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Sweet – Emmy Laybourne

Sweet – Emmy LaybourneTitle: Sweet by Emmy Laybourne
Publishing Info: October 20, 2015 by Macmillan
Genres: Young Adult, Horror
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: September 24, 2015
Related Posts: Monument 14 (Monument 14 #1), Sky on Fire (Monument 14 #2), Dress Your Marines in White (Monument 14 #0.5), Savage Drift (Monument 14 #3)

People would kill to be thin.
Solu’s luxurious celebrity-filled “Cruise to Lose” is billed as “the biggest cruise since the Titanic,” and if the new diet sweetener works as promised—dropping five percent of a person’s body weight in just days—it really could be the answer to the world’s obesity problem. But Laurel is starting to regret accepting her friend Viv’s invitation. She’s already completely embarrassed herself in front of celebrity host, Tom Forelli (otherwise known as the hottest guy ever!) and she’s too seasick to even try the sweetener. And that’s before Viv and all the other passengers start acting really strange.
But will they die for it, too?
Tom Forelli knows that he should be grateful for this job and the opportunity to shed his childhood “Baby Tom-Tom” image. His publicists have even set up a ‘romance’ with a sexy reality star. But as things on the ship start to get a bit wild, he finds himself drawn to a different girl. And when his celebrity hosting gig turns into an expose on the shocking side effects of Solu, it’s Laurel that he’s determined to save.

Emmy Laybourne, author of the Monument 14 trilogy, takes readers on a dream vacation that goes first comically, then tragically, then horrifyingly, wrong.

bookreview1

Emmy Laybourne has a great way of blending serious situations and a note of levity and that’s exactly what I was looking for when I picked up SWEET! I really enjoyed her apocalyptic/disaster trilogy (the Monument 14 books) and I was definitely in the mood for the tone of Emmy’s books when SWEET was next in the queue.

The thing that readers need to know about SWEET before starting is exactly what kind of book they’re picking up. I read several reviews on Goodreads after I was done with my read of the book (which I thoroughly enjoyed) to see that so many readers were disappointed because they were expecting a contemporary romance or a realistic fiction novel with serious issues. While SWEET does have a romance and it does address serious social and personal issues, the book really reads like a cult classics or a campy horror novel. You’re picking up a book about that has a feel of zombies crossed with vampires on a cruise ship… keep that in mind! I’d say SWEET really leans more toward horror or thriller more than anything if I had to classify it so while it does have a more serious side and some cute romantic moments, remember that this book will first and foremost turn your stomach!

That being said, this was exactly what I had expected from SWEET and it was so much fun to read! I don’t read a lot of horror or books with so much gore but the levity of it kept me interested and amused! SWEET was fun from start to finish. I loved that the book was an exaggeration of a bigger message on body image with some touches on addiction, respect, and valor. There’s a serious message underneath this cruise ship nightmare and I really enjoyed how that came across!

It was a bit more gory than I had expected but that doesn’t really turn me off! I have a much harder time watching gore than I do reading it so I wasn’t too bothered by how intensely the book turned. It added to that zombie/vampire feel which made me feel like I was watching a campy horror movie and that was actually a lot of fun! It’s not something I immediately run to but it reminded me a bit of Zombieland or Shaun of the Dead (except the people in SWEET weren’t exactly zombies… but think of that kind of feel)!

