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Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne Book Review

Monument 14 (Monument 14, #1)Only, if it’s the last time you’ll ever see your mother, you sort of start to wish you’d stopped and did those things. Maybe even missed the bus.

But the bus was barreling down our street, so I ran.

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’ve had a copy of Monument 14 sitting on my shelf for what seems like forever, so I was so happy to finally dive into it. The main character, Dean, was a great narrator, and although I didn't like the rest of the book as much, Monument 14 was still a very strong debut. 

Six high schoolers, along with a bunch of younger children get stuck in a Greenway convenience store after a bunch of huge natural disasters strike the United States. Dean, one of the high schoolers, narrates everything going on. He’s with his brother Alex and he’s more unpopular at the school. It was so fascinating how all the characters had such different roles and social standing still mattered to some in the beginning. 

For the plot itself, I did get a little bored at times, and wanted to know what exactly was happening in the outside world. Monument 14 mainly centered around what was happening in the Greenway store. I just think that disaster stories aren’t really my thing. Their were also some things mentioned in the plot about what the US was like that were never explained. 

There was pretty much no romance for Dean in the story, although he has a strong infatuation with Astrid, one of the people trapped in the grocery store. I didn’t like Astrid from what was mentioned about her. I kept hoping Dean would begin to like someone else. There were a few relationships mentioned between a few different characters, and some were definitely more mature. 

I didn’t like the ending, but I’m still curious to see what will end up happening to everyone. I’m not entirely sure if I’ll be reading the sequel, but I’d give Monument 14 3 out of 5 flowers. 

*Thank you so much to ARCycling for sending me a copy of this book to read and review! :)


  1. I agree, Astrid wasn't very likable. I also found that social hierarchy was fascinating in the way it played out in a situation like this. I just read the second one in this series and it focuses more on the happenings outside the Greenway so you may like that a bit more.

    1. I think I'll definitely check out the second one then :)

  2. Oh, sorry you didn't like this one that much. I really fell in love with Laybourne's writing style. Astrid was one of the weak spots for me too. I didn't like the sequel as much because it focused way too much on Dean's "infatuation" with Astrid and it became more of a forced love story.

  3. Astrid was kinda...yeah. Hard to find a word. I didn't like her much. I did like the dystopian/disaster feeling and thought that it was pretty exciting. I had mixed feelings. The sequel was about the same (mixed feelings) and a little more violent and apocalyptic. Nice review.

    1. Astrid was not my favorite character. Thank you so much! :)

  4. I've been meaning to read this book for a while now, and now I'm thinking maybe I should just wait instead. I really like the sound of the premise for this book, and Dean sounds great. Too bad about the romance, the ending and the slow plot though. And I hate it when you don't like one of the love interests. It really gets me down. :( Hopefully, you'll like the next one better!

    Great review, Montana! :D

    ~ Maida
    Literary Love Affair 

    1. There was really only one love interest, which made everything pretty disappointing :( Thanks!

  5. I really liked this one, but I am scared of buying the next one in the series because, what if it's not as good?


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