July 27, 2014
Review: The Jewel
The Jewel by Amy Ewing
Release date: September 2, 2014
This ARC was provided by Read Between the Lynes in exchange for an honest review.
Summary: The Jewel means wealth. The Jewel means beauty. The Jewel means royalty. But for girls like Violet, the Jewel means servitude. Not just any kind of servitude. Violet, born and raised in the Marsh, has been trained as a surrogate for the royalty—because in the Jewel the only thing more important than opulence is offspring.
Purchased at the surrogacy auction by the Duchess of the Lake and greeted with a slap to the face, Violet (now known only as #197) quickly learns of the brutal truths that lie beneath the Jewel’s glittering facade: the cruelty, backstabbing, and hidden violence that have become the royal way of life.
Violet must accept the ugly realities of her existence... and try to stay alive. But then a forbidden romance erupts between Violet and a handsome gentleman hired as a companion to the Duchess’s petulant niece. Though his presence makes life in the Jewel a bit brighter, the consequences of their illicit relationship will cost them both more than they bargained for.
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: The Jewel was a train wreck I couldn't look away from. It was a fast read but, overall, not very memorable. The writing was very simple, so I think that helped how quickly it went by. And honestly, I'm relieved this book didn't drag because I hardly enjoyed any of it. There's insta-love, stupidity reminiscent of Aspen and America in The Elite, and many characters that I didn't give a hoot about. I relish connecting with characters and that didn't happen at all in The Jewel. I did find the Duchess of the Lake to be an interesting character, and I did enjoy her to some extent. She's probably the only thing that'll keep me reading this series. I'm still confused on a lot of the worldbuilding, though. Is this book futuristic? Is it fantasy? Is the world completely made up or is it based on real life places? Honestly, it's all hazy. The city where they all live did have some good worldbuilding in how it's laid out. That was definitely cool. But the names that match where each character was from? Ugh, that was ridiculous. I caught on quickly that all the royalty seemed to have gemstone-themed names and those from the Smoke (Ash, Cinder) had related names. Plus, the descriptions annoyed me. Raven is described as having skin the color of caramel, and eyes shaped like almonds. What's up with describing someone's appearance with food-related words? Not to mention that Violet has violet-colored eyes. -_- And as mentioned before, there's insta-love. Holy wow is that insta-love. Ash and Violet meet maybe once or twice and she's already head-over-heels for him. And then, although he's hired to be a companion (ew) for the Duchess's niece and she isn't supposed to date anyone, they start to have a secret affair. I got mad at Aspen and America for this, and I'll get mad at any other characters who do the same. You're not supposed to be together, and you could be killed if you continue to see each other! Do you not value your life??? In fact, there's a big twist towards the end, and honestly, they had it coming.
The Verdict: Not worth your time (I'm still upset over that cover that basically copies The Selection trilogy), but if you're interested in reading this book, get it from your library. (I have included links below so you can buy it if you really want to.)