Monument 14 (Monument 14 Series #1)

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Your mother hollers that you're going to miss the bus. She can see it coming down the street. You don't stop and hug her and tell her you love her. You don't thank her for being a good, kind, patient mother. Of course not--you launch yourself down the stairs and make a run for the corner.

Only, if it's the...

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Monument 14 (Monument 14 Series #1)

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Your mother hollers that you're going to miss the bus. She can see it coming down the street. You don't stop and hug her and tell her you love her. You don't thank her for being a good, kind, patient mother. Of course not--you launch yourself down the stairs and make a run for the corner.

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.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

Ever since September 11th, thoughts of catastrophe have been haunting us all; and now thanks to radical climate change and global disasters, those fears have been bubbling more quickly to the surface. In Emmy Laybourne's debut novel, a mismatched group of high school students, eighth graders, and half a dozen younger kids find themselves fighting for their survival. Another apocalypse now novel for teens.

Publishers Weekly
Actress/screenwriter Laybourne’s debut ably turns what could have been yet another postapocalyptic YA novel into a tense, claustrophobic, and fast-paced thriller. In the not-too-distant future, a sudden hailstorm—just one small part of a massive environmental cataclysm—forces 14 Colorado students on their way to school to take refuge in a superstore. Cut off from the previously ubiquitous Network (with only one old TV as an occasional information source), they must cope with the standard personality conflicts and also a biochemical weapon leak that causes behavioral shifts in some of the kids. Bookish Dean narrates, observing his own jealousies and concerns, as well as the way the popular kids—like football players Jake and Brayden, and diving champ Astrid—are forced to question their place in the new social order. Although violence (including a sexual assault) is pervasive, it’s rarely graphic and never gratuitous. Laybourne successfully develops a large cast of characters of assorted ages, and if the ending seems designed to tease a sequel, the story still stands well on its own. Ages 13–up. Agent: Susanna Einstein, Einstein Thompson Agency. (June)
Children's Literature - Kathie M. Josephs
The quotation, "Live each day as if it was your last" certainly is perfect for this book. Two brothers raced to catch two different school buses. On the bus ride to school a strange thing started to happen. The bus in front was pelted with what everyone thought was rain, but was really hail that caused both buses to wreck. Those who were able to get out of the bus before it blew up ended up trapped in a chain superstore. There were six kids in high school, two in eighth grade, and six little ones. They go to work and build a refuge for themselves inside, while terrible disasters are happening outside. Some of these disasters are earthquakes, chemical weapon spills, and many unknown events. The students have to learn to get along and work together, which is difficult (to say the least) for some. Fortunately, there were necessities like food, chairs, clothes, and bathrooms in the store, but the little ones miss their mothers, other kids fight, and everyone is just plain scared. The author begins this book with a bang and it continues throughout the novel. It gives the reader a lot to think about and makes you wonder what you would have done differently from the kids in the story. The first paragraph sets the tone for the book and never lets the reader down. Reviewer: Kathie M. Josephs
VOYA - Eileen Kuhl
Monument 14 is a combination survival and apocalyptic story. In Laybourne's debut novel, Dean leaves for school and is catapulted into a devastating natural disaster. On the way to school, a massive hail storm strikes the bus and causes major casualties. As the bus crashes into a Greenway store, the fourteen survivors take shelter. News reports soon make it obvious that a rescue will not be imminent. The group learns that most of their city—Monument, Colorado—has been destroyed, large portions of the eastern United States have been leveled by a tsunami, and the local nuclear facility has released toxic gases that make people violent or terminally ill if exposed. They attempt to build a safe environment as they begin to lose oxygen, electricity, and contact with the outside world. Told from the viewpoint of the introverted Dean, teen angst, fear, indecision, and sadness are portrayed. The author creates distinctive characters that range in age from preschool to high school, and each character has his or her own talents and flaws. Some are loveable, and some are annoying. The author includes multiple detailed descriptions of trivial details of day-to-day life that diminish the critical magnitude of the situation. The ending leaves this unexceptional story open to a sequel. Monument 14 may appeal to avid readers of survival stories and those who enjoyed Susan Pfeffer's Life As We Knew It (Harcourt, 2006/Voya October 2006) or Carol Plum-Ucci's Fire Will Fall (Harcourt, 2010/Voya August 2010). There are a few violent and sexual scenes that may disturb some readers. Monument 14 should be considered a discretionary purchase for a high school or public library. Reviewer: Eileen Kuhl
Library Journal
I missed this debut until it made it onto my friend and colleague Jennifer Hubert’s annual Reading Rants ( “Best of” List. In Monument, CO, the day started just like any other for Dean and his younger brother Alex: on the school bus. Then, only minutes after boarding, a freak hail storm precipitated by a massive seismic event off of the East Coast heralds catastrophe. The brothers and 12 other kids seek shelter in a local superstore, waiting out the horror outside and battling their own demons within. Reminiscent of Stephen King’s The Mist (1980) and Under the Dome (2009), this chilling page-turner puts ordinary kids into an increasingly desperate situation, hinging their survival on ingenuity and minute-by-minute decision making. An altogether original twist on the zombie apocalypse story.

