Review: The Jewel by Amy Ewing

April 13, 2015 Review 30 ★★

Review: The Jewel by Amy Ewing
The Jewel by Amy Ewing
(Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository)

Publisher: HarperCollins
Source: Borrowed
Pages: 368
Release Date: September 2nd 2014
Series: Lone City #1
Genres: Fairy Tales & Folklore, General, Girls & Women, Pregnancy, Social Issues, Young Adult
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.

Despite reading more than a few negative reviews of THE JEWEL, I was somehow convinced that I would love it so I had to try it for myself. I probably should have listened because they were obviously on to something. That doesn’t mean my feelings about the book were all negative though, as I enjoyed some aspects. 

If I had to summarize this novel I would say it’s an obvious mix of WITHER and THE SELECTION. Although the plot is somewhat unique on its own, it combines elements from the two books that easily reminded me of them, especially WITHER because of the surrogate/reproduction focus.

“Hope is a precious thing, isn’t it,” she says. “And yet, we don’t really appreciate it until it’s gone.”

Very similar to how I get hooked on reality TV shows, this book really caught my attention and hooked me in at the beginning. I couldn’t help but be swept up in the drama and glitz and glam. Plus the writing flows really well. I also wanted to know more about this world and the surrogacy system that was never fully explained but no resentment or anything *eye twitch*.  However, things went quickly downhill towards the middle of the book.

As soon as the first hint of romance showed up (not even a hint because it’s like BAM! Romance time NOW) I was like:


Except it was more like “please noooooo,” because the romance really brought the book down for me. If you ever needed a true definition of YA Insta-Love, look no further, this it it. The ANGST, I swear. Not to mention the introduction of a love interest makes the main character’s personality totally flip-she begins to make the absolute worst decisions.  Aimee’s awesome review on The Social Potato goes into detail about this and I definitely recommend her review if you want to know more about the romance.

Despite all this, I will be checking out the sequel-partly because of a HUGE cliffhanger again, no resentment or anything *nervous laughter* and partly because I think the plot has potential and room for future development.

All opinions are my own. None of these gifs are mine.

Rating Report
Overall: 2.3

30 Responses to “Review: The Jewel by Amy Ewing”

  1. Kirsty-Marie

    I think I enjoyed it more because I haven’t read either. Loved the writing and just the whole thing was sick and fun… But, so with you on the romance, no, romance, no. I didn’t even get it, no spark whatsoever. Nice surprise with the ending though, I really should’ve picked up that you know who was a part of you know what.
    Kirsty-Marie recently posted…Review: The Secrets We Keep

    • Alise

      Yeah, I can definitely see myself enjoying it more if I hadn’t read the other books. Right? The romance was just… sigh. I agree!

  2. Veronika

    I thought exactly the same thing as you did before starting the book. I wanted to love The Jewel so much so I convinced myself that I’ll love it. The worst thing was definitely the romance that wasn’t only an insta-love but the characters had no chemistry whatsoever. It annoyed me to no end that they kept saying what will happen if they ever got caught while they were not cautious at all. I’m looking forward to the sequel though. I’m just afraid of the chance of a love triangle which would ruin the story even more.
    Lovely review. :)
    Veronika recently posted…Alison Stine – Supervision

    • Alise

      I completely agree, and that seems to be a popular thought-there was no click between the characters. EXACTLY. Same here, I am definitely worried about that possibly as well.

    • Alise

      Haha thanks, it still makes me laugh xD Can’t say I blame you. A bad romance can really bring the book down, and it totally did in this case.

  3. Silvia @ Darkest Sins

    Ouch! I’ve always heard a lot about this book, but I never broyght myself to read it. Why? I’m not completely sure, but now that I’ve read your thoughts and about the YA Insta-Love, I’m happy I listened to my instinct… Hope your next read is going to be epic, Alise!
    Silvia @ Darkest Sins recently posted…“Until You” by Penelope Douglas

  4. tonyalee

    This is a perfect example of a book I wanted for the cover. I didn’t even care what it was about – I wanted it. I have had it for about a year – and have no interest in it all. Good on ya for deciding to read it! You are bravery and I.

    and LOL @ the gif. NOPE.

    • Alise

      That is kind of how my thought process went as well. Too bad you couldn’t have just bought a poster of the cover ;P Aha, thanks xD

  5. Micheline @ Lunar Rainbows Reviews

    Ugh! I hate it when a book has ALL KINDS of crazy potential and then stupid ista-love strikes and EVERYTHING changes. From the focus of the book itself to the MC’s personality *rages* I admit, I wanted to read this one too despite *knowing* I’d probably end up not liking it…but man, the more reviews I read for it, the more I think I should just avoid it altogether D: I do know some people who liked this one so maybe I will check it out someday, but I’m definitely in no rush. Sorry the romance in this one sucked the life out of it Alise! Loved reading your review though^^ xx
    Micheline @ Lunar Rainbows Reviews recently posted…Review: A Darker Shade of Magic

    • Alise

      Right? Insta-love is the worst. Or actually insta-love coming out of nowhere is even worse haha. That is exactly what I thought, although if you still want to read it I say go for it. No worries, thank you :D

  6. Faye M.

    UGHHHHH I agree with you. This could have been a decent read but the romance reaaaally made it so bad… the second half was so horrendous because of it :( As in it was physically painful to see them go oggly eyes on each other when they just met D:
    Faye M. recently posted…ARC Review: Rook by Sharon Cameron

    • Alise

      I’m glad I wasn’t the only one who felt that way! I completely agree, it definitely went downhill after that. Exactly!

  7. Amir @ Not So Literary!

    I hate it when the book starts out really good and the romance just totally ruins it. I hate even more when characters go through a total personality change because of it. I mean, yes, I know it happens in real life…I’ve seen it happen but it’s a different situation when you’re living in a different world and society with a different rule on survival, that should make a difference. I don’t think I’ll be reading this one since I was never really into to it to begin with, and I am just loving insta-love nowadays (or ever really.) Awesome review Alise! :)
    Amir @ Not So Literary! recently posted…Series Review: Mistborn 1-3 by Brandon Sanderson

    • Alise

      Right? Especially when the romance serves no purpose and the book would be better off without it. I wish authors did not feel the need to throw romance in all the time. Aha ;) Thank you :D

    • Alise

      I’m glad I’m not the only one who thought so! I couldn’t agree more, I would prefer it if the romance was left out altogether at that point. Same, although I bet the romance is going to overshadow the answers in the books to come.
      Alise recently posted…Review: Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch

  8. Romi

    Oh no, Alise! I’m sorry that this worked as poorly as it did for you, after the beginning, though I have to say it made for a pretty amusing review! I really enjoyed reading it!
    Hmm… the book, though, does sound like it was frustrating. The romance sounds terribly annoying and definitely something I would widen my eyes and gesticulate wildly about, because when characters change their personalities because they’ve fallen in swoon, then that is so frustrating and is generally quite annoying.
    Let’s hope book two inspires less nervous laughter and eye twitching, Alise. Let’s hope. I’ll hold out for your review! x
    Romi recently posted…Learn things about me!

    • Alise

      No worries! Aha, good, I’m glad! It really wasn’t too bad until the romance just flew in, it was just so… out of place. It was definitely annoying, her whole personality seemed to change. Thanks :)

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