Set for publication in autumn 2016 via Hot Key Books, Cell 7 is a sci-fi/thriller set in a world where a reality TV show has replaced the criminal justice system.
The death penalty has evolved into a system where guilt is decided by public phone and internet vote and Death Row incarceration lasts only 7 days, where each day the prisoners move one cell closer to the final cell – Cell 7 – where their fate is decided. The book centers on Martha Honeydew, a teenager accused of murdering self-made celebrity millionaire Jackson Paige.
Like the other criminals in the story, Martha’s fate will be decided by the public, who choose whether she lives of dies. The daily television show—Death Is Justice—investigates Martha’s past to find out why this seemingly ordinary girl would commit such a crime. As secrets are revealed, we start to realize the case isn’t as open and shut as it appeared.
Hot Key’s editor Emma Matthewson acquired worldwide rights, in all languages, admist a three-book deal in September. Regarding the book, Matthewson said:
“Cell 7 is a gripping story that imagines a fully realized world of today but with thought-provoking questions about the death penalty and the effect of modern media in our daily lives. There is tension, action, romance and amongst all this Kerry retains the wonderful ability she has to prompt teens to ask questions about the world around them.”
In the wake of The Hunger Games, Cell 7 presents a thoughtful new entry in the YA genre and has all the makings to be the next great YA thriller, exploring societal issues through genre in the vein of Divergent or The Giver.
Drewery has written thought-provoking stories for teens before, penning A Brighter Fear and A Dream of Lights. Published through HarperCollins, Drewery’s past works received acclaim from readers and critics alike. Aside from her published works, Drewery is active in Bookstart and won a BBC writing prize. She also previously worked for the Book Trust and, earlier this year, headed the UKYA Extravaganza with Birmingham Waterstones.
Clark Allen | Associate Editor