Cell 7 is a story set in a world where the justice system has been completely done away with because the people, and by people we mean the rich money holders of course, felt that it wasn’t doing any……justice. Instead, what they have come up with is a game show of sorts where the audience’s vote is what kills the killer or sets them free.
Naturally this system is rigged and thoroughly insane because they’ve done away with evidence and eye witnesses. All they have is an SMS or Call option and you get to vote, at a premium price, on the innocence of the person in lockdown.
Enter Martha, the very first female teen killer from the Rises who, at the opening of the book, is caught with a gun in her hand standing next to the crumpled body of local celebrity and sweetheart, Jackson Paige. She confesses before even being asked and is put in Cell 1 for day one. And as she is slowly going through 7 days and 7 different cells, the people on the TV show, Death Is Justice, rip into her past and use her crime as a way to get ratings.
Not all is not as it seems because Eve, the designated counsellor for Martha, doesn’t quite believe that she is a killer. Eve suspects that she is covering for someone else but can’t quite figure out whom because Martha has no one. Eve has suffered a tragedy herself and uses what she felt to try and help Martha’s case with the viewers of Death Is Justice.
Martha and Eve are the main characters we see. Their POV as Martha interacts with Eve, spends time contemplating in her cells and thinking about her past is all that we have from her. We also get to see what happens on the TV show and what the narrators are talking but we don’t really get to see the inner workings of their minds.
What I really loved about Cell 7 was the fact that this played up how callous we have all become as people. While we vote on shows like The Voice I don’t think we, as a society, would think twice about voting for someone’s death should the situation ever arise and that’s what makes it terrible. The fact that this can actually happen in the future. I also loved Eve as a character and the main hosts of Death Is Justice. They were all so believably done.
What I didn’t like though was Martha. While I did get that the author was going for a Katniss kind of character, she felt short at Martha. She was just not worth reading about to me. Whiny and snapping and basically being an annoying teenager is nothing new and I was really hoping for a less annoying character. Given the chance I’d vote guilty just to get her to shut up. Also, the way her thoughts are written; she’s lying in her cell and imagining this person she’s in love with and speaks about the things that happened “you stood and looked at me” as though she’s telling him what happened. It was very distracting, I would have preferred it if it had been, “he stood and looked at me”. Not to mention the romance felt terribly forced (maybe because of the way her thoughts are written?). To paraphrase Chandler, ‘It was like cousins romancing in there.’
Overall it was a fun read and I’m glad I got to read it. I rated it three stars, removed one star each for Martha and the romance, but the rest of the book was so damn fast paced that I finished it in one sitting. A must read for lovers of Hunger Games and Divergent.
*I won this in a wordery giveaway, opinions are all mine.