Saturday, October 17, 2015

The Jewel by Amy Ewing

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.

I had a hard time reviewing The Jewel because, well… how do you talk about a book where nothing happens?

The story is told in the first person from violet Lasting’s POV (Who the hell came up with that name? I just… I have a problem with this kinds of names, they are too ridiculous for me) a very especial girl… because of reasons. Who lives in a… mmm dystopian world? Where their city is divided into sectors, the one being at the center called The Jewel and it’s where all the royalty lives.
Violet was taken away from her lower-class family thanks to a genetic abnormality that allows her to carry babies for the royalty, since they can’t reproduce… because of reasons, even though lower class can have children and, if they marry into a higher class, women have to be sterilized… because of reasons. The day comes when she’s auctioned to one of the wealthiest families in the Jewel to carry their children and she’ll… emm… ummm… ahhhhh… walk around the palace and admire her new clothes?

What can I say? At about half of the book we are introduced to the love interest, a boy who serves as an “escort” to rich ladies in the jewel. For some reason, the attraction between these two is immediate, and even though the guy treats violet like crap, she can’t stop thinking about it because their gazes lingered.

After that she starts breaking down and despairing every time she doesn’t get to see him and by twenty pages or so they are in love!
But they can’t be together, Violet knows that their relationship could get them both killed and yet she’s constantly risking exposure because she’s afraid he stopped loving her… because they didn’t talk in a few hours…

All the characters, as well as the story were a bit lackluster. There was no depth to them, they had no personalities and were nothing but a bunch of walking clich├ęs; the evil older woman, the saint beautiful and virginal girl, the drunk idiot rich guy, the super gentleman dude, etc.

 Despite the terrible situation Violet finds herself in, she never does anything about it. We hear her monologue on how it’s not fair that she’s forced to carry other people’s children, but that’s all she does, she think “Damn this is not fair! Uh, pretty dress!” It didn’t make sense, and the fact that she hadn’t seen her reflection in years (because mirrors were forbidden in the “breeding house” she grew up in) was dumb beyond belief, clearly set up to have the typical “plain girl transforms into beautiful” in a make-up session in front of the mirror.

The book ends with a cliff-hanger, sort of. More like things get cut off in the middle of the action but I’m not sure if I’ll care to continue with it, I just don’t care.


  1. My co-blogger read this book awhile back, and I vividly remember her agony every single day. Ultimately she rated it 1 star and her review was pretty much identical to yours, in terms of NOTHING. EVER. HAPPENS. I think I'm just going to take this as a sign and stay away.

    Great, great review. And so helpful, too!

    - Lexie @ The Honest Bookclub

    1. Hahah, poor thing! Yes, nothing ever happened or is ever explained, and I just hate when the world is not developed at all, what's the point of creating a distopyan novel if you don't care about that aspect at all?

      Thanks! :)