Book Review: Monument 14

Monument 14
Published By: Feiwel & Friends
Publication Date: June 2012
Page Count: 294
Source: Library
Audience: Young Adult - Dystopian, Science Fiction

When I was a kid, I used to daydream about what it would be like to live in a store like Wal-Mart. I thought it would be awesome because everything you could ever need or want would be right at your fingertips. I never imagined that as an adult I would get a chance to read a novel that helped me live out my childhood daydreams, but I have to admit that the main reason I decided to read this one because of that personal connection.

Monument 14 is another one of those dystopians that freaks me out because I can totally see it happening one day. Everything is slightly plausible and grounded in the real world. Society and the US functions and exists just like it does for us in the story. 

In Monument 14, A series of natural disasters results in fourteen kids (ranging from elementary school to high school) to be stuck inside of a super store. Life is falling apart outside of the store and the kids have no way of contacting their loved ones. The strain of taking care of themselves, wondering what is happening outside, and stressing about the fate of their friends and family takes its toll on all of the kids pretty quickly. To make matters worse, a toxin has been released into the air that can alter the personality of those with a certain blood type. Those affected find themselves enraged and it cannot easily be diffused.

The strain and stress of this novel was a bit much for me at times. While I ended up loving this read, I did have to put it down and walk away at times. My anxiety was high the entire time I was reading. I was terrified of what would happen to the kids and I'm anxious to get my hands on the next book.

My only complaint with this one is that I was frustrated that the story came from the perspective of one kid. I kept wishing for multiple narrators. I do think Laybourne did an amazing job of writing from a male point of view. This novel will appeal to both male and female readers.

Monument 14 is a thrilling, addictive read that will have you stopping to consider how you would survive in these circumstances. It will also forever alter how you see super stores. Every time I walk into one I think about this story. I notice the security gates and shiver as I think about how people in the story tried to break in to the kids temporary oasis from disaster. I also can't help evaluating which of the stores I'd want to hunker down inside.

One Last Gripe: There were some moments of tedium; I get it - there isn't a lot going on when you're trapped, but it did cause the reading to drag for me in some parts.

My Favorite Thing About This Book: I loved the concept.

First Sentence: Your mother hollers that you're going to miss the bus.

Favorite Character: Astrid

Least Favorite Character: Brayden

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.


  1. I've been wondering about this one for a while, and I'm still undecided but it sound like it'd be a good read...

    Thanks for the review!


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