(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Kirkus Reviews
A staggering natural disaster maroons a handful of teens and younger children in a suburban Colorado big-box department store. An ordinary morning school-bus ride almost instantly goes wrong when a sudden, bizarre hailstorm wrecks Dean's bus to the high school and sends the elementary/middle school bus through the wall of a nearby Greenway. Heroically, driver Mrs. Wooly goes back to rescue the surviving high school kids and then ventures back out into the chaos for help. While the kids wait--and it will surprise no one when Mrs. Wooly fails to return--they sort out power relationships and monitor events on the outside as best they can. As the days go by, these relationships shift; not surprisingly, some kids are better at survival than others. The introduction of a couple of adults into their self-contained universe threatens the delicate balance. The storytelling takes some shortcuts. The near-future setting seems to derive mostly from the narrative necessity of keeping the lights on (solar arrays on the roof power the store); a chemical-agent cocktail that escapes NORAD conveniently manifests dramatically different symptoms depending on victims' blood types. But characterization is strong--the children emerge as fully as the teens--and narrator Dean keeps the pages turning. And there's no beating the ingenuity of the Greenway setting, where apparently everything these kids need is at their fingertips. Lord of the Flies this ain't, but it is a pretty decent adventure story, and readers will eagerly await the second volume. (Adventure. 13-16)
The New York Times Book Review
Laybourne's strong characterizations of the resourceful, optimistic children who make up this improvised family intensify the horror of the situation and make the almost cartoonish series of catastrophes frighteningly real.
—Jennifer Hubert Swan
From the Publisher
"...a combination survival and apocalyptic story.”—VOYA

"...a real thriller…”—Booklist

“…Laybourne’s debut ably turns what could have been yet another postapocalyptic YA novel into a tense, claustrophobic, and fast-paced thriller.”—Publishers Weekly, starred

"...intriguing beyond the survival elements..."—Horn Book

"...readers will eagerly await the second volume. "—Kirkus

 "Concise, clear, and riveting. A cliff-hanger ending leaves readers devastated but breathlessly awaiting the sequel. A stellar addition to any collection." — School Library Journal


...a real thriller…
Horn Book

...intriguing beyond the survival elements...
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—At the start of a seemingly ordinary day, Dean and his younger brother, Alex, board their separate buses on the way to school. Without warning, a killer hail rains down and sets into motion this gripping, postapocalyptic tale. From the start, Dean's voice shines and hooks readers into this compelling story. The 14 surviving students from the two school buses find shelter in a local superstore. The six high school students, including Dean, try to assume adult roles and protect and care for the younger children. Each of the teens seems to represent a different stereotype: jock, nerd, loner, popular girl, stoner, and weird girl. Once the action starts, though, the characters come into their own, growing and facing the challenges or turning within and refusing to face reality. Despite the large number of characters, readers will feel emotionally connected to these children, root for their triumphs, and grieve for their hardships. The youngsters must survive an earthquake, handle intruders, halt the effects of a chemical warfare spill, combat homesickness, and cope with the loss of the world as they knew it. They are challenged at every turn in this suspenseful and well-paced plot, yet the tale never loses its credibility. Dean's honest account is concise, clear, and riveting. A cliff-hanger ending leaves readers devastated but breathlessly awaiting the sequel. A stellar addition to any collection.Cindy Wall, Southington Library & Museum, CT
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312569037
  • Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
  • Publication date: 6/5/2012
  • Series: Monument 14 Series, #1
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 131,435
  • Age range: 13 - 17 Years
  • Lexile: HL590L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Emmy Laybourne

EMMY LAYBOURNE is a novelist, teacher, and former character actress. Emmy's Monument 14 trilogy has earned critical praise ("Frighteningly real… riveting" - New York Times Book Review, Editor's Choice) and has been nominated by readers to the YALSA Teens Top Ten in 2013 and 2014.Before her life as an author, Emmy performed original comedy on Comedy Central, MTV, and VH1; and acted in the movies Superstar, The In-Laws, and Nancy Drew, among others. Emmy lives outside New York City with her husband, two kids, and a flock of 8 nifty chickens.