SWEET was funny, horrifying, and meaningful all at the same time. It was a super quick and fun read for me and if all of these things sound appealing to you, I’d definitely recommend it! I won’t tell you anything about it but I totally loved the ending and thought it was just perfect. I also loved that it expanded my reading horizons since this isn’t normally the kind of book I’d pick up. This is just another thing I love about young adult and YA authors — there really is no limit to what you can write and what genre gets published!
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“The View from Goodreads” is a featured section in my reviews that I decided to incorporate! I tend to update my Goodreads status a LOT when I read — reactions, feelings, notes — so I thought it would be fun to share the sort of “reading process”! All status updates are spoiler-free (no specific plot points will be revealed) but will contain reactions to certain pages and/or characters!

sweet goodreads updates

13.54%??? I don’t even know how that happened…

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Tom // Character Obsessions: Public image, physique, reality. 
Tom was a fun character for me! I really enjoyed how he was a child celebrity who’s trying to find his own name as a teenager/adult now. It was interesting to see how the business of Hollywood and fame affected him so much and how his publicists pushed him into fake situations just for the publicity. I enjoyed that he was trying to stay true to himself and who he really wanted to be.

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Kept Me Hooked On: Horror. I don’t really read a lot of horror — mostly because I’m not a scary book kind of girl — but I do enjoy some horror with humor! I really liked how SWEET was horrifying but also funny.
Left Me Wanting More: Depth. Sure, of course. SWEET was light and I really appreciated that but I almost wanted just a bit more out of the characters! I wouldn’t really change anything though. The tone was perfect for me!

Addiction Rating
Try it!

Horror not your thing? Me either! But I totally enjoyed this book quite a bit. If you’re not ready for campy, then I’d say pass but if you’re going into SWEET knowing exactly what it is and that’s something you enjoy, I think it’ll be a hit.

book_recommendations1

BOOKS LIKE SWEET

(Click the cover to see my review!)

BEAUTY QUEENS    LIFE AFTER THEFT

Savage Drift (Monument 14 #3) – Emmy Laybourne

Savage Drift (Monument 14 #3) – Emmy LaybourneTitle: Savage Drift (Monument 14 #3) by Emmy Laybourne
Publishing Info: May 6, 2014 by Macmillan
Source: Received from the publisher for review purposes
Genres: Apocalyptic, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: June 12, 2014
Related Posts: Monument 14 (Monument 14 #1), Sky on Fire (Monument 14 #2), Dress Your Marines in White (Monument 14 #0.5), Sweet

    It's over. Dean, Alex, and the other survivors of the Monument 14 have escaped the disaster zone and made it to the safety of a Canadian refugee camp. Some of the kids have been reunited with their families, and everyone is making tentative plans for the future. And then, Niko learns that his lost love, Josie, has survived!Or is it? For Josie, separated from the group and presumed dead, life has gone from bad to worse. Trapped in a terrible prison camp with other exposed O’s and traumatized by her experiences, she has given up all hope of rescue. Meanwhile, scared by the government’s unusual interest in her pregnancy, Astrid—along with her two protectors, Dean and Jake—joins Niko on his desperate quest to be reunited with Josie. In Monument 14: Savage Drift, the stunningly fierce conclusion to the Monument 14 trilogy, author Emmy Laybourne ups the stakes even higher for a group of kids who have continually survived the unthinkable. Can they do so one last time?

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I’m so excited to finish the MONUMENT 14 trilogy! The Fierce Reads event where Emmy Laybourne was promoting the very first book was my first book event/author appearance ever and MONUMENT 14: SKY ON FIRE was my book of choice on my way back from BEA last year, so the trilogy holds a bit of a special place in my heart!

One thing I’ve always loved in the series was how Emmy doesn’t shy away from writing the really action-packed, in-your-face scenes. She does tone down on the swearing (hey, we have to keep it PG-13 somehow, right?) but the action, the gore, the reality of what is happening in the book is never really glossed over. Things don’t get TOO violent, but the reader really gets to experiences things as the characters are – right there in the thick of it.

I really appreciated the dual POVs! We saw dual POVs between Dean and Alex in SKY ON FIRE but MONUMENT 14: SAVAGE DRIFT features Dean as the male lead still and Josie as the other view point. The last we knew of her, she had sacrificed herself to protect the lives of the other kids and presumed dead so it was really interesting to not only get a female POV but also one that’s taking place on the complete opposite side of the country and so distant from the main group of kids.

