Synopses & Reviews
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.
"Actress/screenwriter Laybourne's debut ably turns what could have been yet another postapocalyptic YA novel into a tense, claustrophobic, and fast-paced thriller. In the not-too-distant future, a sudden hailstorm just one small part of a massive environmental cataclysm forces 14 Colorado students on their way to school to take refuge in a superstore. Cut off from the previously ubiquitous Network (with only one old TV as an occasional information source), they must cope with the standard personality conflicts and also a biochemical weapon leak that causes behavioral shifts in some of the kids. Bookish Dean narrates, observing his own jealousies and concerns, as well as the way the popular kids like football players Jake and Brayden, and diving champ Astrid are forced to question their place in the new social order. Although violence (including a sexual assault) is pervasive, it's rarely graphic and never gratuitous. Laybourne successfully develops a large cast of characters of assorted ages, and if the ending seems designed to tease a sequel, the story still stands well on its own. Ages 13 up. Agent: Susanna Einstein, Einstein Thompson Agency. (June)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"[A] combination survival and apocalyptic story.” VOYA
"[A] real thriller.” Booklist
"[I]ntriguing beyond the survival elements." Horn Book
"[R]eaders will eagerly await the second volume." Kirkus
"Concise, clear, and riveting. A cliff-hanger ending leaves readers devastated but breathlessly awaiting the sequel. A stellar addition to any collection." School Library Journal
About the Author
Emmy Laybourne is a novelist, teacher, and former character actress. Before her life as an author, Emmy performed original comedy on Comedy Central, MTV, and VH1; and acted in the movies Superstar, The In-Laws, and Nancy Drew, among others. Nowadays, Emmy loves working on the Monument 14 trilogy, and lives outside New York City with her husband, two kids, and a flock of six nifty chickens.Visit her online at www.emmylaybourne.com.