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Read an Excerpt

Monument 14

By Emmy Laybourne

Feiwel & Friends

Copyright © 2012 Emmy Laybourne
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780312569037

Your mother hollers that you’re going to miss the bus. She can see it coming down the street. You don’t stop and hug her and tell her you love her. You don’t thank her for being a good, kind, patient mother. Of course not—you hurdle down the stairs and make a run for the corner.
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.
*   *   *
As I raced down the driveway I heard my mom yell for my brother, Alex. His bus was coming down Park Trail Drive, right behind mine. His bus came at 7:09 on the dot. Mine was supposed to come at 6:57 but was almost always late, as if the driver agreed it wasn’t fair to pick me up before 7:00.
Alex ran out behind me and our feet pounded the sidewalk in a dual sneaker-slap rhythm.
“Don’t forget,” he called. “We’re going to the Salvation Army after school.”
“Yeah, sure,” I said.
My bus driver laid on the horn.
Sometimes we went over to rummage for old electronics after school. I used to drive him before the gas shortage. But now we took our bikes.
I used to drive him to school, too. But since the shortage everyone in our school, everyone, even the seniors, took the bus. It was the law, actually.
I vaulted up the bus steps.
Behind me I heard Mrs. Wooly, who has been driving the elementary–middle school bus since forever, thank Alex sarcastically for gracing them with his presence.
Mrs. Wooly, she was an institution in our town. A grizzled, wiry-haired, ashtray-scented, tough-talking institution. Notorious and totally devoted to bus driving, which you can’t say about everyone.
On the other hand, the driver of my bus, the high school bus, was morbidly obese and entirely forgettable. Mr. Reed. The only thing he was known for was that he drank his morning coffee out of an old jelly jar.
Even though it was early in the route, Jake Simonsen, football hero and all-around champion of the popular, was already holding court in the back. Jake had moved to our school from Texas a year ago. He was a real big shot back in Texas, where football is king, and upon transfer to our school had retained and perhaps even increased his stature.
“I’m telling y’all—concessions!” Jake said. “At my old high school a bunch of girls sold pop and cookies and these baked potatoes they used to cook on a grill. Every game. They made, like, a million dollars.”
“A million dollars?” Astrid said.
Astrid Heyman, champion diver on the swim team, scornful goddess, girl of my dreams.
“Even if I could make a million dollars, I wouldn’t give up playing my own sport to be a booster for the football team,” she said.
Jake flashed her one of his golden smiles.
“Not a booster, baby, an entrepreneur!”
Astrid punched Jake on the arm.
“Ow!” he complained, grinning. “God, you’re strong. You should box.”
“I have four younger brothers,” she answered. “I do.”
I hunkered down in my seat and tried to get my breath back. The backs of the forest green pleather seats were tall enough that if you slouched, you could sort of disappear for a moment.
I ducked down. I was hoping no one would comment on my sprint to catch the bus. Astrid hadn’t noticed me get on the bus at all, which was both good and bad.
Behind me, Josie Miller and Trish Greenstein were going over plans for some kind of animal rights demonstration. They were kind of hippie-activists. I wouldn’t really know them at all, except once in sixth grade I’d volunteered to go door to door with them campaigning for Cory Booker. We’d had a pretty fun time, actually, but now we didn’t even say hi to each other.
I don’t know why. High school seemed to do that to people.
The only person who acknowledged my arrival at all was Niko Mills. He leaned over and pointed to my shoe—like, “I’m too cool to talk”—he just points. And I looked down, and of course, it was untied. I tied it. Said thanks. But then I immediately put in my earbuds and focused on my minitab. I didn’t have anything to say to Niko, and judging from his pointing at my shoe, he didn’t have anything to say to me either.
From what I’d heard, Niko lived in a cabin with his grandfather, up in the foothills near Mount Herman, and they hunted for their own food and had no electricity and used wild mushrooms for toilet paper. That kind of thing. People called Niko “Brave Hunter Man,” a nickname that fit him just right with his perfect posture, his thin, wiry frame, and his whole brown-skin-brown-eyes-brown-hair combo. He carried himself with that kind of stiff pride you get when no one will talk to you.
So I ignored Brave Hunter Man and tried to power up my minitab. It was dead and that was really weird because I’d just grabbed it off the charging plate before I left the house.
Then came this little tink, tink, tink sound. I took out my buds to hear better. The tinks were like rain, only metallic.
And the tinks turned to TINKS and the TINKS turned to Mr. Reed’s screaming “Holy Christ!” And suddenly the roof of the bus started denting—BAM, BAM, BAM—and a cobweb crack spread over the windshield. With each BAM the windshield changed like a slide show, growing more and more white as the cracks shot through the surface.
I looked out the side window next to me.
Hail in all different sizes from little to that-can’t-be-hail was pelting the street.
Cars swerved all over the road. Mr. Reed, always a lead foot, slammed on the gas instead of the brake, which is what the other cars seemed to be doing.
Our bus hurdled through an intersection, over the median, and into the parking lot of our local Greenway superstore. It was fairly deserted because it was maybe 7:15 by this point.
I turned around to look back in the bus toward Astrid, and everything went in slow motion and fast motion at the same time as our bus slid on the ice, swerving into a spin. We went faster and faster, and my stomach was in my mouth. My back was pressed to the window, like in some carnival ride, for maybe three seconds and then we hit a lamppost and there was a sick metallic shriek.