The one thing I think I was missing throughout the trilogy was maybe a bit more character development and relationship development. I really enjoyed reading about each of the characters but there were so many and there was so much going on that I really would have liked to see them interact a bit more so I could get to know a bit more about them. I was just lacking a little bit of connection to each one and I actually ended up connecting to Josie the most in this book, I think because her character was so far removed from everyone else that we knew that I really got to see how she handled herself on her own.

The ending was just what I always wanted it to be. Everything wrapped up so nicely and there were even little bonuses I didn’t see coming. It was a great apocalyptic and action-packed trilogy that I think many different ages could enjoy, male or female. I’m so glad I invested my time in this series and I feel a little twinge of satisfaction having finished it! I really enjoyed Emmy’s books and plan on picking up more of her works in the future!

view_from_goodreads1

“The View from Goodreads” is a new featured section in my reviews that I decided to incorporate! I tend to update my Goodreads status a LOT when I read — reactions, feelings, notes — so I thought it would be fun to share the sort of “reading process”! All status updates are spoiler-free (no specific plot points will be revealed) but will contain reactions to certain pages and/or characters!

Monument 14: Savage Drift by Emmy Laybourne

HOW INTERESTING. Haha, sorry guys! Read it pretty much from cover to cover on a plane so I didn’t get to update this one!

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Dean // Character Obsessions: Survival, Astrid, reuniting the group, the farm. 
I liked Dean but I still don’t feel like I KNOW him. He was still fairly quiet in the final book although he really starts coming into his own and making his voice heard. I think he was just kind of a middle person for me… Not really a leader but not really a follower. He sort of blended in. By the end of the trilogy, I just really wanted him to stand out more to me.
Josie // Character Obsessions: Control, survival, Niko, trust.
I loved her POV in this book! She actually did stand out to me which was great. She is one tough cookie! I can’t imagine ever being in that situation and she really held her own, even fighting many times for what she wanted and what she needed. I also loved that she had a great mix of strong and then more tender moments. Definitely a nice, well-rounded character in this book.

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Kept Me Hooked On: Disaster scenarios. I’m not always into the disaster situation scene but I really loved how this one wasn’t a natural disaster! I caused some, sure, but this was something that went way deeper than that. The greed of man.
Left Me Wanting More: Character connection. They were some really great characters but I was juuust missing that personal connection to them and really getting to know their histories.

Addiction Rating
Read it

I think this trilogy is a bit underrated. Although I wish I had gotten to know the characters a bit more, I really enjoyed it overall and I think it was solid as far as momentum, plot, and action go!

book_recommendations1BOOKS LIKE SAVAGE DRIFT

(Click the cover to see my review!)

       The Rule of Three   Unremembered

Novella Mini-Review: Dress Your Marines in White (Monument 14 #0.5) – Emmy Laybourne

Novella Mini-Review: Dress Your Marines in White (Monument 14 #0.5) – Emmy LaybourneTitle: Dress Your Marines in White (Monument 14 #0.5) by Emmy Laybourne
Publishing Info: May 22, 2012 by Macmillan
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: May 7, 2014
Related Posts: Monument 14 (Monument 14 #1), Sky on Fire (Monument 14 #2), Savage Drift (Monument 14 #3), Sweet

It was just a test report. Like one of many, many he’d written up in the past. Except this time, several of the test subjects are dead…”At first, Dr. James Cutlass had thought his new job at NORAD was thrilling and full of opportunities, but that was before the demonstration… “Dress Your Marines in White” is the story of the terrifying choices surrounding a chemical weapons demonstration gone horribly wrong.

WHAT I LIKED

  • I loved seeing how this not only tied into the series time-wise but how it also connection to a specific character. Did I know that Brayden’s father was involved in the testing of these chemicals? Was this something I forgot or a neat surprise to tie in this novella even more? Either way, very cool!
  • The prequel aspect was awesome. I love seeing how things happened before they happened. I didn’t really know a lot about how these chemicals were invented and really they were even in existence.
  • The characters. Oooh, some of them just gave me chills. I really liked the mix of people involved and even just in a short story they really felt real!

