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Monument 14  - Emmy Laybourne My Rating: 3.0 The first thing I have to say about Monument 14 is that the book cover is amazing. The terrific colors of the dark gray-green clouds and the group of kids staring out at them captured my attention almost immediately. The readable map at the front and back cover flaps captured my heart, giving readers a sense of how the entire Greenway mall setting looks like. Monument 14 reminded me of Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer and the Gone series by Michael Grant, only that Monument 14 has no superpower stuff like Gone. Fourteen kids, some children some teenagers, are stuck together in Greenway mall on their way to school after a killing unnatural monster-like hailstorm dented the school bus and killed the bus driver, when a teacher took control and rescued them. Natural disasters like earthquakes, volcanoes erupting, megatsunamis, and chemical spills are happening outside the mall and the kids ultimately need to work together and take care of themselves until their teacher comes back. Luckily, the kids has everything they can ever need and want, since they are now living in the mall. One problem I had with Monument 14 was why is this happening? There was no explanation at all for what happened. Why did the monster hailstorm happen the first place? Why are there suddenly tsunamis and earthquakes? I felt that Emmy Laybourne should at least explain why things happened. I liked that she began the book right in the middle of things, but I expected at least some explanations. Did the Earth's climate get so bad that the Earth couldn't take it anymore? Give me something to work with. One thing that really annoyed me is the main character, Dean in this case, feelings for his crush Astrid. Dean hates Jake, a popular football quarterback jock, for dating Astrid only for her good looks. Well, guess what? In Dean's case, he also likes Astrid for her stunningly good looks and nothing else. He barely even knows her, only knowing that she's good at controlling children. In the scenes that Dean is busy drooling over Astrid, I just wanted to smack some sense into him. I understood why Dean made that decision at the end of the book, but I'm sure 75% of his decision was influenced by Astrid. I'll definitely check out the sequel to Monument 14 just to see what happens to the (five) kids in Greenway mall. Hopefully things will be explained. ohdamnbooks: monument 14