I grabbed on to the back of the seat in front of me but then I was jumbling through the air. Other kids went flying, too. There was no screaming, just grunts and impact sounds.
I flew sideways but hit, somehow, the roof of the bus. Then I understood that our bus had turned onto its side. It was screaming along the asphalt on its side. It shuddered to a stop.
The hail, which had merely been denting the hell out of our roof, started denting the hell out of us.
Now that the bus was on its side, hail was hammering down through the row of windows above us. Some of my classmates were getting clobbered by the hail and the window glass that was raining down.
I was lucky. A seat near me had come loose, and I pulled it over me. I had a little roof.
The rocks of ice were all different sizes. Some little round marbles and some big knotty lumps with gray parts and gravel stuck inside them.
There were screams and shouts as everyone scrambled to get under any loose seats or to stand up, pressed to the roof, which was now the wall.
It sounded as if we were caught in a riptide of stones and rocks, crashing over and over. It felt like someone was beating the seat I was under with a baseball bat.
I tilted my head down and looked out what was left of the windshield. Through the white spray outside I saw that the grammar school bus, Alex’s bus, was somehow still going. Mrs. Wooly hadn’t skidded or lost control like Mr. Reed.
Her bus was cutting through the parking lot, headed right for the main entrance to the Greenway.
Mrs. Wooly’s going to drive right into the building, I thought. And I knew that she would get those kids out of the hail. And she did. She smashed the bus right through the glass doors of the Greenway.
Alex was safe, I thought. Good.
Then I heard this sad, whimpering sound. I edged forward and peered around the driver’s seat. The front of the bus was caved in, from where it had hit the lamppost.
It was Mr. Reed making that sound. He was pinned behind the wheel and blood was spilling out of his head like milk out of a carton. Soon he stopped making that sound. But I couldn’t think about that.
Instead, I was looking at the door to the bus, which was now facing the pavement. How will we get out? I was thinking. We can’t get out. The windshield was all crunched up against the hood of the engine.
It was all a crumpled jam. We were trapped in the demolished sideways bus.
Josie Miller screamed. The rest of the kids had instinctively scrambled to get out of the hail but Josie was just sitting, wailing, getting pelted by the ice balls.
She was covered in blood, but not her own, I realized, because she was trying to pull on someone’s arm from between two mangled seats and I remembered Trish had been sitting next to her. The arm was limp, like a noodle, and kept slipping down out of Josie’s grip. Trish was definitely dead but Josie didn’t seem to be getting it.
From a safe spot under an overturned seat, this jerk Brayden, who is always going on about his dad working at NORAD, took out his minitab and started trying to shoot a video of Josie screaming and grabbing at the slippery arm.
A monster hailstone hit Josie on the forehead and a big pink gash opened on her dark forehead. Blood started streaming down over her face.
I knew that the hail was going to kill Josie if she kept sitting there out in the open.
“Christ.” Brayden cursed at his minitab. “Come on!”
I knew I should move. Help her. Move. Help.
But my body was not responding to my conscience.
Then Niko reached out and grabbed Josie by the legs and pulled her under a twisted seat. Just like that. He reached out and pulled her two legs toward him and brought her in to his body. He held her and she sobbed. They looked like a couple out of a horror film.
Somehow Niko’s action had broken the spell. Kids were trying to get out and Astrid crawled to the front. She tried to kick through the windshield. She saw me on the ground, under my seat, and she shouted, “Help me!”
I just looked at her mouth. And her nose ring. And her lips moving and making words. I wanted to say, “No. We can’t go out there. We have to stay where there is shelter.” But I couldn’t quite piece the words together.
She stood up and screamed to Jake and his people, “We’ve got to get into the store!”
Finally I croaked out, “We can’t go out! The hail will kill us.” But Astrid was at the back of the bus by then.
“Try the emergency exit!” someone shouted. At the back of the bus Jake was already pulling and pulling at the door, but he couldn’t get it open. There was mayhem for a few minutes; I don’t know how long. I started to feel very strange. Like my head was on a long balloon string, floating above everything.
And then I heard such a funny sound. It was the beep-beep-beep sound of a school bus backing up. It was crazy to hear it through the hammering hail and the screaming.
Beep-beep-beep, like we were at the parking lot on a field trip to Mesa Verde and the bus was backing up.
Beep-beep-beep, like everything was normal.
I squinted out, and sure enough, Mrs. Wooly was backing up the elementary–middle school bus toward us. It was listing to the right pretty bad and I could see where it was dented in the front from smashing into the store. But it was coming.
Black smoke started pouring in through the hole I was looking through. I coughed. The air was thick. Oily. My lungs felt like they were on fire.
I should go to sleep now was the thought that came into my head. It was a powerful thought and seemed perfectly logical: Now I should go to sleep.
The cries of the other kids got louder: “The bus is on fire!” “It’s going to explode!” and “We’re going to die!”
And I thought, They’re right. Yes, we’ll die. But it’s okay. It’s fine. It is as it should be. We are going to die.
I heard this clanking. The sound of metal on metal.
And “She’s trying to open the door!”
And “Help us!”
I closed my eyes. I felt like I was floating down now, going underwater. Getting so sleepy warm. So comfortable.
And then this bright light opened up on me. And I saw how Mrs. Wooly had gotten the emergency door open. In her hands she held an ax.
And I heard her shout:
“Get in the godforsaken bus!”

