Unlike this show, Monument 14 wasn’t a disaster at all! Check out our review of the action-packed Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne.

Bryan’s quick summary:

Dean is like most kids his age. Awkward, nerdy, and endlessly hung up on the most popular girl in school. When he runs to catch the bus one morning, little does he know he and his classmates are about to change forever. The hail struck first, taking down the ever-present computer network and ending millions of lives. As the group of 14 students tries to take refuge in a chain superstore, a cloud of unearthed chemical weapons will turn what little is left of their city streets into a wasteland. To stay alive, they’ll need to stick together. Even if Dean and several of his classmates are ticking time bombs just waiting to go off.

Monument 14 is by Emmy Laybourne

So what did we think? (From a reader’s perspective)

1. (Bryan) I love how fast-paced this was. We got right into the action, and the book had one compelling scene after another. It’s the kind of thing that makes you want to pick up book two right away.

2. (Robert) An apocalypse (what an apocalypse!); trapped kids; a pecking order to establish … Monument 14 has all the trappings of a modern-day Lord Of The Flies, and Laybourne does not disappoint.

3. (Robert) There are some very explicit scenes later in this book, which was a shame, as the first half is suitable for younger YA readers. I’d recommend older than 14 or 15. Apart from that, this is a great thriller actually – the dialog is excellent and it’s enough of a page turner that I went to sleep far too late on more than one occasion! Can’t wait for it to be a movie.

What did we think from a writer’s perspective?

1. (Bryan) We get away with a semi-unlikeable, passive main character because he has an arc throughout. He could’ve been heroic from the beginning, but that might not have been as dynamic.

2. (Robert) The “plot” is mostly disaster movie and at times does seem a little contrived, but it’s easily forgiven due to the fast pace. Emmy Laybourne really has us feeling as if we’re also in this stuffy warehouse-like supermarket – but it’s mostly about the kids, and how they rise to the occasion.

3. (Bryan) That ending, resolves some things but leaves a TON wide open. Almost like the ending of The Selection in that it feels like we’ve barely scratched the surface of this story.

Bryan and Robert’s Famous Takeaways:

1. Take one close, confined and dangerous setting; stir in a bunch of unprepared kids and you definitely have the recipe for a good story. Laybourne does better than that! Worth reading.

2. Conflict drives story: sweet and simple. Laybourne gives it to us in spades – inner and outer. I (Robert) look forward to Sky On Fire! (Book 2)

3. Setting your story outside of the main places (NY, LA) can really help your book to stand out.

Prompt of the Week:

Imagine you were cut off from all your loved ones during a disaster and surrounded by strangers and acquaintances. How would you interact with the people who might be your best chance of staying alive? Would you trust them? Why or why not?

Write your response to the prompt or the show in the comments!

Click here to check out Monument 14 on Amazon

Listen to the podcast:

Watch on YouTube:

Subscribe To The Split's Newsletter!

Get advance notice of upcoming podcast episodes, free reading and writing resources and general YA book news!

Yes! You are now subscribed to The Split's Newsletter!

You've read this far ... now you really should subscribe to The Split's Newsletter!

Get advance notice of upcoming podcast episodes, free reading and writing resources and general YA book news!

Yes! You are now subscribed to The Split's Newsletter!