.
Don't get me wrong here with this review because I still enjoyed the book as a whole book and it was every entertaining and page-turning for all the right reasons. I mean, while no real character shone in the spotlight for me personally, but the storyline and the cliffhanger it unexpectedly delivered will clearly win over fans of any dystopian tale and perhaps satisfy readers of the likes of James Dashner's The Mazer Runner. So if you have the taste for either of those two, then I can definitely guarantee that you're going to love this book without a doubt!
3 1/2 / 5 stars