Copyright © 2012 by Emmy Laybourne


Excerpted from Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne Copyright © 2012 by Emmy Laybourne. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Reading Group Guide

1. Most of the action in the novel is caused by a series of escalating disasters. How likely is it that such a chain of disasters would occur? And if it did, what would your reaction be? How would you survive?

2. Dean and the rest of the kids are trapped in a Greenway superstore, which eventually becomes a refuge from the outside world. Do you think a superstore is a good place to ride out a disaster? If not, where would you choose and why?

3. There are fourteen young people in the novel, and each one has a distinct personality and a very different reaction to the disasters. Which character are you most like? How would you react if you were in their situation?

4. Dean is trapped with both Astrid, his longtime crush, and Brayden, a bully who has picked on him for years. How does he handle these two relationships when the situation forces him to interact with each of them?

5. Jake thinks that since they are trapped, the kids should try to hang out and enjoy themselves as much as possible, while Nico feels it is important to keep busy and have a routine. Over the course of the story, Dean embraces both of these philosophies. Which would you choose?

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 111 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 111 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2012


    Gee,after reading through all the long reviews why would I want to buy the book. I know how this book starts, how it ends and everything that happens in between. Look up the word review in the dictionary. You are NOT writing reviews, you are telling what the book is about. Don't you think the person BUYING the book wants to find out for themselves.

    17 out of 37 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 13, 2012

    Awesome book. The action in the novel starts quickly and doesn'

    Awesome book. The action in the novel starts quickly and doesn't let up until the last page. I could not put it down! Its a real page turner. As a teen, I found the characters really relatable. I would love to see her write a sequel!

    11 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 12, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Chapter by Chapter's review of Monument 14

    This. Book. Was. Amazing. It was brilliant and awesome and breathtaking and every other word that adds up to awesome. The synopsis of the novel was enough to have me more than interested and I have to admit that I was a bit doubtful that Monument 14 would be great enough to keep my attention and keep up with having a great plot. I was very, very wrong. As some of you may have already figured out, I’m a big fan of dystopia. Love it. Love everything about it. Most dystopias take place after the end of the world, after all of the really tough stuff—Monument 14 takes place during the end of the world in the year 2024 when a series of natural disasters begin to destroy the world.

