Book Review: The Jewel (Amy Ewing)

Publisher: Walker Books

Pages: 368

Release Date: September 4th 2014

Summary (from Goodreads):

“Today is my last day as Violet Lasting. Tomorrow I become Lot 197.”

The Jewel is a shocking and compelling new YA series from debut author, Amy Ewing.

Sold for six million diamantes, Violet is now Surrogate of the House of the Lake in the centre of the Lone City, the Jewel. Her sole purpose is to produce a healthy heir for the Duchess – a woman Violet fears and despises.

Violet is trapped in a living death, her name and body no longer her own. She fights to hold on to her own identity and sanity, uncertain of the fate of her friends, isolated and at the mercy of the Duchess.

Review:

I’ve had my eye on this book for a while, and when someone tipped me off that it was going for free on iTunes I snapped it right up.

The book was actually everything I hoped for. It reminded me a lot of what I wanted The Selection to be. While I did enjoy The Selection, it was a bit of a light and fluffy read – while enjoyable, it didn’t have the depth it needed to really pull the story line off. There were much darker elements to this book and it came off really well.

Violet isn’t your badass, warrior kind of hero but she has her own kind of strength and rebels in the small ways that she can – defacing a painting, looking out for her friends, falling in love. While she isn’t leading any kind of revolution at the moment, it does feel like she could be heading that way.

I guess there were a few elements of inst-love in Violet’s relationship, but I could kind of understand it too – for someone who’s been isolated from men her whole life and been brought up just to carry someone else’s child, I understood that she could quite easily fall for the first man she meets who shows the slightest bit of interest in her. Ash is a little bland as a character really, but the similarities in his lifestyle compared to Violet’s makes things a little more interesting.

In this book, Violet is very much a puppet to those around her, whether she is doing the bidding of the Duchess who owns her, or that of Lucas, who promises he can free her. I’m hoping that she’ll come into her own even more as the series progresses. I’d love for the darker elements of the story: the rights of the surrogates, being impregnated then giving up your child, and what happens after the surrogates give birth, will be explored more in the next book.

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