***2012 Debut Author***
Reading Level: Young Adult
Publication Date: June 2012
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Series: 1st in a series
Acquisition: received an ARC for review
Your mother hollers that you’re going to miss the bus. She can see it coming down the street. You don’t stop and hug her and tell her you love her. You don’t thank her for being a good, kind, patient mother. Of course not—you launch yourself down the stairs and make a run for the corner.
Only, if it’s the last time you’ll ever see your mother, you sort of start to wish you’d stopped and did those things. Maybe even missed the bus.
But the bus was barreling down our street, so I ran.
Fourteen kids. One superstore. A million things that go wrong.
In Emmy Laybourne’s action-packed debut novel, six high school kids (some popular, some not), two eighth graders (one a tech genius), and six little kids trapped together in a chain superstore build a refuge for themselves inside. While outside, a series of escalating disasters, beginning with a monster hailstorm and ending with a chemical weapons spill, seems to be tearing the world—as they know it—apart. (from Goodreads)
Wow. I was pretty much terrified throughout this entire book. It might take place in the future but the reality of what is happening felt all too real to me. Imagine getting on your school bus, expecting another tedious day and a few hours latter you're fighting for your life against terrors from your worst nightmares. Such is the case for 14 kids from Monument Colorado.
The world these kids live in isn't much different from ours. Technology has advanced and the ways people communicate have changed a bit but since not a lot about society is revealed, it's very easy to imagine that what is happening could happen in our world - at any time - to any group of kids.
Along with an awesome storyline, what really got me hooked was the dynamic characters. 14 kids ranging in age from 5-17ish all with their own strengths and fears. And when you lock them up together with little to no hope of escape? These strengths and fears become the difference between life and death.
What really got to be about Monument 14 were the details. Their refuge is a mega store (I was picturing a Super Walmart or Target) and they have nearly everything they need to survive at their disposal. And they use everything, in ways that make sense. They do things that I would do in their situation. This added layer of realism that really made all the difference for me.
Also, it wasn't hard to care about these kids. It wasn't hard to want then to win, to survive. Added terror right there! If I'm invested in what happens to a character, I'm even more terrified by the events in their story.
The ending had a few last minute shockers to thrown at me but I'm happy for it. There is a lot more story to be told here. I'm already wishing for book 2! An awesome debut!
5 / 5 Stars
Author's website / Goodreads / IndieBound