These Tor shorts are usually that — short — but I always feel like I get a lot out of them! I love the way this added one more layer to this series and got the parents’ side of everything involved too. If you’re a fan of the Monument 14 series, you should definitely read this quick novella!

Monument 14: Savage Drift Blog Tour: Emmy Reviews the Fierce Reads Titles!

Monutment14 BlogTourBanner[1]

Welcome to the blog tour for
MONUMENT 14: SAVAGE DRIFT by EMMY LAYBOURNE

I’m so excited to be on the blog tour for Emmy Laybourne’s final book in the Monument 14 trilogy, Savage Drift! I’ve been a pretty big fan of the series ever since I first saw Emmy on the Fierce Reads tour back in 2012 (my first author event ever!) so the series definitely holds a special place in my heart. I owe a really big thanks to Macmillan and team Fierce Reads for having me be a part of the tour!

Now if you’re not familiar with the books, here’s a bit more about them! I had so much fun with them so if you’re not as familiar with the series yet, hopefully you will be after this!

Title: Monument 14
Author:
Emmy Laybourne
Publication Info: 
June 5th 2012 by Feiwel & Friends
Links: Amazon // B&N // Goodreads 
My Review: Monument 14 (Monument 14 #1) – Emmy Laybourne 

   “Your mother hollers that you’re going to miss the bus. She can see it coming down the street. You don’t stop and hug her and tell her you love her. You don’t thank her for being a good, kind, patient mother. Of course not—you launch yourself down the stairs and make a run for the corner.
    Only, if it’s the last time you’ll ever see your mother, you sort of start to wish you’d stopped and did those things. Maybe even missed the bus.
    But the bus was barreling down our street, so I ran.
Fourteen kids. One superstore. A million things that go wrong.

    In Emmy Laybourne’s action-packed debut novel, six high school kids (some popular, some not), two eighth graders (one a tech genius), and six little kids trapped together in a chain superstore build a refuge for themselves inside. While outside, a series of escalating disasters, beginning with a monster hailstorm and ending with a chemical weapons spill, seems to be tearing the world—as they know it—apart.
” — From Goodreads

Title: Monument 14: Sky On Fire
Author:
Emmy Laybourne
Publication Info: 
May 28th 2013 by Feiwel & Friends
Links: Amazon // B&N // Goodreads
My Review: Monument 14: Sky on Fire (Monument 14 #2) – Emmy Laybourne

  “Trapped in a superstore by a series of escalating disasters, including a monster hailstorm and terrifying chemical weapons spill, brothers Dean and Alex learned how to survive and worked together with twelve other kids to build a refuge from the chaos. But then strangers appeared, destroying their fragile peace, and bringing both fresh disaster and a glimmer of hope.
Knowing that the chemical weapons saturating the air outside will turn him into a bloodthirsty rage monster, Dean decides to stay in the safety of the store with Astrid and some of the younger kids. But their sanctuary has already been breached once. . . .
Meanwhile, Alex, determined to find their parents, heads out into the darkness and devastation with Niko and some others in a recently repaired school bus. If they can get to Denver International Airport, they might be evacuated to safety. But the outside world is even worse than they expected. . . .
” — From Goodreads

Without further ado, let’s get into the SUPER fun part of the blog tour! Emmy Laybourne herself has complied a vlog for the tour and she’s reviewing some of the Fierce Reads titles! Check out what she has to say below!

Emmy Discusses the new Fierce Reads titles

A big, big, BIG thanks to Emmy for that awesome video and for being on my blog today and another big thank you to Macmillan for having me on the blog tour!

Want to learn more about MONUMENT 14 and author EMMY LAYBOURNE?
Connect with Emmy below!

Emmy’s Website // Twitter // Facebook

GIVEAWAY!

