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Book review: ‘Monument 14' is action-packed apocalyptic excitement

SHARE Book review: ‘Monument 14' is action-packed apocalyptic excitement

Editor's note: Four debut young adult authors, along with Marissa Meyer, the author of “Cinder,” will be in Salt Lake City on June 11 and Provo on June 12 as part of the Fierce Reads tour. The writers include Anna Banks, author of “Of Poseidon”; Leigh Bardugo, author of “Shadow and Bone”; Jennifer Bosworth, who penned “Struck”; and Emmy Laybourne, with “Monument 14.”

"MONUMENT 14," by Emmy Laybourne, Feiwel and Friends, $16.99, 304 pages (f) (16 and up)

"Monument 14" is an action-packed novel set in a dystopian world that is chilling and creates an atmosphere that will keep you turning the pages.

Fourteen kids of various ages ranging from very little up to high school are trapped together in a chain superstore after a volcano erupts several thousand miles away. This sets off a series of events beginning with a massive hailstorm and ending with a chemical spill that could possibly tear their world apart.

By nature, apocalyptic novels have a sense of urgency and action that just can’t be paralleled. As these disasters rage outside the shelter that these kids have built for themselves, attention is immediately drawn to their desperate situation. At first, even though their situation is incredibly dangerous, the kids act just like you’d expect with no adults. Who wouldn’t pass up a chance to live on cookies and Mountain Dew? As they settle into their new environment, duties, chores and roles for characters are formed, allowing the reader to connect with each one.

The narrator, Dean, is writing the series of events that occur over a week’s period of time. Each character is complex and well-rounded. Though there are a few cliches in regards to their interactions with each other, as the story continues, those relationships mature and become quite believable. Because of their wide range in ages, each character becomes endearing in a different way. And the ending will leave readers eager for more in the series.

"Monument 14" does contain some sexual content, profanity and violence. Though none of it is quite over the top, it would be better suited for older teens.

If you go ...

What: Fierce Reads tour with five young adult debut authors

When: Monday, June 11, 7 p.m.

Where: Salt Lake City Library Main Auditorium, 210 E. 400 South, Salt Lake City

Web: kingsenglish.com

Note: Signing line tickets will be handed out at the door.

Also ...

When: Tuesday, June 12, 7 p.m.

Where: Provo City Library Ballroom, 550 N. University Ave., Provo

Web: www.provolibrary.com

Note: Free event tickets available at the adult services desk.

Emily Ellsworth is a blogger at Emily's Reading Room, a blog dedicated to promoting a love of young adult fiction. For book reviews, author interviews and more about the latest in young adult fiction, visit her blog at emilysreadingroom.com