Thursday, October 02, 2014

Review: The Jewel by Amy Ewing

Title: The Jewel
Author: Amy Ewing
Publication date: September 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Goodreads | Book Depository | AbeBooks

From Goodreads:
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 Jewel starts out with everything I love: gorgeous cover, detailed prose, and conflicted heroine. The main character, Violet, lives in a society where the royalty need girls with special ability to be surrogate mothers for their babies. Those surrogate mothers come from the poorest part of the country, and their somehow genetic mutation allows them to bring royalty’s babies without any flaws. Not only that, those surrogates have auguries: special ability that enable them to modify growth, color, and shape of anything, even living things. Violet has the most impressive ability in growth; a quality that is most prized by Duchess of Lake who bought her. Thrown into swirls of luxuries, dirty royal scandals, and everyone’s own scenarios, Violet must learn how to survive in this glittering community.

When I first picked up The Jewels, it started out wonderful. I love the intricate details of the gowns, the beautiful rooms, and the dazzling city of Jewel.

The room is enormous. Glowglobes cast a warm light on the walls, papered in pale green, and the furniture scattered about the room is upholstered in shades of green and gold. There are dressers, an armoire, a vanity, plush armchairs with footstools, a sofa, a small breakfast table, and a large fireplace. Dark green curtains cover the windows, gold tasseled ropes hanging at their sides—they block out the light completely, so I can’t tell whether it’s day or night outside.

That sounds absolutely gorgeous! Violet seems to share the same sentiment with me, and she can’t keep herself from gushing over her new room and her beautiful shiny violin. Of course, however, she later learns that there is monster hidden in seemingly picture-perfect things.

I devoured this book until I reached the romance part. Then, the story went downhill so fast. The instant attraction and what-they-call-true-love come very very soon after they meet. I’m sorry but I can’t see you putting your life in danger for someone whom you’ve barely talked to. No just no sorry.

The Jewel ends in an okay way, leaving some questions to be answered in the second book. I guess I’ll be waiting for reviews to come before picking up the second book. Fans of The Selection series by Kiera Cass would love the echo of royals life and beautiful details in The Jewel. The Jewel has great premise and flowy writing, and if you can get past the insta-love, I think you might enjoy this book.

I see the rose-shaped bars on the windows of the dormitories, set in the pale pink stone of the holding facility. I see the faces of the other surrogates, the girls who will go back inside once this train leaves and never think of us again. My gaze falls on a twelve-year-old girl with bulging brown eyes. She is so thin, and clearly malnourished; she must be new. Our eyes meet, and she crosses the fingers on her right hand and presses them against her heart.

I step into the carriage and the doors close behind me.




 

 3 cups of tea!
The writing is beautiful. Good light read.

 

6 comments:

  1. I've heard plenty of mixed reviews of this one and am not sure it's entirely for me, to be frank. I haven't read The Selection series either--though I believe I'd struggle with that, too, really--but an unwelcome romance always turns me off a book and I doubt I'd be able to read on with this kind of a love story at play. Thanks for such an honest review, Hilda--I definitely don't think this is my cup of tea.

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  2. The description fascinated me as well! It sucks when the romance gets disappointing though. The Selection ended up disappointing me overall despite the fascinating plot- I guess this book sounds a lot like it. Good review, Hilda!

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  3. I felt the same way, Hilda, the romance killed it for me. Before that although I wasn't loving it I still thought it was pretty enjoyable. Great review!

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  4. Sorry the romance didn't work for you. It would certainly drive me nuts too, based on what your review states.

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  5. The romance completely butchered this story for me. I wasn't blown away by all the other aspects, but the writing-style was good and I thought it wasn't so bad.. but then you come to the romance and WAH WAH WAAAAAAH. I was done.

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