Hey, everyone! Today we wanted to talk about and discuss a really popular YA novel that’s been floating around the blog-o-sphere these past few months, and it’s THE JEWEL by Amy Ewing! Sarena read this book in October of 2014 and rated it 4/5 stars on Goodreads, and I recently read it this month and rated it 3/5 on Goodreads, rounding our overall rating to 3.5/5*! Here’s a short synopsis of the book:
Violet Lasting lives in a world where girls are taken to become surrogates for royal families, stripped of their rights, and practically become slaves with just a number to their name. Violet is Lot 197, one of the most sought-after surrogates in the Auction this year. She is taken to the Jewel, where she will live with her new royal family, even though she misses her own terribly. What she doesn’t know is that secrets are brewing, and her owner may be laying plans for Violet already–no matter what the cost.
This book was overall an enticing, quick read. However, we both couldn’t get past the insta-love in this book, and the confusing genre it was selling. Is it dystopia? Fantasy? Both? (Can a book even BE both?) Either way, this ‘dystopia’ fell a little flat in comparison to MUCH better ones, like THE HUNGER GAMES by Suzanne Collins, and felt a little too much like THE SELECTION by Kiera Cass. However, that cliffhanger ending had us both gasping and wanting–no, needing more!
We liked the idea of surrogacy in the novel. It reminded us a lot of The Handmaid’s Tale. Besides this, we both really enjoyed the royalty aspect. Though it sometimes felt like Kiera Cass’s THE SELECTION, the conflict and tension between the Duchesses was very intriguing. We were both invested in Violet’s and Raven’s new lives as surrogates, and where the mystery and intrigue of their lives would take them.
The cover was something we both immediately loved. It’s one of the major reasons we bought the book, and we completely applaud the cover designers for this one!
I’ve heard comparisons of this book to X-Men. It’s not quite like X-Men, but the “powers” / Auguries the surrogates had were definitely a unique twist on a contemporary story. Besides this, the writing felt very similar to Kiera Cass’s. Perhaps it was the similarity of the story, but 1st person present tense was beginning to feel too monotonous compared to other voices. Luckily we’re not huge “voice” readers, but rather plot lovers! And this one certainly had an interesting plot.
If you feel tired of dystopias, this book will likely feel unoriginal. But if you need something to pick you up that’s a quick read full of romance and secrets with an epic cliffhanger, we HIGHLY recommend it.
Rating: 3.5/5 stars!