Sunday, 27 April 2014
Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne
Author: Emmy Laybourne
Published by: Hachette
Publication date: 4th April 2013
Professionalism is going straight out of the window for this review.
I'm not ashamed to admit that the main reason I wanted to read Monument 14 was because it's about kids/teens trapped in a supermarket. That used to be one of my childhood fantasies...imagine the food you could eat, the books you could read, the endless supply of phones and tablets you could play on... Come on. I can't be the only one who thinks that would be an awesome situation to be in. Don't pretend you don't think that would be fun because it totally would be. Hello?! UNSUPERVISED USE OF THE BAKERY AISLE. However, the circumstances for them being trapped in the supermarket were not all fun and games. After a freak hailstorm and several deaths, we're thrown into more action-packed and suspenseful situations as harmful chemicals are released into the atmosphere, and everyone has to try and protect themselves, their new community, and their new 'home.'
I have a theory that this book was written as if it's the main character Dean writing in the journal he took as soon as he entered the store. I could be wrong, maybe I missed something, but that's how it seemed to me, and I think it was implied, too. I'm just saying this because a few people have said they were irritated by the author constantly trying to remind us of things that had happened before as if we couldn't work that out ourselves, but if you think that it was Dean writing the story for his own personal record, it makes more sense that he would write like that. It's conversational. Different to the style of books I usually read, but it really didn't bother me.
Two of the characters I respected most were Dean and Sahalia, because neither of them really conformed to the rules of society, and they were both ridiculed because of it. I especially respected Sahalia and thought of her as a very important character because her want to become considered a 'grown-up' got her into a couple of bad situations, and it spotlighted the pressures young girls feel sometimes to be noticed.
The descriptions in this book, oh my fudge. I just wanted to hug the book. And then I wanted to hug it even more when I discovered the dry sense of humour that Dean had. "There I saw Chloe, freshly bathed, wrapped in a towel, eating fun-size Butterfingers one after another like a chain smoker and watching me like I was her soap opera." I don't know why that made me laugh so much but it did, probably because of the hilarious image it produced in my mind. "I gathered that the girls thought he looked rugged and dangerous. I gathered this because every time he was around they'd twitter and preen in a way that sort of made me hate everyone." It's also very relatable, as you can see from the second quote.
While being funny and exciting, it also made me think. Monument 14 is set in 2024 which is only ten years from now, and it's scarily realistic. I couldn't help but think that the events which happened in the book could easily happen in our lifetime. Surely it wouldn't be that difficult for our government to accidentally release some crazily dangerous chemical into our atmosphere.
I haven't had fun reading a book for a long time. I've read good books, but they're not always fun to read. This, however, certainly was. As soon as I flipped the last page, I grabbed the laptop and ordered the second book. So what if I spent money I didn't yet have, I needed to read the next book. I am so excited to read the second book - thank goodness for Amazon's next day delivery! Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go and let out a stream of capital letters somewhere in the depths of the Internet. I don't want to bore you with my full-fangirl mode here...
18 year old book blogger who aspires to work in journalism and/or publishing, and dreams of one day seeing her own work on bookshelves around the world. Amber has been running The Mile Long Bookshelf single-handedly since 2009.