"Fourteen kids stranded inside a superstore. Inside they have everything they could ever need. There's junk food and clothes, computer games and books, drugs and alcohol ...and without adult supervision they can do whatever they want. Sounds like fun? But outside the world is being ripped apart by violent storms and chemicals leaking into the atmosphere that, depending on blood type, leave victims paranoid, violent or dead. The kids must remain inside, forced to create their own community, unsure if they'll ever be able to leave. Can they stop the world they've created inside from self-destructing too?"When I got offered this book to review I took it, not having read any of these ‘trapped in a school//mall stories’ before. I didn’t enjoy it as much as I had hoped, but it was overall an enjoyable read and I was pleasantly surprised when I found out it was written from a male POV.
During the first chapter we get pulled into the thick of the action with killer hail, a bus crash and a few injuries and even deaths. It looked to be a promising read, but after the flurry of action and when they had settled into the shopping centre we didn’t get much, just them trying to work out what to do etc. And I was surprised at how little the kids got scared or stressed, as if eating pizza and ice cream and playing with toys was more important to them. But I guess that’s how they managed really, none of them went too crazy, aside from when the older boys got high, and because of that, no drama disrupted their ‘normal’ lifestyle.
The problem that made this book one that I don’t think I would read again was the fact that all the exciting things that were happening were not the main focus.
Overall, Monument 14 was enjoyable, but not something I would pick if I had a choice of books in front of me. Some characters interested me and the main ‘catastrophes’ had promise, but after a few chapters everything fell a bit flat. The ending, though, did leave a little spark of excitement curiosity in me, so I will read the sequel just to see what happens.
Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne
Hodder Children's Books