Sunday, 28 June 2015

Review: The Jewel (The Lone City #1) by Amy Ewing

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16068780-the-jewelGoodreads Synopsis:
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.


Review:
The cover screamed at me to read this book, it was simply so sparkly and pretty, but I definitely blame it for my decision to pick it up. I mean the beginning of this book was amazing, and I really thought it could end up being one of my favourites! Until we hit the romance…

Up until that point (which might have been around half way; so close yet so far) I was fascinated by the plot because even though the whole idea behind the surrogates being treated as property and no longer their own person disgusted me, I’d be lying if I said it didn’t keep me riveted to the story. I’d have loved to see more of the background to this and why surrogates were needed in the first place because there seemed to be a lot of mystery behind the Auguries. I saw these as kind of magical powers but again more explanations would have helped.

Often I’ve seen this book compared to The Selection by Kiera Cass and the comparisons are easy to see when reading it, though while I grew to love the romance in The Selection *cough*Maxon*cough* and didn’t mind not seeing much of the dystopian world, The Jewel was the complete opposite.

I simply couldn’t get behind the romance and every time Ash opened his mouth I had to stop and roll my eyes because I wanted to throw something. Like a vase. Ideally at his head. He wasn’t an arrogant bastard and so that wasn’t the reason (and even if he was, I’ve got my fair share of book boyfriends who are exactly this and it may have even improved his character) but while I can’t completely put my finger on it, he felt fake and too convenient.

They say “I love you” after only a few interactions; granted the author skips 4 weeks of them being together which is never the way to make us fall in love with characters and their relationship. It reminded me a lot of Juliette and Adam in Shatter Me; she only “fell in love” with him because he was the first person to look at her as a person with feelings, before she realised more interesting people existed *cough*Warner*cough* and I can’t help but hope this exact same thing happens in the sequel.

This book holds a lot of promise for the sequel and the author, though I'm not sure if I'll be reading on to find out for myself.
Favourite Quotes:
“Hope is a precious thing, isn’t it,” she says. “And yet, we don’t really appreciate it until it’s gone.”

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