Monday, 31 October 2016


Title: Cell 7
Author: Kerry Drewery
Genre: YA, Sci-Fi, Dystopian, Thriller
Publisher: Hot Key Books, Bonnier Publishing
Release Date: 22nd September 2016

********Reminds me a little of Canceled: The Story Of America's Least Wanted by Michael D. Britton***********

BLURB from Goodreads
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 showDeath 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?


I was initially drawn to the striking cover and then once I read the blurb I knew I had to read the book. In today's society this book could be considered a realistic possibility 

I haven't been making as many notes during reading lately, preferring to "go with the flow" of the book instead. I will say one thought that kept nagging at me as I read the book, that this could one day really happen. The other thing was I did not want to put the book down, and I became really invested in the story and flow of the book. At times i wanted to reach in and shout or even shake one or two of the different characters.

I downloaded an e-arc of this book from Netgalley.
I find the cover really draws you in. The blue eye behind bars that represents Martha's eye as she is in the various cells. There is also the image of the bird reflected in the eye, symobolising freedom. So it makes you ponder whether the person (Martha) will in fact be free once again like the bird is or will she be found guilty. The eye image fits well with the TV program "An Eye For An Eye" that is featured in the book. The byline "Behind Bars. For Your Entertainment" is a catchphrase perfect for the "An Eye For a Eye" daily show, as well as hinting at what you are going to find inside. It is very "Big Brotheresque" to me. I can honestly say this cover really catches your interest and attention on a bookshelf as it caught my eye recently in an Asda Store!
The book begins with the prologue which provides the basis for what else happens in the book. So the story begins with a loud gunshot and then we are inside Martha's head reading her inner dialogue. Martha has a gun in her hand, there's blood pouring from him. Then there's blue lights flashing on and off
The main character of this book is Martha Honeydew, she is a teenager whose father left before she was born, and her mum was killed by a hit and run driver. The "driver" was caught, it was their next door neighbour and friend of the family, Ollie. . . could he really have left Martha's mum to die alone after hitting her with his car? Ollie was sentenced to death row and was executed for the crime, so he must have done it, right? 
Now it's Martha that is on death row. . . . .for shooting a "household name" and a man who gives generously to charity, in fact a man who has given money to improve the very same slum area where Martha lives! So why did Martha do it? 
In this brilliantly created society there are no longer any judges and juries as such. No, now your "trial" is televised and it's the public that vote each day on your guilt or innocence. You have seven days to plead your case, in accordance with what is called the "seven days of justice law" When the perpetraitor is arrested they start off in Cell One, which though pretty grim is the best cell they will stay in during the trial. The Cell's become smaller in size and have smaller and smaller windows. Cell One is all white and light, the small window has white bars, theres white sheets, everywhere she looks is the same white. There's a clock in the room that has a loud tick, tick, tick. It's ticking down the time she has in this cell before being moved to the next at dawn. Martha describes the various rooms as torture in themselves, there's depravation of colour, sight, sound, all designed to unnerve and upset the prisoner held inside.
This case has a lot of attention and high interest for two main reasons. Reason one the victim is Jackson Paige began his life with nothing, living in the slum area of "The Rises" and rose in status by appearing on a relaity TV Show, soon moving to "The Avenues" into a large gated house. He went on to get married and adopted a 6 yr old boy that was orphaned in the Rises. Jackson Paige, a man with a perfect reputation on the surface who everyone loves and cares for. Everyone think they know the man,the one from the TV Show, the one that does all the amazing charity work.
Reason Two is that Martha Honeydew, labelled as the "shooter" and "the teen killer" by the press. Martha will be the first and the youngest person to go through the seven day justice system.
Martha is given counsellor called Eve, though this is more for appearances sake to mollify those who disagree with the new trial system and the fact it is on TV. Eve liveswith her mother and her son Max. Her own partner was sentenced to death and executed by the seven day justice system. Though Eve is totally realistic and knows she has no real power she decides to attempt to really reach out to Martha and see if there is anything she can do to help her despite Martha not wanting help and simply reiterating that she shot JAckson Pierce and is willing to die for her crime.
As evidence is presented on the TV show An Eye For An Eye, the public are encouraged to vote in using the "Votes For All System" to decide Martha's innocence and she will be set free, or her guilt when she will be executed. The show gives the telephone numbers out everyday and they run across the bottom of the TV screen as the show airs and talks to "experts"and the backgrounds of the victim and killer. There is even a text way to vote where the public texts in LIVE or DIE, as well as an online website that charges a £20 registration fee and then "just £5 per vote". So these people voting are spending a lot of money to vote.
The book is told from the point of views of Martha the accused, and point of view from a prospective of a member of the public tuning in to An Eye For An Eye. The similarities of the way the public votes is so like the way people vote in the present day on TV Reality Shows such as Big Brother, and I'm A Celebrity. Yet it is a judicial setting that could be likened to todays Judge Rinder and Judge Judy. 
To say this book is thought provoking is an understatement, you are really drawn in and care about the characters and what will or won't happen to them Martha is a extremely strong principled young woman, who is determined to follow through on a plan she came up with in just a split second. I would compare Martha to a suffragette, prepared to die for the greater cause. Martha is determined no one will know the whole complete truth until after her sentencing and execution. Martha knows how the voting will go. the rich that live in "The Avenues" have the money to vote as many times as they wish. Their feelings will be shock and horror that Jackson Pierce the poor young man that worked to get out of the slums and made something of his life that has repeatedly given to charities has been killed. . murdered by a young, teen girl from the slums who would never amount to anythiing anyway! Whereas the poor from the slums have little money to live on, never mind using it to vote to save her, and why would anyone believe in her innocence. . .  she doesn't want the public to find her innocent, she doesn't want to be freed. . . as that would ruin her plan.
This societies way of trial is not what we practice today "innocent until proven guilty". It depends on your background and crime, but from the moment you are arrested you are degraded and pushed and pulled about, even beaten up. Though any mistreatment of any source is hidden well out of sight of the camera's. 
Did I enjoy the book? I loved it! It is so thought provoking and makes you ask yourself questions, such as how we judge people upon their class and where they live.
Would I recommend the book? Definitely! I could go on and on talking about this book and the issues it brings to mind in comparison to today's reality and society.
Would I want to read another book in this series (IF one is/was available) Oh Yes! I certainly want to read more please!
Would I want to read other titles by Kate Drewery? Yes I enjoyed how the book was written and though told you things as they happened, it also kept back secrets and had some twists and turns to be played out too.

Oh wow! Brilliant! Looking forward to 7 Days in Summer 2017! A book you will discover is mentioned at the end of this one. Can't wait! It's on my 2017 Summer reading list!

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