Review: The Jewel by Amy Ewing

My rating: ★★★+0.5
Genre: young adult, dantasy, sci-fy, dystopia, romance
Series: The Lone City #1

Blurb 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.

My review:

I've been wanting to read this book for so long. I've been through hell to buy this book (wrong orders, cancelled orders, the book being out of stock...), so when I finally got it and I wanted to read it as soon as possible. But now I’m having a few mixed feelings about it.

This book was recommended to me because I liked The Selection series by Kiera Cass a lot. I couldn't put this book down when I started reading The Jewel, but I never expected it to be so ... cruel. It was absolutely not what I expected. Using surrogates for the royalty was not what I had in mind when I read the blurb of this book.

The concept of The Lone City is very intriguing. Cruel and harsh, but still… interesting. I don’t know if it’s the correct word to describe it…. Anyway, I got the mixed feelings because sometimes I felt uncomfortable because of all the cruel methods the royals used to get what they want. It was very disturbing to read the scenes where the royals talked about the surrogates like their pets.

“This is how The Jewel operates. Status is our sole occupation. Gossip is our currency.”

A lot of people said in their reviews they didn’t liked the ‘insta-love between Violet and Ash.
It was indeed very quick, but I still liked it. I’m a sucker for romances, so I can’t help myself :D But I think I would have preferred Violet and Garnet. I don’t know why. Garnet is so mysterious and although he didn’t appeared a lot in the book, I liked him a lot!

The story-line of this book keeps you on edge and I liked that. Yes, like I mentioned, there were some disturbing parts, but Amy wrote it in a way that it kept me wanting to read further. Violet is a very likable character. She has a mind of her own and has a stubborn side. I liked that a lot.

There were a lot of characters and I liked some of them. Others not at all.
Obviously I didn’t liked the royal people (especially the Duchess) in general, because of how they treated their surrogates. But I liked Lucien, Raven, Ash, Garnet a lot! I wished I knew more about them though. Especially Garnet!

“Hope is a precious thing, isn’t it,” she says. “And yet, we don’t really appreciate it until it’s gone.”

The ending was brilliant though! I knew something was up with… that certain person, but I didn’t expected it anymore in the ending. I was pleasantly surprised and now I’m very curious about the next book!

The Jewel is an easy and very quick to read (I read it in a day and half) and the sci-fy elements in this book definitely gave it an special ‘extra’.
So, in the end it was still a good read. Not what I expected, but I don’t think that’s bad thing.
Now, I’m super excited for the novella about Raven! July 28th 2015, please hurry?

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