Because Macmillan and the Fierce Reads team is so awesome, I am able to host this giveaway for the ENTIRE Monument 14 trilogy! I really, REALLY enjoy Emmy’s books and I feel like this series is entirely too underrated so I’m so excited to give all three books away to one lucky winner so they can start the series as well! The giveaway will be open for one week and one lucky US/Canada resident will be able to win all three books! Good luck and enter via Rafflecopter below!!! (And don’t forget to thank Macmillan + Fierce Reads for this awesome giveaway! They’re seriously amazing.)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sky on Fire (Monument 14 #2) – Emmy Laybourne

Sky on Fire (Monument 14 #2) – Emmy LaybourneTitle: Sky on Fire (Monument 14 #2) by Emmy Laybourne
Publishing Info: May 28, 2013 by Macmillan
Genres: Apocalyptic, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: June 2, 2014
Related Posts: Monument 14 (Monument 14 #1), Dress Your Marines in White (Monument 14 #0.5), Savage Drift (Monument 14 #3), Sweet

    Trapped in a superstore by a series of escalating disasters, including a monster hailstorm and terrifying chemical weapons spill, brothers Dean and Alex learned how to survive and worked together with twelve other kids to build a refuge from the chaos. But then strangers appeared, destroying their fragile peace, and bringing both fresh disaster and a glimmer of hope. Knowing that the chemical weapons saturating the air outside will turn him into a bloodthirsty rage monster, Dean decides to stay in the safety of the store with Astrid and some of the younger kids. But their sanctuary has already been breached once... Meanwhile, Alex, determined to find their parents, heads out into the darkness and devastation with Niko and some others in a recently repaired school bus. If they can get to Denver International Airport, they might be evacuated to safety. But the outside world is even worse than they expected... Monument 14: Sky on Fire is the second installment Emmy Laybourne's thrilling series.

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I’ve been anxious to read SKY ON FIRE pretty much since I finished MONUMENT 14. I enjoyed MONUMENT 14 so much, but I won’t hesitate to say that I wasn’t 100% happy with the way it had ended. At first, I actually thought M14 was a stand alone so I was surprised to find out it was a series and the ending was not resolved BUT I was happy that when I started SKY ON FIRE, it totally kicked off in the right direction.

Firstly, we get two different point of views: One from our original main character Dean, who is still back at the store and then we get a second POV from his brother Alex who is out in world which is currently in chaos around him. Thinking on it, I don’t know who the second POV would be BUT Alex, but I’m glad both narrators were kept as male voices instead of alternating between male and female. I’m honestly starting to believe that switching back and forth between male & female voices within the same book is not one of my favorite things, but this was the first time I’d really seen two male voices in YA since I don’t read as many… “boy” books or even YA books with any male as the protagonist. It’s just so often female that the whole MONUMENT 14 series is kind of refreshing in that way. This may be me putting this stereotypically, but I liked that it was sort of a step back from the extreme emotional side of what I usually pick up on with female narrators and instead was more action-based and to-the-point versus lyrical or beautiful prose. These guys are not trying to impress anyone, but their point is made all the same!

So SKY ON FIRE is only 212 pages. It’s a quick read, but it’s jam-packed with action so I was constantly engrossed in one occurrence or another. That’s not to say that there are zero emotional moments. We see kids trying to get back to their families, touching moments when they help out one another, and of course the fear and sadness that goes along with the disasters and consequently panicking of others around them. Things get intense many, many times over. I actually really liked that the book was short and to the point, just like these two brothers are. I think the action was well done in just over 200 pages and things weren’t drawn out just to get a higher word count. It’s refreshing to read a shorter book every once in a while and SKY ON FIRE fits perfectly just the way it is.

