Saturday, 22 August 2015

REVIEW - Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne

Title: Monument 14
Author: Emmy Laybourne
Publisher: Hodder Children's Books
Release Date: 4th April 2013
Source: My copy from Amazon

Fourteen kids stranded inside a superstore. Inside they have everything they could ever need. There's junk food and clothes, computer games and books, drugs and alcohol and without adult supervision they can do whatever they want.
Sounds like fun?

But outside the world is being ripped apart by violent storms and chemicals leaking into the atmosphere that, depending on blood type, leave victims paranoid, violent or dead.

The kids must remain inside, forced to create their own community, unsure if they'll ever be able to leave. Can they stop the world they've created from self-destructing too?



This book only came in to my sights the other day when it popped up on my Amazon recommendations list, I purchased my copy and hey presto it arrived with the postie this morning.  

This afternoon I made the mistake of reading the first chapter, it was a fatal mistake as the housework I was planning on doing fell swiftly to the wayside as I became absorbed in this strange new world.

The story is based in the town of Monument which is located in the American Rockies, the story really does kick in quickly as we meet our narrator Dean and his brother Alex as they start their journey to school via those iconic yellow school buses. 

Alex, the youngest is on one bus and his older brother takes the other, their journey starts without incident until the hail starts.  Hail stones of massive proportion that cave in the bus roof and cause chaos, the driver of the bus hauls ass to the nearest place of safety, the giant Greenway superstore.

The superstore car park quickly becomes a place of carnage as Dean's bus careers out of control on to its side with dire consequences for some of his fellow classmates, Dean can only watch in horror from his place in the upturned bus as he sees his brother's bus driven in to the front of the superstore.

He thinks this is it, he has had it but his time isn't up yet, he is pulled from the wreckage and launched in to the bus that went in to the front of the superstore, it has came back for them.  Once he is in the store he sees his brother has made it along with 12 other kids ranging in ages from 5 to about 16/17 and not forgetting the teacher who was driving the bus, Mrs Wooly.

The moods are not the best, the younger ones want their parents, the older ones want answers, what the hell just happened? Well till they find out the are just going to have to make the best of a bad situation, bed down in the store and make use of its ample supplies.

It is a mega store and it has everything from pizza to Barbie's Dream House plus a handy tech department where they find an antiquated television still working and it is picking up CNN, they discover from this what has happened.

A volcano has erupted on the Canary Island of La Palma, the eruption has gone off with so much force that the western edge had exploded sending billions of tons of rocks and stuff in to the ocean. This has resulted in a mega tsunami which headed straight for the eastern seaboard of the United States, all those cities wiped out in an instant.

Our kids are devastated, well the ones old enough to understand what this means. They also discover that the weather was affected in the states hence the giant hail stones. On the plus side the weather has cleared outside, it couldn't get any worse could it?

Mrs Wooly decides that now will be a good time to go for help and leaves the oldest kid in charge, not long after she leaves the worse comes along. Military chemicals have leaked from nearby NORAD, crazy chemicals that affect everybody differently depending on their blood type.

For some it does nothing, for others it turns them psychotic and murderous.  As long as the kids can stop the air from outside getting in they should be fine but it starts to get in the water with some drastic effects.

These 14 kids need to survive, this book explores the first twelve days of their lives stuck inside as they deal with getting to know each other.  This of course involves bitching, lusting, drinking, getting high, major crazy shoplifting and some serious temper tantrums.  

Of course they aren't the only survivors and when the inside wants to come in it isn't going to be a good thing.

Monument 14 is a fantastic read, the dystopian genre is overloaded with so many similar books it was nice to read something a little different. The group had so many different personalities in it and this made for a wonderful crazy dynamic plus I love the idea of being stuck in a superstore with all that food and drink (and books!!).

A great read!

My question to you!
If you where trapped in a superstore which area would you head for?


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8 comments

  1. I have two friends who have these books and were always going on about how much I needed to read them as well! I really do want to and have it on my TBR. I loved your long and detailed review, and you've convinced me I need this in my life and would love it :D

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    1. You will love it, you must read it!!

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  2. The book section is a must! Mind you, my local supermarkets don't ever have anything decent in their book sections...I quite liked this book though there moments in this and the sequel where you roll your eyes and say 'I wasn't that dumb at that age!' but it was still a decent read. I've still to read book three but I liked the short stories from the series.

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    1. Totally the book section but my local Tesco has a crap selection, pitiful really!

      I'm book 2 sounds good, I suppose they are daft kids but yes I know what you mean but kids are so grown up these days, well think they are grown up!

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  3. Probably the alcohol would be my first pick of anything if I was trapped. This sounds like an excellent story. Fantastic review!

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    1. Ha, yep that would be high on my list too after books and sweets! Thanks for reading!

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  4. This sounds really good! I've never heard of it before, but it seems right up my alley. Will this be part of a series?

    Great review!

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    1. Yep there are two other books and I think a short story. I hadn't heard of it till last week when it popped up on my radar!

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