Publisher: Hachette Children's Books
Publication date: April 4th 2013
My rating: 3 stars
Fourteen kids. One superstore. A million things that go wrong ... Fourteen kids stranded inside a superstore. Inside they have everything they could ever need. There's junk food and clothes, computer games and books, drugs and alcohol ... and without adult supervision they can do whatever they want. Sounds like fun? But outside the world is being ripped apart by violent storms and chemicals leaking into the atmosphere that, depending on blood type, leave victims paranoid, violent or dead. The kids must remain inside, forced to create their own community, unsure if they'll ever be able to leave. Can they stop the world they've created inside from self-destructing too?
With survival type stories, I’m either here or there, they either win me over completely (This is Not a Test) or annoy me to death. Monument 14 kind of fell in the middle, there were parts which were riveting and had me on tenterhooks and there were others which felt a little flat.
Monument 14 starts off with a bang. On the way to school Dean’s bus is pelted with hail stones so big that they’re tearing through the bus. There’s chaos on the road that causes their bus to overturn. Kids end up dead and it’s only because of Mrs. Wooly the elementary middle school driver that helps them out and helps them hide out in a store. When Mrs. Wooly goes to search for help, the 14 kids are left in charge.
The kids were left in an awful situation, they hadn’t a clue about what was going on outside, but still had to try and survive on their own means. There were always dangers lurking outside who were finding a safe place to stay, but who could they trust? Could they ever trust each other? The kids were left with a lot of responsibility, they had some really young children to look after, keep them occupied and give them the necessary attention whenever they were distraught. Niko surprised me with his level headedness; he was calm, collected and always wary of anyone joining their group. I liked the stability and routine he tried to achieve amongst the group. But I really felt sorry for him when he had no-one at first and was just left at the side with everyone clambering at the popular lads Brayden and Jake.
Dean was a hard mc to like, I did enjoy getting the story through his eyes, but wasn’t really able to connect to his character as I would have liked. Maybe that’s why I found it myself favouring Niko and Josie more, in my eyes they were characters I would more likely to get on with if I found myself in a similar situation. But the secondary characters definitely made up for it. I enjoyed getting stories from Max, Henry and Caroline, but definitely would have liked to get more of their back stories.
My feelings about Monument 14 are kind of hot and cold, I did find a lot of the time some scenes were really drawn out and my attention wavered quite a bit. But then we had some great pacier scenes with the risk of danger that I found myself zipping through in a frenzy. As I’m so torn, I’m not actually sure whether I would give the sequel a try, the way things were left, I definitely do want to find out how things end up, but I don’t really feel in a rush to do so. Monument 14 was a great start to a series, but I wish that it had left more of a lasting impression with me.
Dead Romantic by C.J Skuse
Publisher: Chicken House
Publication date: February 4th 2013.
My rating: 3 stars
Camille wants to find the perfect boy, with an athlete's body and a poet's brain. But when she's mocked at a college party, she kows there isn't a boy alive who'll ever measure up. Enter Zoe, her brilliant but strange best friend, who takes biology homework to a whole new level. She can create Camille's dream boy, Frankenstein-stylee. But can she make him love her?
Dead Romantic was a hilariously spunky tale of Camille trying to find her one true love. She’d fancied the school hottie Damian, but he didn’t show the slightest bit of interest, just for a quickie. And Camille didn’t want this she wanted something more deep and meaningful. That’s where the creepy girl Zoe from school comes in, there have been tons of rumours about Zoe and her unstable dad, but Camille doesn’t believe a word of it and when Camille’s friends are more occupied with their own friends Zoe’s the only girl Camille can turn to. Zoe comes up with the idea to create the perfect boyfriend for Camille, all the guys at school are a disaster anyway and Zoe’s learnt to bring loads of things back to life from her dad anyway such as hamsters, so how hard can a human be?
I truly felt for Camille, with all her friends pairing off with guys, she felt a little left out, so she was fully up for Zoe’s plan. But then as soon as Zoe started going full steam ahead, Camille started getting suspicious, so many people were going missing, was Zoe getting the body parts for her dream guy from them? And would her plan even work?
Zoe and Camille’s adventure was made fun along the way with the endless snooping around they had to do. But what I enjoyed the most was the shenanigans they got up to with Damian and Louis. Damian and Louis accidently kind of discovered Zoe’s big plan, but instead of running away scared decide to help out. The snarky comments and banter between these four characters when they clearly didn’t want to spend time together made Dead Romantic one heck of a hilarious read. I just wished we got down to the making of Camille’s dream of a boy a lot sooner, there was so much build up and then everything went crazy at the end and left me wanting more! But other than that Dead Romantic was a fun mission which I enjoyed being a part of.
*My reviews were totally meant to be mini ones :(