Monument 14: A Book Review


Monument 14 (Monument 14, #1)

Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne

Summary: 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.

{kindly taken from Goodreads}

My Thoughts: I picked this book up on a whim one day at the library, and I am very glad I did. I am not one that usually goes for dystopian novels, but after this and The 5th Wave, I am starting to warm up to them! This novel was engaging, well-developed, and already has me wanting to read the sequel. I think it depends on your preferences, but if you are in the mood for an adventure/dystopian, this book is a good choice!

When a freak hailstorm hits, and a megatsunami soon follows, Dean and his peers are lucky that their resourceful bus driver is nearby. With her help, all fourteen kids that are alive are able to make it to Greenway, a fictional Target-like store. There, the kids, ranging from five years old to high school seniors, do their best to survive while discovering what in the world is going on in the outside world. This is really what caught my attention. How would that range of kids react in a natural disaster situation? What would happen as the days and weeks went on? The beginning was very action-packed, with the storm happening right in the first chapter. While it did well to keep you reading, I do wish there was some more build-up, because I literally knew nothing about Dean and his family. The plot did lose some of the action, but the author was careful to space out the major points. I think she did a terrific job developing the storyline, and I appreciated the attention to the little details that made the story. Obviously, the plot was a little out there and hard to believe, but isn’t that the fun of these types of books?! And, that ending? Such a big cliffhanger! Even if I didn’t like the book, I would have to read the sequel to see what happens :)

Because of the large amount of important characters, it took me a few chapters until I could fully grasp who was who. Once I recognized them all, however, I was on a roll, and I quickly established which people were the strongest out of them all and which people I wanted to shake some sense into at points. I couldn’t fully connect with Dean, because I didn’t see him do much. Others, like Niko or Josie, had crucial roles in the plot, but Dean was kind of just there to narrate the story. I loved the little kids of the group, but even I have to admit that their reactions seemed a bit unnatural. Maybe that is just me, though? I figured there would be a lot more fear and/or crying. That aside, most of them had some growth, and I figure that their development will continue on in the next two books.

Overall, I really enjoyed Monument 14! Even though the characters weren’t my absolute favorite, the plot was really engaging. I am very excited to read the sequel, and I can’t wait for the final installment to come out next year!

Pros: Well-written plot and really interesting premise.

Cons: I wasn’t the biggest fan of the MC, and the little kids, however much I adored them, weren’t portrayed very realistically.

Heads Up: There’s some violence, and some of the injuries are described rather gruesomely.

Overall: I give it 4 stars {****} and I recommend it for ages 14 and up.

Have a wonderful afternoon!
Bella :)

7 thoughts on “Monument 14: A Book Review

  1. […] Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne // I really had no idea what to expect when I started this book, but I can tell you that I wasn’t anticipating enjoying it as much as I did! Although the plot isn’t perfect and some of the characters are down-right annoying, I consider like an addicting TV show. It’s hard to stop once you start! […]


  2. […] [8] Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne • I debated including Monument 14 on this list because, if anything, it’s a “guilty pleasure” of mine, but the addictive story and fleshed out dystopian world won a spot. Laybourne’s series isn’t perfect, but it is oh-so successful in hooking the reader from page one. I speak from experience; start now, and you won’t stop until you’ve reached the final page of the third book, Savage Drift. […]


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