Book #35 – Monument 14

by Emmy Laybourne   book

Thanks to loss of our fios last weekend and no phones, television and internet (gasp), I spent several days reading.  So glad to have had good material and have found another series to continue in “Monument 14”.  This is a young adult post-apocalyptic fiction set in modern times.  And, best of all – no zombies.  Can anyone explain why our culture automatically goes to zombies in the event of an apocalypse??

The premise behind “Monument 14” is interesting, but it was really the setting of the story which made it compelling.  While on route to school, two buses with elementary through high school students encounter a monster hailstorm which crushes one of the buses.  A quick thinking bus driver manages to rescue the surviving students and crash her bus into the opening of what is apparently the worlds largest Walmart-type store imaginable.  As the world outside is experiencing Armageddon, the 14 students end up alone and locked in behind iron gates which they cannot open.

Similar to a “Lord of the Flies” theme, the students must figure out a way to conduct themselves and survive.  My favorite part of any post apocalyptic fiction is the organization: stockpiling, planning, scavenging and anticipating what may come next.  Setting this novel in the confines of a store where you could buy baby food through car parts, and has a mega grocery section, makes much of this novel less about surviving the elements as it is about organizing the stockpile laid before them before chaos ensues within.

My biggest complaint for this book is despite an action packed opening, it took awhile to become part of the story.  In its defense, this is a young adult novel and apparently all young adult novels are not created equally.  This one, at first, realllllllyyyyy felt like it was intended for younger readers.  Contrast that to “The Hunger Games”, or “Divergent” which reverberates from young through adult readers, and you might quit on this one before giving it a chance.  Since I had no access to Facebook for days, I kept reading and am glad I did.

4/5 Stars



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