The Girl in Cell 49B by Dorian Box

thelibraryofimagination's review

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Emily Calby impresses me once again!

Emily Calby, aka Alice Black, is a young girl who has survived the unthinkable. In the first book of this series (The Hiding Girl), Emily escapes a tragic home raid that results in the death of her mother and sister. If you haven’t read this book I highly recommend you do. Because of the horrific murder of her family, Emily is forced into hiding; they plan to find her. Along the way, Emily meets Lucas Jackson and with him she learns to be strong, confident and even lethal.

How do you describe a girl like Emily? There are so many suitable words: courageous, intelligent, strong, kind, fierce and even sarcastic. She is only a teenager and she’s more like a woman. She is one of my favourite YA characters to date! I admire her strength and determination. She is a lovable character.

I was intrigued by this book. My apprehension of it being a sequel was quickly abated with the strong writing of Box. The characters are vivid and believable. The reader is treated with another side to the complex Emily and it is very sweet. She is impressive.

I can’t tell you how much I love the Emily (and Lucas) books. They are engaging stories with constant action and suspense. The writing is descriptive and the story develops at just the right pace. A highly entertaining read.

I am so grateful the author and NetGalley surprised me with an eARC of this book. It was a delight to read. I devoured it. This is one of those books you stay up most of the night to finish. Yes, I am speaking from experience. I could not put it down.

Thanks again for the opportunity to read this book, it was fantastic! I look forward to the next one.

katekate_reads_'s review

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I love this series so much - I hope we will get more Emily Calby books!!

hannas_heas47's review

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What a the blurb on bookish firsts website and got a sneak peek that blew me away. Learning this was book two however made me grab the first so I could get the background needed and I read them back to back and pretty much in one sitting. Highly engrossing legal thriller!

What did I like? Emily/Alice was an amazing character! A strong supporter of the innocent even if they didn’t ask for help. In jail and on trial for a murder she could have avoided. The book is pinging with action from start to finish. I couldn’t put it down!

Would I recommend or buy? This author is new to me but highly entertaining. I don’t have a book I could even compare it to. I would love a copy and have already recommended to a couple of people in shouting distance. I would definitely read more from this author!

I received a complimentary copy from bookish firsts to read and voluntarily left a review!

angnay01's review

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I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I wasn't sure I would be able to follow along since it is the second in the series, but it was easy to pick up on the story. Emily is a very strong young girl to have survived the killing of her mother and sister. She suffers from PTSD and a guilt for not staying and trying to help them. She befriends an ex-gang member Lucas Jackson. He helps protect her until everything falls apart on her 16th birthday and she finds herself in juvenile prison for murder. Emily is not afraid to do the things she finds necessary to protect herself after all she has been through. She learns everything she can to again protect herself, only this time she will use brain power to overcome. She also of course has trust issues. But, slowly she is able to open up and let walls down to let people in. I was hooked once I started this book. I hope to see more about Emily in the future. Thank you Netgally for an advanced copy for my honest opinion.

natalier3's review

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What a pleasant surprise this was!
Emily Calby is a bada**!! What a brilliant character. She was loyal, feisty as hell, and SO funny. The scene where she is a witness on the stand as well as the prosecutor and keeps sitting down/standing up had me belly laughing!
The plot was so gripping and I did guess some of the twists but it didn't detract from my enjoyment at all.
Also, it is worth noting that this was the second Emily Calby book and can easily be read as a standalone. I had not read the previous novel and did not need to- the author did a wonderful job of filling in the gaps.
I hope there will be another book, I want to see what crazy situations Emily manages to get herself into next!
Fantastic book, I would highly recommend.

energyrae's review

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I received this book as an ARC from Bookish and worried that I wouldn’t be able to follow the story because it’s the second book in a series. I bought book 1, and raced through it because I loved it so much. You don’t have to read The Hiding Girl to follow along with the story, but it makes reading this more enjoyable experience when you do.

The law has caught up with Emily, and she’s landed in juvenile prison awaiting trial. She’s made quite a few mistakes lately, but she has a good lawyer, and she’s hoping the law will see she felt her actions were necessary. While I enjoyed this one, I didn’t love the court case as much. The prosecutor harassed Emily a lot, and I feel that wouldn’t fly in court. That Emily was 13 when this happened is overlooked in her trial. Sure, they are aware she was 13, but to me, it was something that needed discussion and should weigh into their decisions.

