Zoe: Hey guys, sorry we haven’t posted in awhile. Because it’s holidays we were away for a while at the beginning of the week and everything has kind of caught up to us. Today Annike and I are going to do a joint review on the book Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne.
Fourteen kids. One superstore. A million things that go wrong.
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.
Annike: Just like we did for a recent book review “For Real” we have decided to split the review into three parts. What we liked, didn’t like and each talk about a couple of characters. Just a heads up, it’s been a little while since I read this book so I might be a little clueless but Zoe read it recently.
- Alex: I thought Alex was one of the more sane characters, and I thought he was pretty relatable. I like how he was developed throughout the book, however I found it a bit annoying that nobody else had family members with them and he practically abandoned his brother throughout the entire book.
- Caroline and Henry: I thought most of the kids a bit troublesome throughout the books but I loved Caroline and her brother Henry as they were so loving, genuine and sweet and I thought they were definitely the most likeable kids in the book.
- Dean: Dean is the MC of the book. I thought he was interesting in many ways. The premise of the story meant that there were people who needed to take charge and keep the group alive and I felt like Dean did a lot of that. He wasn’t incredibly interesting however, certainly no hero and I wasn’t too keen about him and Astrid.
- Sahalia: Personally, Sahalia was probably my least favourite characters of the book. She is portrayed in a way that she is almost desperate to get the older guys attention, is very sexualised and just made some really stupid decisions.
What we Liked:
- This book actually ended up my favourite book of last year but from what I remember I think it may have been the weakest book of the series. Strange. But all in all, I really loved the idea and premise of the story, it was such a clever idea that I never would have thought of.
- I thought that it was great how you could make connections between the characters and see how the related throughout the book considering that there was no adult supervision.
- It was very fast moving and entertaining so hard to put down!
- I loved the book, and I thought it was very original and had an awesome plot line. I barely ever read any books with the book being narrated by a male and I was actually really surprised how different it can be with a different perspective. It was a quick and engaging read and It was so different than every other book I have read which was really fun.
- I thought the characters were well developed throughout the book and the fact that we got to know and connect with all the characters over the book individually was really impressive and something which definitely improved the book as it gave more of a scope to expand off and more relatable because there were so many different characters.
What we didn’t like:
- So although I apparently was rather obsessed with this book for a some time a little while ago, looking back on it I really didn’t like the characters. This is probably the weakest part.
- Everyone is so individual and unique which is great, until it isn’t. It got to the point when you just can’t believe how there is not one person holed up in this place who isn’t really annoying. You had whiners, drunks, super religious, overly sexualised characters and so many more that just annoyed me.
- I also think that all the girls in the story were portrayed very badly. It seemed like there was Sahalia who was out of control and out of line for a 13 year old. And then there was Josie who was practically the mother figure with no real voice.
- I agree with Annike about some of the characters and their weaknesses, because I agree, some of the characters were so unoriginal and most were very inauthentic as they weren’t relatable and made me think that if I were in this situation how different it would be. They all had such different opinions it was sometimes annoying how they couldn’t sort some of the things out, but I do think they handled most of the situations well.
- I didn’t think the little kids were very necessary in the story and only added to the complications of the story. They were all extremely opinionated and I think that having a more mature but diverse group of teenagers would have improved the story however I can see how they added to the story line.
Annike: 5/5 (probably a little different now)
Zoe: Overall i thought this book was really amazing and although it did have faults it was an intense, fast paced and engaging read which i would definitely recommend to all you readers. Thanks for reading, if you have read this book let us know if you liked it in the comments below or if you have any other opinions you would like to add.