Cell 7 (#1)
Author: Kerry Drewery
Genre: YA, Dystopia, Sci-Fi
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Publication Date: September 22nd 2016
Format: Paperback (384 pages)
Should she live or die? You decide
An adored celebrity has been killed. Sixteen-year-old Martha Honeydew was found holding a gun, standing over the body.
Now Justice must prevail.
The general public will decide whether Martha is innocent or guilty by viewing daily episodes of the hugely popular TV show Death is Justice, the only TV show that gives the power of life and death decisions – all for the price of a phone call.
Martha has admitted to the crime. But is she guilty? Or is reality sometimes more complicated than the images we are shown on TV?
My Rating: ★★★★
It took only two sittings of a couple of hours for me to devour this entire book. I had heard such great things about Cell 7 before I finally picked it up but I read it a lot faster than I expected.
Cell 7 is set in a dystopian version of our own society where criminals are kept in a cell for 7 days while the public decide their fate. The power of justice has been taken from the courts and placed in the hands of the public, or those who can afford to vote.
I loved the concept for this book because it called into question so many really interesting and important points. It had me questioning my own morals: would I do what I thought was right or would I get swept up in the tide like everyone else? I would like to think I would do the right thing but I don’t think we know that until we are presented with the problem ourselves. I really hope that this book will never become true because as great a read as it was the concept is frightening.
Social status played a huge part in this book and again left me with a lot of questions. I hated that Martha, Gus, Ollie and many others ended up in the cells simply because they came from the Rises. People from the Rises cannot afford to vote and save their own. They are easy targets and victims of those in higher society who can use money to bully their way around town and get away with murder. It really bothered me that the votes for something so important could be rigged purely because of wealth and popularity. I’m so glad that Kerry thought to include this aspect in the dystopian society.
I hated the idea of the cells. As Martha moved up a cell each day I could feel myself getting more and more claustrophobic with her. The idea that those windows were getting smaller until they were gone. The rooms were getting smaller. The bed became a mattress on the floor. It is all just so against our morals as human beings that I couldn’t help but feel terrified for Martha.
I loved that throughout this story I knew there was a higher cause and that Martha was doing something here by pleading guilty to help others. There was a certain level of intrigue and curiosity about the plot that kept me ploughing through the pages as I so desperately wanted to know how this would end and what her secrets were.
I thought the characters were wonderful and I particularly enjoyed reading about Martha and Eve. Eve is one of those characters who you are unsure if you should dislike to begin with but all of a sudden I loved her, I cared about her and I admired her passion for helping others. Isaac was another character I became very fond of and thought his relationship with Martha was well written despite also being riddled with sadness.
I HATED the television shows and Kristina really bothered me. I couldn’t bear to live in a world where the public tuned into a show that brain washed their views, sharing only half truths and blatantly trying to persuade viewers to only vote guilty, despite the facts they could and should have access too. I just really didn’t like that the media had so much power in this dystopian society and I think that’s because it was the part of the book that most related to our current society and that frightened me more than anything.
Full of conspiracy and deceit but with a glimmer of hope and justice, Cell 7 is a book I won’t forget any time soon.
Have you read Cell 7? What did you think?
What are your favourite YA dystopian novels?