Poor Emily, even if Box hadn’t told us she had PTSD, it was clear from the way she needs to discuss her traumas in a detached style, lest the pain overtakes her. “... suppressing my emotions is the only way to keep from drowning in them.” The characters are fantastic, and the storyline is addicting. I loved that Box talks about how detrimental ‘for-profit’ prisons are. America definitely needs prison reform. Overall, this was an enjoyable read. I’m hoping we haven’t seen the last of Emily and Curtis.

mlbenners's review

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This is how you write a sequel!! I completely fell for Emily and Lucas while reading The Hiding Girl so I was thrilled when I learned there was the second installment coming soon. Like its predecessor, this book packed a hugely satisfying punch. Since the horrifying murder of her mother and sister three years ago, Emily has made major leaps in learning to cope with her trauma; however, she soon finds herself imprisoned and awaiting trial for a past crime she committed in self-defense. Once again, I loved witnessing Emily’s growth and self-discovery as her story unfolded. Dorian Box has done a masterful job creating a multidimensional character that you can’t help but love. I really enjoyed the direction Emily’s story took and how Lucas managed to play an important role despite physical separation. I look forward to continuing to follow this raw, gritty, and deeply heartfelt series! Thank you to Friction Press and NetGalley for providing me with an e-galley in exchange for an honest review.

quirkycatsfatstacks's review

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The Girl in Cell 49B is the second novel in Dorian Box's Emily Calby series. As the series title probably gives away, this is a thrilling mystery series. One worth checking out.

Emily Calby's' whole life changed when she was twelve years old. A home invasion took away the lives of the rest of her family. Then, she was taken away from Lucas Jackson, and for three years, she lived an anonymous life.

When she was sixteen, her life once again was thrown into upheaval. She made a mistake, and it got her arrest. The arrest turned up her history, and suddenly it was revealed that she was the missing Calby girl.

Unfortunately, her problems don't exactly stop there, as this isn't the only result that a fingerprint scan brings up. Emily's life is about to get a whole lot more complicated, as she fights for freedom, safety, and her life.

“Dad always said go for the balls, but Lucas taught me that crushing a man’s trachea is more reliable.”

The Girl in Cell 49B is a dark and daring thriller, one that throws Emily Calby through countless scenarios before it is all said and done. If you're looking for a fast-paced read, then this is the one for you.

I should probably mention that while this is the second novel in the series, I hadn't actually read the first (The Hiding Girl). Despite that, I had no trouble following along. For that reason, I do almost feel like The Girl in Cell 49B could be a standalone novel. Especially for those that are curious but can't wait to give it a try (guilty).

The novel does a great job of getting new readers up to speed – running us through the details of Emily's past. That may be a great refresher for fans that read the first novel, or it may be too much. I'm not certain.

It was interesting to see Emily's life in a juvenile detention center – though naturally, it was still pretty disturbing to read about at times. Still, I was surprised by how many twists and turns Dorian Box managed to sneak into this story. Clearly, I'm going to have to set aside some time and see what happened in The Hiding Girl, if it's anything like the sequel.

Thanks to Friction Press and #BookishFirst for making this book available for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Check out more reviews over at Quirky Cat's Fat Stacks

infairveronaa's review

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Emily Calby is back. Only this time she's a little older, a lot more violent, but still slightly naive. But don't worry, prison cures that naivety right up.

We begin Emily's second story kind of where we left off in the first book. It's her and Lucas on the move living in a trailer. They've been doing decently well at keeping a low profile until Emily's anger gets the best of her and she's caught with a weapon leading police to connect her to a murder in Louisiana she committed in Book 1 in self defense.

In the detention center, Emily meets a roommate who she instinctively feels the need to protect because she is reminded of the sister she lost, a bully who's mad at the world but only because the world screwed her over, and a boy who would become Emily's first crush and first heartbreak.

Emily's trial is a doozy and Box does an excellent job in my opinion of capturing the whole procedure and keeping the reader invested in the case. The way he writes how Emily copes with everything is done really well also. Box even goes as far as picking apart the corruption of juvenile detention centers and prisons all over. Box also has a way of captivating you for the entirety of specific scenes and although there are a good amount of those scenes I didn't find myself consistently captivated.

Overall I enjoyed this second installment in the Emily Calby series and I love that Emily learned so much about law in this story and how we can see her future as a lawyer a believable, strong possibility.

"Everyone loses sometimes, every single thing in the world loses, but not the law. I decided the only way to stand a chance is--"
"Know the law."

whatstephisreading's review

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Last year I picked up this little-known book The Hiding Girl, not expecting much but falling in love with Emily Calby, a fierce 13 year old doing whatever she can to survive. Her story had heart and humor so I was excited to reconnect with her three years later as she finds herself in a juvenile detention facility.

I enjoyed this story as Emily still finds herself still getting into (and out of) troubling situations, and you get her same entertaining and endearing attitude and curiosity. This story shows her softer side as she has to rely on her mind and not just her body to solve conflicts. I thought I was going to miss Lucas' presence in this, but I loved the various female friendships Emily built throughout the story both in the facility and the courtroom.

If you like a story of perseverance and resilience, Emily Calby the girl for you. She is strong and will use any resource to her advantage, including tackling the law library within the prison to defend herself. I do recommend reading The Hiding Girl first so you get her full background, but loved this sequel to continue her story.

Thank you to BookishFirst, NetGalley, and author Dorian Box for my copy in exchange for an honest review.