The Jewel (Jewel Series)

by Amy Ewing | Teens |
ISBN: 0062235796 Global Overview for this book
Registered by k00kaburra of San Jose, California USA on 9/15/2014
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2 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by k00kaburra from San Jose, California USA on Monday, September 15, 2014
Rec'd via Amazon's Vine Program.
PAPERBACK ARC.

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Amazon Editorial Review

The Selection meets The Handmaid's Tale in this darkly riveting debut filled with twists and turns, where all that glitters may not be gold.

The Jewel means wealth, the Jewel means beauty—but for Violet, the Jewel means servitude. Born and raised in the Marsh, Violet finds herself living in the Jewel as a servant at the estate of the Duchess of the Lake. Addressed only by her number—#197—Violet is quickly thrown into the royal way of life. But behind its opulent and glittering facade, the Jewel hides its cruel and brutal truth, filled with violence, manipulation, and death.

Violet must accept the ugly realities of her life . . . all while trying to stay alive. But before she can accept her fate, Violet meets a handsome boy who is also under the Duchess's control, and a forbidden love erupts. But their illicit affair has consequences, which will cost them both more than they bargained for. And toeing the line between being calculating and rebellious, Violet must decide what, and who, she is willing to risk for her own freedom.

Journal Entry 2 by k00kaburra at San Jose, California USA on Thursday, November 27, 2014
Started reading last night.

Journal Entry 3 by k00kaburra at San Jose, California USA on Saturday, November 29, 2014
Finished today.

First book in a new young adult trilogy

Raised in the Marsh, outside the glittering city known as the Jewel, Violet is chosen to be auctioned. At the auction, the wealthy women of the Jewel bid on girls to act as surrogates, hosting the children that the barren elite can’t carry. Known only by her number, #197, Violet is purchased by the Duchess of the Lake, one of the most powerful women in the city. The Duchess is a harsh woman who explains Violet’s status clearly: if she acts well, she will be awarded with a luxurious life and relative freedom. If Violet misbehaves, she will be severely punished. Although Violet chafes at being a slave, but with no other options available to her she begins to adjust. Her acceptance of her status falters when she falls in love with a boy beyond her station. When a friend offers her a chance at freedom, will she take it or choose to stay for the sake of her forbidden romance?

It’s a little unfortunate that many descriptions of The Jewel compare it to The Handmaid’s Tale, because compared the Margaret Atwood’s classic Amy Ewing’s debut novel can’t help but come up short. The world-building isn’t as deep or as realistic as the Atwood novel.

But compared to other young adult novels, The Jewel holds up fairly well. The surrogates are chosen from the lowest ranks in society because they are gifted with a sort of psychic ability that allows them to not only carry their babies to term, but they can nudge the child’s growth to enhance certain strengths and eliminate flaws. That’s pretty darn cool, and a bit freaky, too. In a market flushed with dystopias, including several revolving around teenage fertility, the series stands out.

Heroine Violet is intelligent, but no genius. While her psychic powers helped her gain a high ranking at the auction, her ignorance of manners and customs in the Jewel makes life even more difficult for her. While some of her gaps in knowledge are the result of coming from a lower social class and from information being intentionally withheld from surrogates, Violet must also take responsibility for her faults: she chose not to pay attention during her lessons about the prominent families of the Jewel, and now she can’t always keep up with the politics that are so crucial to her survival.

Her romance with Ash, a servant of the Duchess, doesn’t quite mesh with the rest of the story. It feels a bit rushed and shoehorned in, an instant attraction that doesn’t have time to develop. When the lovers fight later on, it seems staged, because how can they claim such passion and betrayal when they barely know each other? I hope that this can be remedied in the sequel.

The book ends on a killer cliffhanger, which is always aggravating, especially when the sequel’s publish date hasn’t yet been announced. I don’t mind loose ends and unanswered questions at the end of a novel when I know another book will come, but there should always be enough resolution so that if something happens and the next book never arrives, the story can stand on its own.


Journal Entry 4 by k00kaburra at -- Bookbox, -- By post or by hand/ in person -- USA on Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Released 9 yrs ago (1/21/2015 UTC) at -- Bookbox, -- By post or by hand/ in person -- USA

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

adding to the YA Bookbox!

Journal Entry 5 by KateKintail at Burke, Virginia USA on Sunday, April 19, 2015
This came home in my YA Bookbox. Thank you!

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