Author: Amy Ewing
Publication date: September 2, 2014
Source: an e-galley provided by the publisher for an honest review
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'm such a sucker. A naive, little reader who gets cover cover lust. Also, legitimate synopsis desires. I wasn't a fan of The Selection, despite the fact that the dresses are beautiful and the synopsis is addicting. The Selection did continue to get me to read its books, but only because it resembled a guilty pleasure reality TV show and I wanted to know what happened (and regretted doing so). The Jewel resembles it in a way. Same pretty cover, same amazing synopsis, and same disappointing and guilty pleasure. But worse in some areas and better than others.
I won't be comparing the two through the review because, even though they both made me really angry, it's not fair. Violet is actually a pretty good main character at first. She has me interested in her life, her family, and her situation. I care about her and especially about her best friend Raven. I wanted to know more and I felt excited at the book's prospects.
Then it crashed. And it was bad.
We're introduced to Ash, who's relationship to the family was a bit confusing to me. He was the Duchess's niece's companion
What. Just. Happened. WHAT JUST HAPPENED? I stared in shock at my iPad and was trying to figure out how Violet and the whole book suddenly took a downward spiral.
I think I tried to wipe away what I just read from my brain because after a few weeks, I couldn't really remember all their transgressions. But here are a couple of Goodreads updates:
47%: Speaking about your irrationality is not the same as as removing it. Please fix yourself.
68%: I now think this is turning into stupidity and I hate that I've stayed up late when I have work in the morning.
I finished the book and gave it 2 stars for two reasons:
- I liked the beginning. It deserves SOME credit for that.
- Raven. I'm telling you, I liked Raven. When we got into that nasty Ash business, I wanted to ditch Violet and go straight to poor Raven.
While I did notice that The Jewel avoided some cliches, it didn't avoided the biggest. It gave me insta-love and all the tropes that go with it when Ash came into the picture. I think some people will still enjoy this because that doesn't matter to them (or they even like it), which is fine. I think The Selection fans will either love it because of The Selection or hate it because it's compared to The Selection.
Verdict: Disappointing to the max.
How do you like insta-love? Do you DNF if a book you're reading goes into a downward spiral FAST?