Monday, September 22, 2014

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

Release Date: September 2, 2014
from Harper TEEN
Goodreads | Amazon
Source: I received a copy of this book from the publisher via edelweiss in exchange for a fair and 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."

My Thoughts:

This is the kind of book that is very hard to review, mostly because I love it in parts and then there are meh parts. Overall I can definitely say I enjoyed The Jewel and I will definitely be reading the sequel. While I have some slight issues with this one, in the end I am glad that gorgeous cover pulled me in.

Violet is a strong heroine, but not in the way you initially think of a strong character. Violet is a survivor. She pushes back against the life she has been dealt, but only to a point. She has resigned herself to her fate and doesn’t think she can change it. She hates the way things are done, but what is she going to do? So she deals, even though what she has to deal with is horrible. The way the surrogates are treated is appalling and just the whole system is appalling. It is a bit difficult to read at times. While Violet usually just accepts her fate, when push comes to shove Violet is a character that shines.

The Jewel is really a lot of setup and because of that it is a bit slow at points. The author really took the time to show the process of being a surrogate and to set up life as a surrogate. From the doctors’ appointments to the parties and all of the royal house drama, it is all laid out. Because of this I felt that it took a bit for the plot to get moving. I liked getting to know the world, but I also wanted to see where the climax was headed. We didn’t even meet the love interest until after the halfway mark and then damn their relationship moved fast. While it did move slow at points, once the story got going it really moved. There is some serious stuff coming and with the way it ended I know there is trouble ahead. So like I said, The Jewel was a lot of setup and I feel like it climaxed at the end, and I mean right at the end. So I’m looking forward to the sequel so I can see what happens when the other shoe drops.

Now back to the romance. It is definitely a case of insta love; I’m not going to lie. These two fall for each other pretty quick and then the relationship moves at a really fast pace. BUT I get it. For me it made sense. You have two people who feel trapped and alone. Nobody knows who they are or even cares. So when there is finally someone who cares and can actually see them, well what do you expect? Especially for Violet, people barely even speak to her, so when someone (a handsome charming someone) shows an interest, of course she is going to fall and fall hard and fast.

The Jewel is filled with political drama and maneuvering and I thought that was really cool. It’s like a giant chess game and this book was putting all the pieces into play. Between that, the romance, and the chilling world, The Jewel is a really intriguing and addictive read. This was the kind of book where even though I was having some issues, I just could not put it down and for the few moments I did, I found myself thinking about the book and wondering what was coming next. So all in all, The Jewel is a good and engaging read and I can’t wait to get my hands on the sequel.


  1. I'm glad that though the love aspect was insta-love, you got it! The book does sound interesting, especially the world that the author created. And though it has a few slow spots, I think I will have to pick this one up!

    Amazing review, as always, my friend!!!

  2. I think every review I've seen for this book is have the same sort of tone to it, very conflicted. I think I would feel the same. Thanks for the review, Teresa!

  3. MC as a survivor does sound good but sad to hear about the meh parts mixed in

  4. The reviews I've read for this one aren't all good...ok they didn't like it as much. This is definitely NOT a book I'd pick up but its good that you found a balance somewhere and enjoyed it somehow.

  5. I'm glad you still managed to enjoy this one overall even though you had some things you struggled with (the pacing). I know the reviews haven't been great, but I'm still planning to read this one myself, but I'm sure I'll also have similar thoughts to you. Thanks for sharing Teresa!

  6. Sounds like a mixed bag. Think I want to read it still.

  7. A lot of set up and world building can be tedious sometimes, but I'm so happy you enjoyed it overall. That cover is so stunning, and a lot of things you mention really appeal to me. I like that even though it is a case of insta-love, there is a reason for it and it's understandable. I'm definitely adding this to the TBR. Wonderful and insightful review, love! *SMOOSH*


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