Hey everyone! Katie C. here with one another book review! This week, I'll be talking about Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne
Fourteen kids. One superstore. A million things that go wrong.
When Dean raced out the door to catch the school bus, he didn’t realize it would be the last time he’d ever see his mom. After a freak hailstorm sends the bus crashing into a superstore, Dean and a group of students of all ages are left to fend for themselves.
They soon realize the hailstorm and the crash are the least of their worries. After seeing a series of environmental and chemical disasters ravage the outside world, they realize they’re trapped inside the store.
Unable to communicate with the ones they love, the group attempts to cobble together a new existence. As they struggle to survive, Dean and the others must decide which risk is greater: leaving… or staying.
This book is hands down my favorite apocalypse/dystopian story! Monument 14 takes an interesting idea, great characters, high stakes, a thrilling setting, and mashes it all together into one perfect book!
One thing that this book accomplishes better than a lot of other dystopian books I've read is the realism embedded in the conflict. Monument 14 takes place only a few years in the future, instead of hundreds or thousands, and it starts out while the world is still seemingly normal instead of right in the middle of when everything goes wrong. As a reader, this made the book so much more interesting because I could witness, along with the protagonist, Dean, everything go wrong as the story progressed.
In addition to above, another thing that really made this book stand out was the actions and decisions of all the characters stuck inside the superstore. Despite everyone being in the same situation, everyone's motivations and ideas on what to do next were different and sometimes even clashed. There were kids who wanted to take advantage of the situation and do whatever they desired, and kids who wanted to venture out of the super store to escape the town and get help, and kids who were too young to understand anything that was going on, and kids who were much older trying to unite everyone on the same path. These seemingly random people coming together under one extreme situation turned into a lot of tension and problems beyond whats going on outside that made this book impossible to put down!
Overall, I'd recommend Monument 14 to anyone who loves a good dystopian novel, but also to fans of Michael Grant and Suzanne Collins. I will say that this book has parts that get really dark and really graphic, so if you're not a fan of those types of stories, I'd pick up something else. But other than that, Monument 14 is one of the best books I've been introduced to while attending TBF and I highly, highly recommend you give it a read!
Until next time, happy reading! This is Katie C., signing off!