Three years after hunting down her family’s killers in The Hiding Girl, sixteen-year-old Emily Calby is living on the road. When a stupid mistake lands her in a juvenile detention center, she’s forced to come to terms with her own impulsive behavior. Now if Emily wants to avoid a prison sentence, she’ll have to channel her rage into surviving her incarceration and preparing for her upcoming court case.
Dorian Box’s Emily Calby is fierce. She’s as tenacious as a pit bull and has “a bad habit with impulse control”. She isn’t afraid to stand up for herself and she always aims to do the right thing (even if that turns out to be the wrong thing). She’s clever and inquisitive, but her intelligence is balanced by her obsessive, self-destructive impulses. Her rough exterior hides despair, fear, and loneliness. Emily is a brilliant character; she is the perfect balance of admirable and flawed. THE GIRL IN CELL 49B (Book 2 in the series) is filled with conflict for Emily to overcome–she has to go toe to toe with an aggressive prosecutor in the courtroom, navigate the juvenile detention center’s complex social hierarchy and protect her friends from the detainees and corrections officers who want to hurt them. She even has to muddle her way through her first relationship! The pacing of the story is top notch, and there are so many layers. Every scene is meaningful, which makes the book a true page turner.
THE GIRL IN CELL 49B is about more than courtroom drama and tackles heavy themes–Emily’s ongoing struggle with her mental health permeates the novel. Emily learns to accept consequences and tries to think beyond her gut reactions. She copes with the weight of her survivor’s guilt and finds moments where she can let go of her “armor and bravado” and process her emotions. Emily is always moving towards redemption which makes THE GIRL IN CELL 49B the perfect follow up to the first Emily Calby novel. Her character continues to grow and mature in captivating ways and Box maintains his mastery of plot and pacing, and the series keeps diving deeper and deeper into important morals, messages, and motifs.
The transfixing Emily Calby series continues with THE GIRL IN CELL 49B, the standout sequel from Dorian Box featuring a fierce female main character, a perfectly planned and paced plot, and a strong sense of theme.
~Stephani Hren for IndieReader