    The start of Monument 14 had me already on the edge of my seat when the main character, Dean’s school bus is attacked by hail. After almost everybody on the bus is killed, Dean and the remaining few teenage survivors are dragged onto a elementary school bus and seek refuge in a Greenway (which is like a giant Walmart). After a major earthquake, a biological weapon spill that targets people in various ways depending on their blood type—the fourteen kids from the city of Monument find themselves trapped inside of the Greenway while they attempt to adjust to this new lifestyle and survive.

    As you can see above, the story is full of awesomeness (true story).

    I have to admit, I was surprised by the way that author Emmy Laybourne portrayed all of the characters. All of them were unique and spot on considering that more than half of the characters were young children: The high school kids still held their prejudices and had to learn how to put those aside to survive. And the way that she detailed and described the story and setting had me feeling more and more like I was in the story myself, watching Dean when he had to hear all of the younger kids whine about wanting their parents or becoming just like Dean when he goes into a rage when he’s reduced to the corrupt outside air. The way the novel was written was in a way that I found interesting, it was in the first person but was also told in a memoir type format. I thought it was refreshing.

    The one thing that I loved most about the story was the chemical spill. Because if the natural disasters weren’t enough you needed to add in the fact that depending on your blood type, you may or may not survive. As most of you know, type O is the most common blood type on the planet and (of course) everybody with blood type O turns into a raging monster. Almost like the Incredible Hulk, but without the green skin or sudden change in body type. And it’s permanent so long as you’re in the corrupt air.

    As a story that kept me on my toes, had me addicted and had an ending that I didn’t see coming—Monument 14 is a story that I would recommend to fans of dystopia, readers who want something that will thrill them, or somebody who wants a story to grab them and never let go.

    Monument 14 is an instant favorite.

    9 out of 19 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2012

    Can't put down.

    I have read this book several times. It is very captivating.

    8 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 29, 2012

    Gripping yet...

    Gripping up until the ended when you are left with more to wonder about then the start of the book itself. Read but only if you are will to be left on the edge of your seat wondering "What now?"

    8 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 19, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    At the beginning, there wasn’t much going on. The book st

    At the beginning, there wasn’t much going on. The book starts off with some very graphic and disturbing disasters and I was worried that it was going to be overly realistic and not at all entertaining. That was thankfully not true. The point when I got to know all the characters was when I really started to fall in love with this book. There was such a colorful cast of characters that clashed together in fun ways. It made me laugh out loud even though there were truly terrifying things going on. Seriously. Like, the world is ending and I’m laughing me head off. I even read a few passages to my husband between laughs because he wanted to know what was so dang funny. But don’t get me wrong – even though there are some very funny moments, there were also some very touching moments that really got to me, especially the ones with the little kids.

    The plot took some turns and surprises that I really enjoyed. The realism was one of the very best parts of the book. Her attention to the details had me so invested in the story and made it hard for me to stop thinking about the book when I was done. She did an amazing job of balancing humor, fear, and empathy while making all of the characters amazingly realistic. I’m absolutely convinced that Max is in existence somewhere on this earth. The writing was so enjoyable. It was succinct, visual, fast-paced and a lot of fun to read. Grab this book. I flew right through it in a day. I absolutely couldn’t put it down.

    8 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 26, 2012


    Great book

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 16, 2012


    This book is interesting but at some parts really scary!! It also contains some swears. But it is an interesting read!

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 13, 2012

    It sounds like working in the film industry really gives Emmy a

    It sounds like working in the film industry really gives Emmy a different perspective to write from - and I think that comes through in her writing in Monument 14! If you're looking for that next action-packed, exciting summer read then this is one you'll want to check out!

    Reasons to Read:

    1.A story that draws you in from the first page:

    The first thing I noticed while reading Monument 14 is that the story picks up during the first chapters; I had barely even started reading and I couldn't put it down! I thought the pacing was very well done for the length of the book, and it really doesn't slow down whatsoever- even while trapped in a superstore.

    2.Excellent, evocative writing:

    Similarly, Emmy's not only able to write exciting scenes but I thought she did a great job penning the story as a whole. The writing wasn't awkward and it was just descriptive enough to help you imagine the events as they were taking place. It seems like her background in film gave her a good idea of exciting writing, and how to keep a story moving along nicely.

    3.A new sort of post-apocalyptic book:

    There are a large number of post-apocalyptic books out now, and even more coming out in the next few months or so, but it was a pretty interesting idea to set a group of high school & elementary kids in a superstore; cut off from the rest of the world. It's a convenient setting for them, but one that works well for the book and really draws you in. With the way the book ended, I'm really curious to see how the sequel will follow the events which took place in Monument 14!

