Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne
Genre: Apocalyptic YA
Publication Date: June 5, 2012
Challenge: 2012 Apocalypse Challenge
Source: Received an e-ARC from NetGalley
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.
I love apocalyptic stories, so I was so excited when I saw MONUMENT 14 on NetGalley! This book jumped right into the action — a few pages in, and huge hail balls were falling from the skies. I like how the kids survived in a Greenway (which is sort of like a Walmart/Target), because whenever I think of the “best places to be during the apocalypse,” big stores like that always come to mind. Well … minus the fact that those stores are the most likely to be rioted, so you might get in harms way.
Except luckily for the kids, the gates come down, so they are able to barricade everyone out of the store. Everything seems to be going well until an earthquake strikes and a chemical plant nearby has a spill, releasing dangerous chemicals into the air. This chemical reacts differently with different blood types, which I enjoyed reading about because for some reason I’ve always found blood typing (and other things genetics related) to be very interesting.
I really liked the characters, but I also didn’t’ feel as emotionally connected to them as I thought I should have. Not in a bad way though — I just wish I felt a little more connected to them than I did. I loved the scenes where they got updates on the outside world. Because they were in the Greenway, lots of times the reader has no idea what’s going on outside. I wish they had been able to stay connected via the television for a little bit longer so the reader would have been aware of what was going on outside.
All in all, I enjoyed this book. If you love apocalyptic stories, definitely read this one.