Longmont leads me to the visiting room after dinner to take a scheduled call from Paula. I’m wearing a phone pass around my neck. Every day I feel less like a person and more like a pet.
These are the first three sentences from chapter 16 of “The Girl in Cell 49B” by Dorian Box.
Emily Calby disappeared at age twelve, the only survivor of a notorious home invasion. Three years after her terrifying odyssey in The Hiding Girl, she’s safe, living in anonymity with her mentor, ex-gang member Lucas Jackson—before life blows up again on her Sweet Sixteen birthday. Arrested for carrying her birthday gift—an illegal handgun from Lucas—a fingerprint scan shows her to be the missing Calby girl and worse: she’s wanted for murder in another state.
Extradited to a corrupt juvenile prison in the middle of nowhere, Emily struggles to adjust to a new code of survival while battling a vindictive prosecutor willing to resort to any means to convict her. As The Law thwarts her every move, she begins to appreciate its awesome power. She discovers an unused prison law library and buries herself in the books, casting her destiny.
Fighting for her life in court, the dark secrets behind the prison walls close in. Her cellmate, a spookily prescient drug addict who reminds Emily of her dead sister, is in grave danger. So is her first love, a gentle boy sentenced to life without parole. Emily’s desperate to help them, but how can she, when her explosive trial brings one new disaster after another? A courtroom thriller like no other.
My thoughts so far:
I am 30% of the way through the story and I like it so far. Emily, aka Alice, reminds me of Katniss Everdeen from the Hunger Games in that she’s gritty, tough but has a kind heart.
Emily has quite a history. Two men came to her childhood home, raped her mom and sister and then burned the house down. Somehow, she escaped. I’m not sure where her father is as the story, so far, doesn’t really say, but this is book #2 in this series so I’m assuming that information may be in book one. I haven’t read book one.
After the tragic loss of her family, Emily is looked after by various characters that teach her self defense and how to fight. Emily is also very smart as her mother was a teacher and taught her a lot outside her schooling.
Emily’s past catches up with her and the story opens with her being arrested for pulling a gun on a biker bully tormenting his girlfriend at a gas station. Emily can’t help but get involved in other people’s fights when she sees a gross injustice. That pesky kind heart of hers won’t allow her to stay out of it.
As a result, the gas station manager calls the cops and they track her down citing video evidence of her involvement when Emily tries to deny it ever happened. When they fingerprint her, the cops realize her true identity and she’s arrested – only she’s not arrested for the crime Emily thinks they are arresting her for. She’s being arrested for a crime she committed that she thought she got away with.
She’s now in a juvenile facility and she’s learning to navigate the tricky corridors of that world. In the process, she starts questioning some of the charges being brought up against her, along with the charges against a boy she’s interested in and she even takes pity on a bully who tried to take advantage of her cell mate who she has a soft spot for because she reminds her of her sister, who died.
In addition, she discovers a little-used law room in the library which prompts her to ask her lawyer how to use. She is now busy teaching herself the law.
Since this is book #2 of the series, I’m assuming by this sudden interest in the law that she will go on to become a criminal lawyer for the falsely accused or for the people that were in the wrong place at the wrong time. Since I love law stories, I’m very interested in seeing where this story goes.
Thumbs up, so far.