    I did, however, have a few problems with the characters. I found them largely to be caricatures, and mostly lacked any real depth. I think the reason I felt them to be this way was because we didn't get any real sense of their motivations or reasons for acting the way they do, and especially for keeping the secrets they keep. I can understand that from the younger kids, but it's harder to look the other way in the case of the teens in the group. Some people are suspicious, some choose to isolate themselves, some act out and cause trouble. But we never find out WHY, and I wonder if part of th ereason for this is because there's just too many characters to follow.

    But aside from that, I found Monument 14 to be a rather gripping read- definitely one that will be a quick read for a lot of readers this summer!

    E-galley received from publisher via Net Galley.

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 6, 2012


    It was really good, but the age rating I would say 14+.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 26, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Amazing and scary all at the same time!

    Monument 14 is a dystopian book about a group of 14 school children who survive a natural disaster that wipes out part of the world. There are parts of the book that mimic The Lord of the Flies, but there are so many parts that stand on their own. The disaters sound like something from a Hollywood blockbuster, but the story of the kids is really the best part.
    Through all the issues they faced, they learned to first trust each other, and work together to survive. The ending leaves you with way more questions than answers, but its still a darkly moving novel.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 25, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    This is one of those stories, where the description had me unset

    This is one of those stories, where the description had me unsettled before I'd even opened up this title to start reading. The whole premise is scary and beyond eerie. Who wants to think about the world ending, or being separated from your family and friends if and when that event were to happen? And the idea of a government project going wrong and having strange and dangerous effects on those individuals who are close by the source? Not me, that's for sure!

    So if you're not a fan of suspense I'm going to go out on a limb here and just say this book probably won't be for you....or at least not one of your favorites. I'm caught in the middle. I have to be in the right mood to read a book with a premise like this one, and even if I am in the mood, I often have to take breaks while reading so I don't completely let myself get too freaked out. This book is intense from start to finish. The ideas and events can sometimes be a little far fetched, but when you really think about, all of the major events in history and that have occurred within our environment, probably were thought of the same way before they actually happen.

    Laybourne has a great writing style that puts her readers a sort of zone so to speak, and she often left me feeling as though I was in the book itself not just reading it on my own time. This of course had my heart racing and my anxiety levels creeping up on me on more than one occasion. Without giving away any spoilers it's hard to talk about the characters and events that take place in the story Laybourne lays out for her audience, but it's one I think is worth reading and one a series I'm curious to see unfold further. So if you haven't had the chance to pick this read up yet, and you're in the mood to make yourself anxious and a little bit stressed out, while enjoying the ride, this title might be right up your alley.

    3 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 9, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Monument 14

    Imagine yourself on your way to school, and the world starts to end. You run to seek shelter and the nearest thing is a superstore. So you run into there and now you are trapped. You have no where to go. But you can survive for months there, would you leave. That is the question that I asked myself while reading this book. If I had no worries in the world other than am I going to survive through the night, would I leave the one place that provides me with food, water, and shelter???? Probably not. But that was not the case in this story.

    In this story, you meet a group of kids that are on their way to school in the bus. While on the bus a hail storm starts to happen. I know what you are thinking, come on its just a hail storm. But in this story, this hail storm is really bad and they can’t drive in it. So one of the buses decides to run into the local superstore for cover. But then after a little while the bus driver goes back to save the people on the other bus. Once everyone was in the building, the driver decides that she is going to try and get help. So she leaves. At this point in the book, I was like really….you are just going to leave 14 kids all by themselves so that you can see if you can find help. I knew where this was going. At this point, the story reminded a lot of Lord of the Flies. I was just waiting for them to split into their own teams and try to kill each other. But boy was I wrong. This book was so much better then I thought it was going to be. I was really surprised with what the out come was in this book. But I would have to tell you, if I was ever stuck in a place like Target for a really long time I think I might be in heaven. :)

    This book has everything that I good dystopian needs. In my world, a good dystopian needs a great story line. A story that keeps you wanting more. A story line that keeps the pages turning. And Emmy Laybourne did just that!!! I seriously can’t wait for the second book to come out! I am not going to lie, when I finished this book I was like, “ YOU REALLY CAN NOT END A BOOK LIKE THAT!!!” I think I threw the book across the room and cursed a little….oops… But a book that makes you do that deserves to be titled a great book and that is exactly what it is!!!!

    3 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2014

    Very unrealistic charecters.