** This is where the spoilers come in if you haven’t read book one yet! If you want to avoid spoilers for book one, skip on down to the Character section! **

So let’s talk about plot. This is where I dock some points. Don’t get me wrong — I’m not docking any major points here, but I’ve never really been a fan of the way the Dean/Astrid romance develops. I just think the fact that Astrid is pregnant is just kind of unnecessary considering everyone may die from toxins or people who have turned psycho from toxins. I also wasn’t a fan of it because I feel like these books can easily extend down to a lower age to include some middle grade readers, but the relationship and occasional sexual content (although mostly mild) in the books just doesn’t seem to fit. To me, it chops the story up into a totally different frame of mind and it just doesn’t seem to go with the overall plot and feel of the story. I would have MUCH preferred if it was Dean just getting to know the “girl of his dreams” a little better because of the disaster and then they end up together. The development of their “relationship” in the first two books just seemed like it happened really quickly for them as a couple and it just never felt on pace with the rest of the book. Maybe it’s because this series includes a number of younger kids as well? I think those “little kids” are bringing the age feel down for me so that content in the book just didn’t seem like it belonged.
On the flip side, I think Alex’s story was totally the way to go. Okay, so Alex is only thirteen whereas Dean is… I want to say seventeen? So Alex having a major romance in the books doesn’t quite fit. That’s why I liked that his scenes with girls in the story is just a hint of flirting here, a kind gesture there, and nothing diving into kissing and sex and love when there is just SO many other things going on in their lives right now. Meh. Just my opinion!
I DO like all of the action as far as survival scenes, fight scenes, and general destruction of Colorado. (Sorry, CO. I actually really do like you as a state!) It’s more of just the romantic aspect that kind of bothered me…

I really enjoyed SKY ON FIRE and was actually happy that this was a short book — Not because I wasn’t enjoying it (I totally did) but because everything was nice and concise. I still had a few hang ups, but nothing that took away from the book overall TOO majorly. I did feel like SKY ON FIRE was just a bit more intense with both the romance and the violence. It’s definitely turned up a notch! Another good book in the series and I’m anxious to see where we go from here!

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Dean: Hmmmm. What do I feel about Dean. I actually didn’t feel like he had a ton of depth. Whether that was a male character thing or just a character development thing, I’m not sure. He’s not supposed to be some deep, emotional guy but at the same time, I wanted to connect with him just a bit more. Despite the fact that half of this book is directly happening to him, I still felt like he was a bit removed from the story somehow.
Alex: I feel like Alex actually comes off as a lot more sensitive. Is the the age? Is is because he is more sensitive? Is it because his chapters are in the form of letters back to Dean? I’m really not sure. I just felt a distinct difference between the two brothers, but I’m not sure if that came off how it was intended.
Sahalia: Confession. I almost entirely forgot everything about Sahalia’s character after the first book and then struggled for just a little bit to remember who she was in SKY ON FIRE. That memory came back pretty quickly, but that also made me think… She was actually one of the characters who really stood out for me in this book. I feel like she went through a lot (obviously), did a lot of growing up, and was one character who really started to make some changes and grow up. She kind of became one of my favorites!

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Read it!

I think I liked book one more, but I really enjoyed that SKY ON FIRE was actually short and to the point. I zipped through and also really enjoyed the split POVs!

book_recommendations1BOOKS LIKE SKY ON FIRE

     The Scorch Trials      Struck

Monument 14 (Monument 14 #1) – Emmy Laybourne

Monument 14 (Monument 14 #1) – Emmy LaybourneTitle: Monument 14 (Monument 14 #1) by Emmy Laybourne
Publishing Info: June 5, 2012 by Macmillan
Source: Anderson's Bookshop
Genres: Apocalyptic, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: June 23, 2014
Related Posts: Sky on Fire (Monument 14 #2), Dress Your Marines in White (Monument 14 #0.5), Savage Drift (Monument 14 #3), Sweet

