Book Review : The Jewel by Amy Ewing

September 2, 2014 Book review 10 ★★★½

When you crack open a YA dystopia, it’s hard to find one that’s totally original. So when I was reading The Jewel bits of it felt familiar and reminded me of other dystopias. BUT I still really, really enjoyed reading all about this glittering but ruthless world.

Book Review : The Jewel by Amy EwingThe Jewel by Amy Ewing
Series: The Lone City #1
Published by Harper Teen on 2014-09-02
Genres: Dystopia, Social Issues, Young Adult
Pages: 368
Source: Edelweiss

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.

First Line of The Jewel:

“Today is my last day as Violet Lasting.”

My Thoughts on The Jewel:

This was a world that just gripped my attention from the very first page to the very last page and never let up. It was horrible picturing girls who are trained to be surrogates and end up being sold to the highest bidder at an auction. Everywhere seems shiny and happy until you look a little bit closer. There is cruelty, excesses of luxury, a huge divide between the powerful and the powerless and it made for an engrossing read.

Violet, the main character, was an interesting character. She isn’t overly brave but is certainly foolhardy at times. She hates that her life is controlled but at the same time is very powerful and she evolves before our eyes during the book. Her powers are really interesting but I’d love to know more about Auguries as I felt we only got a glimpse at their full potential in this book. This part felt really original to me and I wanted more.

One huge concern I had was how gullible Violet was at times. She accepted what people told her and we all know that’s never a great idea in a dystopia book. And I had a HUGE issue with her actions at one stage. She never once considered the consequences of them and considering her background I find that highly unlikely and couldn’t quite swallow it.

One of the things I love with dystopia books is watching the power struggle and the dynamics between those at the top. This was a high point in this book for me, I loved all rivalry and petty one upmanship between the various royalty. And I loved all the descriptions in the book of the various clothes and parties; it was girly and fun and just really worked for me.

There is a romance in the book. Unfortunately, it falls into insta-love and just developed out of nowhere so I never felt wowed by it. And the book ends on a huge cliff-hanger! I usually hate cliff-hangers and they leave a bitter taste in my mouth but in this book, it excited me as it took a direction that I had hoped for. I’ll definitely be reading the next book to see what happens next.


Rating Report
Did I feel it?
Overall: three-half-stars


Who should read The Jewel by Amy Ewing?

I’d recommend this to fans of YA Dystopia book, especially if you like interesting but not overly complex world building. I’d also recommend it to you if you are looking for a light, easy to read dystopia novel. If you liked The Program by Suzanne Young or Delirium by Lauren Oliver, then you might also enjoy this one.

Thanks to Edelweiss and Harper Teen for giving me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.


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10 Responses to “Book Review : The Jewel by Amy Ewing”

    • trish

      I did enjoy it. Now the world building is on the light side and the love on the Insta side but still an entertaining read.

    • trish

      I can understand the negative reviews as there were issues BUT I still found it a light, entertaining read with a great concept behind it. I’m looking forward to the next book 🙂

    • trish

      The concept is different but at the same time it is a bit of a mish mash of other dystopias. But then again, most of them are!
      As a light read, it’s entertaining.

    • trish

      I know between the cliffhanger and insta love, I’m surprised it didn’t piss me off more. But in all honesty, I just found it an entertaining read and a promising start to a series.

  1. Dee @ Dee's Reads

    As much as the cover grabs me in…and makes me wanna stare for hours, I just think I gotta pass on this. All the reviews seem like I’d just feel underwhelmed with this novel. I passed when I saw it on Edelweiss, and I think I’m gonna pass again (unless I win a copy or something equally unlikely) haha. But oooooh that cover., gorgeous! 😀
    Dee @ Dee’s Reads recently posted…Book review: Her Dark Curiosity by Megan Shepherd

    • trish

      I agree, the cover is drool worthy. And I loved all the make up and clothes talk, it’s glam and glitzy. A fun dystopia read but the world building needs more work. Hopefully in book 2. I don’t see you reading a lot of dystopias and I wouldn’t say this one is a must read in the genre so I think you are prob right in passing.

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