    Im not done with the book yet, but i have to say this. The charecters are extremly unrealistic. The high schoolers act like seventh graders. The eighth graders act like firstgraders, and the elementary school kids act like infants. Charecters personalties change randomly and do things tat they normally wouldnt. Its quit annoying. Also it has that extremly cliche plot where a guy has a huge chrush on some girl who doesnt knowvhe exists, then they are put into some unusual circumstances and they fall in love for bo reason vother then plot devolopment. Like i said, i havent finished the book yet, but i just wanted to point thi out in case anyone wants to know.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 30, 2014

    I love this book!!!!!!!!

    It's amazing!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 1, 2013

    I Also Recommend:

    The storyline was captivating and I couldn't help but read it qu

    The storyline was captivating and I couldn't help but read it quickly. 

    Although, I wish the writing would be less frusterating to read. All thought her ideas and storyline is smooth and interesting, 
    her writing may cause a headache. 

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 15, 2012

    Great book

    It is just captivating period.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 12, 2012

    Firstable, this book is a great read for boys! I’d been w

    Firstable, this book is a great read for boys!

    I’d been waiting to read this book for a while and I’m glad it didn’t disappoint me. What I liked most of this book was the Dean’s sincerity. Just because the world seems to be ending people don’t need to start acting like saints (I guess I’m evil). His feelings and desires kept on going Ah! Yes, in case you’re wonder who this Dean is, he is the main character.

    Fourteen kids are trapped in a superstore (think Walmart, or Target) and they have to learn to trust and deal with each other in order to survive. They are mean and they don’t hold their tongues back. They are tired of taking care of the little ones and the bigger ones are not exactly fan of each other.

    The book reminded a little bit of that movie The Mist but with kids. This book would make a really cool movie.

    What I didn’t like: there wasn’t any explanation of the kind of world they were living in and why a couple of things were out of use. However this wasn’t bad to the point to stop me from enjoying and finishing the book. I guess Laybourne wanted to get directly to the action without wasting time explaining a world that we weren’t going to see much about, anyway.

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 11, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    The day starts out like any other. Kids heading to school, paren

    The day starts out like any other. Kids heading to school, parents heading off to work when suddenly the skies open up and huge chunks of hail create complete chaos. This is the story of children, ages Kindergarten through High School, whose lives went from being normal to living the unknown.

    Shelter is found in a big box store for the riders of two school buses. Within days they experience not only hail, but a world being changed by natural disasters. A volcano blows which play havok with the natural order of things and causes a dominoe effect. Tsunamis, earthquakes, etc. The kids in the store have limited information of what is going on outside. They are located in Colorado, but are in the range of more destruction when nearby NORAD has a breach and military chemical agents have reached not only the air but the water supply.

    I found the story a bit rushed, what was progressing inside seemed almost an entirely different timeline than what was happening on the outside. I also found it interesting that even though the securiy gates were blocking the entrances that nobody on the outside found a way in. Desperate people will do desperate things. The story plays over 12 days, but it felt so much longer than that.

    The story has the potential to be incredible, but it just seems to fizzle when you would expect it to explode.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 7, 2012

    After a huge storm hits, the school bus crashes into a lamp post

    After a huge storm hits, the school bus crashes into a lamp post and several kids die along with the driver. There are only 6 survivors and they, along with the others that came on the rescue bus, eventually end up in a superstore where they end up living for awhile. Upon debating on whether they will stay there or try to find their way home, they try to make contact with those outside. But after several events occur (including a hail storm with ice as big as basketballs) they decide that it's best they stay inside, with food and shelter. There are people of all ages from young elementary school through high school.

    There are a lot of post apocalyptic books out there today, especially in the Young Adult arena. This book has a lot of potential in the idea, but the thing I think that held it back the most for a teen reader, may appeal more towards the younger teens. There are elementary aged school kids that get stuck in the situation with the older kids. Sometimes there are parts of the story in which more difficult concepts have to be explained to the children. The use of dialogue and actions that they used around the children kind of deterred me as an older reader from really engaging into the feel of he novel. The action parts and the events in which were able to hold my attention were when things started to go bad towards the end. Rivals between the older kids mostly.

    Also the idea that all kinds of events were happening outside the superstore, we don't get to witness much of. We are told what is going on outside and are given some description of the damage. But we don't really get to venture out into the mess and see any of it beyond being introduced the idea of the terror.

    My favorite parts of the story were in which there was immediate danger upon the major players in the story. The fight for life and death and the real feel of what I think an apocalyptic story should contain. This would be a good introduction book for those that have no read into this type of genre as a stepping stone before exploring further. It was a good story, but I cannot say that I loved it. I am giving it 3 stars.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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