     Your mother hollers that you’re going to miss the bus. She can see it coming down the street. You don’t stop and hug her and tell her you love her. You don’t thank her for being a good, kind, patient mother. Of course not—you launch yourself down the stairs and make a run for the corner. Only, if it’s the last time you’ll ever see your mother, you sort of start to wish you’d stopped and did those things. Maybe even missed the bus.But the bus was barreling down our street, so I ran.Fourteen kids. One superstore. A million things that go wrong. In Emmy Laybourne’s action-packed debut novel, six high school kids (some popular, some not), two eighth graders (one a tech genius), and six little kids trapped together in a chain superstore build a refuge for themselves inside. While outside, a series of escalating disasters, beginning with a monster hailstorm and ending with a chemical weapons spill, seems to be tearing the world—as they know it—apart.

bookreview1

What an exciting book! MONUMENT 14 was jam packed full of adventure as these 14 brave kids battle one obstacle right after the other. I thought I was going to be overwhelmed with the fact that there were fourteen main characters, but I think I sorted them out pretty well. Once you really go to know the characters and their individual personalities, it was pretty easy to keep them all straight. I think the only problem I had was with the little kids every once in a while, but in way,  I kind of feel like that’s how the older kids would see them. I know personally when I’m thrown together with a lot of people anywhere (in the real world as well as a book), it takes me some time to sort people out until I really get to know them, so I actually feel like that was right on par. As the book progresses, you really start to see each personality shine and even through flaws and annoying habits, I really started to like each character individually.

Despite the fact that most YA novels that are increasingly popular are from the girl’s perspective, I thought it was really well written by Emmy Laybourne to tell his from Dean’s point of view. I know she mentioned on the Fierce Reads tour in our Q&A session that she really wanted the social status and pecking order in the boys’ group to really be a prominent part of the book, and I definitely saw that. I really does play a big part as to how the guys interact with each other and you can really see who the noble ones are and even though they seem to be getting pegged lower, how much more mature they are than the “popular” boys.

I actually think my favorite character was Niko (he’s the natural leader and Boy Scout). Even though Dean’s the narrator and we really get to delve into his personality and inner monologue, I liked Niko’s quiet side and how little by little we get to know more about him. Finally the popular kids come around from making fun of him for being a Boy Scout (and hey, I’ve know some Eagle Scouts and they are not dorky at all!), but then turns out his skills and knowledge are way more useful than anybody really anticipated.

I don’t think I was really too into the romance of Dean and Astrid, but in all fairness, they really were kept apart most of the story. Even when they were together, there were still other popular guys that Dean had to sort of fight off (or avoid conflict from) before he’d even be able to talk to Astrid (who is also a year his senior, so double intimidating). I do like how it developed though and it looks like we’ll get to know more about them in future books!

There was one thing that kind of threw me off the whole book which I know is a sensitive subject in the YA world: swearing. Since these books are for young adults, where do you draw the line at swearing? Many of the swears were shortened or self-sensored, which as an adult reading it, I would have preferred they just been used. Even teens swear (I actually swore a lot in high school… Oops) so I guess it’s a finding a good balance of how much to really put in there since all ages of young adults will be reading the book. For some reason it was a bit distracting for me because even at that age, talking to another teen, I’d definitely just come out and swear. Also, there were a few sexual references/sexual activity as well as drug use and drinking which hey, that happens too, but I figured if you could refer to that, why hold back on curse words? Just my opinion, and like I said, always a sensitive topic, so it really is up to the author and how they feel about the subjects and who they want to gear the book to.

It was really fun to see Emmy on the Fierce Reads tour and hear more about the book straight from her as well! I liked the idea of how she came up with the concept and she was really fun to listen to. Definitely glad I picked up her book! It was a thrill to read and I can’t wait to read more.

addiction_factor1READ IT!

I had so much fun reading this! I really enjoyed the character development and we all know I’m a sucker for post-apocalyptic stories. I can’t wait to read what happens next!

book_recommendations1BOOKS LIKE MONUMENT 14

Tomorrow, When the War Began    Tomorrow, When the War Began