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Monument 14 (Monument 14 Trilogy 1) Paperback – 4 Apr 2013

4.1 out of 5 stars 44 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder Children's Books (4 April 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1444914707
  • ISBN-13: 978-1444914702
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.6 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 248,887 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

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 series of catastrophes frighteningly real. (New York Times)

The fast-paced novel, contains fascinating characters, each one has their own way of trying to make sure their own world, inside the superstore, doesn't self-destruct. (Huffington Post)

a tense, claustrophobic, and fast-paced thriller. (Publishers Weekly)

'An unforgettable opener ...a realistic, multi-character survival story ... the ending is a real thriller.' (Booklist)

Book Description

Fourteen kids. One superstore. A million things that go wrong ...

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By hross42877 TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 22 Aug. 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book only came in to my sights the other day when it popped up on my Amazon recommendations list, I purchased my copy and hey presto it arrived with the postie this morning.

This afternoon I made the mistake of reading the first chapter, it was a fatal mistake as the housework I was planning on doing fell swiftly to the wayside as I became absorbed in this strange new world.

The story is based in the town of Monument which is located in the American Rockies, the story really does kick in quickly as we meet our narrator Dean and his brother Alex as they start their journey to school via those iconic yellow school buses.

Alex, the youngest is on one bus and his older brother takes the other, their journey starts without incident until the hail starts. Hail stones of massive proportion that cave in the bus roof and cause chaos, the driver of the bus hauls ass to the nearest place of safety, the giant Greenway superstore.

The superstore car park quickly becomes a place of carnage as Dean's bus careers out of control on to its side with dire consequences for some of his fellow classmates, Dean can only watch in horror from his place in the upturned bus as he sees his brother's bus driven in to the front of the superstore.

He thinks this is it, he has had it but his time isn't up yet, he is pulled from the wreckage and launched in to the bus that went in to the front of the superstore, it has came back for them. Once he is in the store he sees his brother has made it along with 12 other kids ranging in ages from 5 to about 16/17 and not forgetting the teacher who was driving the bus, Mrs Wooly.

The moods are not the best, the younger ones want their parents, the older ones want answers, what the hell just happened?
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Format: Hardcover
I loved the idea of Monument 14 - fourteen kids across a wide age range stuck in a superstore in the midst of tsunamis, earthquakes and a chemical weapons spill. And it is a great idea that for the most part is very well executed.

Told through the eyes of Dean, the action begins right from page one, and keeps a pretty good pace the whole way through. As the kids are stuck inside a superstore, there's not a lot of information on exactly what is happening in the outside world, just snippets that they garner from a near-obsolete TV found in the electronics section, and far more focus on how the work together to survive.

With such a large range of kids, from the school jock down to the cute twins that constantly talk about their beloved mother, the kid from a hardcore religious background, the 13-year-old that is desperately trying to fit in with the older kids, there is a lot going on to keep your attention. And of course, as any of us can imagine, as kids suddenly thrust into a very scary, adult situation, they react in pretty much the ways you would expect - there aren't any suddenly miraculous 'I can build a bomb from a paperclip and a role of tape' style moments, and some of the issues that they face as a group are issues facing any teenager today.

Ms. Laybourne's writing style is pretty straight-forward and clean, and all the characters (except the two teenage girls who I had trouble distinguishing from each other in a few places) are pretty individual and stand out from the others. I didn't have a huge connection with the main character, but that didn't really bother me, as there were so many other great characters to focus on.

However, there is a continuity problem in the closing part of the book - something that I believe should have changed the ending a great deal. Otherwise, I really enjoyed Monument 14, and if you like YA PA, there's definitely a big enjoyment factor here.
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By carlosnightman VINE VOICE on 9 Sept. 2013
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Aside from the obvious nods to the classics of the sub-genre, Monument 14 is a fresh take on the End Of The World formula, one filled with relatable characters and thrilling moments. Starting with a bang, the book holds no prisoners, presenting a bleak situation countered by a frenetic pace. It's not without its flaws, but it's clearly an exciting tale which will keep the interest of anyone who enjoys reading about survival in a post-apocalyptic world.

The story is set in the not too distant future, and sees a group of school children hiding out in, what I assume to be a large Tesco/Walmart, after a bizarre attack of giant hailstones. This attack happens within the first few pages, and we are left as unaware of the cause as the characters. Our characters, led by the narrator Dean, are headed to school on a couple of buses when the stones rain down, causing numerous deaths. We gradually learn about the survivors - Dean and his techno wiz brother Alex, Jake and Brayden - the jocks, Nico - the mysterious outsider, Astrid - The school beauty queen, and a host of others, including a bunch of 6 - 10 year olds. The sole authority figure, Mrs Wooley, a teacher, leaves the tale fairly early in search of information, and the majority of the focus in left with how the teens and kids struggle to survive and get along. Naturally there is tension, with cliques and love interest and jealousy, but none of this comes us as cheap pandering to the young adult genre. Instead, Laybourne keeps us entangled in the speed of the story, with multiple cliff-hangers, set-pieces, and unanswered questions.

I don't have too many problems with the characters or characterisation, surprising when dealing with a bunch of kids who could otherwise come off as immediately irritating.
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