Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne

This book was definitely not my favorite and I don’t know if I’ll read the sequel. I read this over the weekend on the way to my grandmother’s house, so I have had a lot of time to think about it. To be honest, parts of it were really good while others left me cringing and skipping ahead a few pages. Although this is a dystopian novel, I found it rather lacking in that area. In this book, 14 kids and teens of various ages are trapped in a superstore while natural and chemical disasters are destroying the world outside. It starts with a major hail storm and ends with a chemical spill. The science behind the storms seems iffy, and the part where the chemicals affect people of various blood types makes no logical sense.

Few characters seemed realistic and although this reads like a Middle Grade book, there are parts which make this best for older teens. For one, there are many parts describing a 13-year-old girl as a slut, which rather bothered me. Then that same girl is nearly raped by an adult. Also it seems like every other chapter some of the teens were getting drunk, high, or generally acting inappropriate. And this is in the presence of a bunch of impressionable elementary school kids. And while a few of the teens are doing this, the others don’t try to hide the prescription drugs and alcohol from them or try to get them to stop. One of the chapters is literally called ‘Rum’ and another is ‘We Get High’. It shows women in a bad light and the book feels plotless. There’s sexual content and Dean’s feelings for Astrid get creepy. This book was just…weird and I’m debating whether or not to finish the series.

I would say this book would be best older teens. If you choose to read it. Some parts I like but others I really just didn’t.

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