by Emmy Laybourne
Monument 14 is a book that will have you hooked from page one. This novel begins as Dean and his younger brother Alex are getting ready for school. Both begin their day by catching their separate school buses. This average morning is torn apart, though, with a hail storm. They begin as tiny pellets but quickly become football sized hail that come crashing down, tearing the bus up. Both Dean and Alex’s bus drivers attempt to find shelter in the local Greenway store. Alex’s bus crashes right through the front doors, while Dean’s bus just plain crashes. Fourteen kids and one of the bus drivers survive. They barracade themselves in the Greenway for shelter. When the bus driver leaves to find help, the six teens and eight children are left to take care of themselves. At first they think it will be temporary, however, they soon learn that a super-volcano has set off a chain of natural disasters and they may be stuck in the Greenway for awhile. The up side: they have everything they could ever want, including a pizzeria. The down side: they don’t know that is happening on the outside or even if their families are still alive. As the days pass, more and more things go wrong, and they have to decide: is it better to stay safe in the Greenway as long as possible and wait to get rescued, or do they risk leaving to find their families not knowing what is on the outside?
This novel is full of action, and it definitely packs a punch. There is a ton of thrilling suspense, and it really makes you question what you would do if you were in the position of these teens and kids. Monument 14 is also really hard to predict. Sometimes when you read a book you see what is coming, but not in Monument 14! I was surprised with every turn of the page, and I definitely was left guessing all the way until the last pages. Be warned, though! This ending is a huge cliffhanger! But there will be a sequel. Definitely pick this book up if you like action or survival stories, and if you like to read post-apocalyptic books.