Cell 7 by Kerry Drewery

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Cell 7 by Kerry Drewery

Category: Teens
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Louise Jones
Reviewed by Louise Jones
Summary: In a sinister TV show, viewers judge accused criminals and can condemn them to death with a telephone vote. Seven days in seven cells is all it takes...
Buy? yes Borrow? yes
Pages: 400 Date: September 2016
Publisher: Hot Key Books
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 9781471405594

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Tired of Big Brother and I'm a Celebrity..? Maybe you'd prefer something more gritty, something more 'real?' Welcome to the evolution of reality TV: Death is Justice gives you, the viewer, the power of life and death. Listen to the evidence, decide whether the condemned criminal is guilty or innocent and then simply text DIE or LIVE to 7997 (Calls cost £5).

Since the abolition of the court system a few years ago, the power of jury has been given to the people. Those accused of murder have seven days in seven cells, each with their own particular method of psychological torture. On the last day, the accused is led to Cell 7, dominated by the imposing electric chair in the centre. As the public votes pour in, viewers wait with eager anticipation to see if there will be a live execution that evening...

The latest admission to the cells has caused something of a public outcry. A teenage girl, Martha Honeydew, was caught on camera, standing over a beloved public figure and philanthropist with a gun in her hand. She confessed her guilt to the camera, making her public enemy number one. Her seven days in the cells have piqued public interest like never before.

Cell 7 presents a unique and fascinating plot premise, wrapped up in an intense and gripping narrative. The sleazy, voyeuristic TV show scenes with perfect presenters and polished backdrop serve as a complete contrast to the scenes of deprivation in the poverty-stricken area known as the Rises, as well as the snapshots of Martha's time in the cells. This is a brave new world with a fake veneer of justice, where only the rich can afford to vote and skew every legal outcome. Can a girl as hated as Martha rise above it all and become a catalyst for change, even if it means becoming a martyr to the cause?

There are many things to like about this book. The plot is fresh and exciting and the pace never skips a beat. It was one of those books I just couldn't put down. The story raises so many thought-provoking issues, it is both entertaining and enlightening; the kind of book that will appeal to teenagers who don't think that they like reading books, although readers should be aware that the book contains some strong language.

On the downside, I found it difficult to engage with the protagonist, Martha. She kept everything so bottled up inside that it was hard to get to really know her. As she went through each cell and underwent different forms of mental torture, I felt sympathy for her, but couldn’t really care about her as much as I'd wished. The same was true for love-interest Isaac. He was such a weak individual that I found myself getting annoyed at his wishy-washy attitude; in fact, their relationship, for the most part, seemed one-sided. In contrast, my favourite character was tenacious counsellor Eve, who was a strong female determined to help Martha in any way she could. Eve was the beating heart and soul of the story; a refreshing break from Martha's teen angst.

With such a unique and interesting plotline, I'm sure a movie adaptation will swiftly follow. Cell 7 is an absolute heart-stopping roller-coaster ride of a book and I loved the fact that I genuinely had no idea whether or not Martha would be executed at the end. Many thanks to the publishers for my personal copy.

This book will appeal to fans of The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, a modern classic for those who like their future served up with a generous slice of dystopia.

Buy Cell 7 by Kerry Drewery at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Cell 7 by Kerry Drewery at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy Cell 7 by Kerry Drewery at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Cell 7 by Kerry Drewery at Amazon.com.


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