Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne

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.

Happy Reading!

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