perhaps it was that fact that i started monument 14 already aware that there had been parent/student complaints about some mature situations in the book. perhaps it was the fact that i felt it was a mid-level effort at best in the actual mechanics of writing department. perhaps it was the anti-censorship 12 year-old inside of me…
monument 14 drew me in the very typical fashion of most YA books about the end of the world as we know it do. massive destruction, some mild weather related injuries and gore and a couple deaths. the premise of monument 14 is nothing new. it is like the breakfast club (one of the greatest movies EVER) meets the stand (top 5 book of mine) but there are no adults and the characters range in age from elementary school to high school senior and it all takes place in a super awesome multi-purpose store with ALL THE FOOD!
the only reason this book even hit my radar was because one of the media associates at the school where i work knew that i had read the duff and expressed some concern over it being available for 5th and 6th graders to read. i read this book specifically to back-up or refute the concerns about the appropriateness of some questionable situations.
there were some mature situations. were there any situations i would have been uncomfortable discussing with my daughter when she is in junior high? not really. there is some making out, sex talk (boys discussing their sex lives or lack thereof), alcohol & prescription drug use, and an implied rape. and now you’re like, this chick is crazy, on what planet is implied rape appropriate for kids that age!? well, it is a very brief implication of rape and the accused’s defense of himself is very logical and believable given the context of the story, his character, and the other character involved. what was more troubling to me was that the hyper-sexual female character in this book was written as a 13 year old.
monument 14 is an Iowa Teen Choice Award nominee. i do not understand how this book is up for any awards. did i enjoy it, yes. it was an entertaining-ish read, quick to get through and i like the genre. was it written to the standards that i believe award winning books should be written at? absolutely not. it had a very fan fiction feel to it. this book is not a stand out in YA literature even for this end of the world, band of misfits becoming besties to stay alive genre that is all the rage right now.
i didn’t mind the book. i didn’t love the book. i wouldn’t pull this book off of middle school library shelves based on a couple mature situations, but i also wouldn’t put it on any teen award lists either.