Release Date: September 4th 2014.
Publisher: Walker Books.
Source: From publisher is exchange for an honest review.
Synopsis from Goodreads:
“Today is my last day as Violet Lasting. Tomorrow I become Lot 197.”
The Jewel is a shocking and compelling new YA series from debut author, Amy Ewing.
Sold for six million diamantes, Violet is now Surrogate of the House of the Lake in the centre of the Lone City, the Jewel. Her sole purpose is to produce a healthy heir for the Duchess – a woman Violet fears and despises.
Violet is trapped in a living death, her name and body no longer her own. She fights to hold on to her own identity and sanity, uncertain of the fate of her friends, isolated and at the mercy of the Duchess.
The Handmaid’s Tale meets The Other Boleyn Girl in a world where beauty and brutality collide.
I have so much cover love for this one, and I’m happy to say that it is just as beautiful inside as it is out. The Jewel is the story of Violet, a 17 year old girl who is sold at auction to carry the baby of one of the royalty. No royal woman can carry a baby, so they take girls from the poorest district – for it is only they who are able to carry the babies due to some special abilities they have. I must admit that I am a sucker for stories where the characters have some sort of power/ability, so I loved that aspect of this novel.
The girls are kept in a facility for around four years where they are fed well, given what they want and are prepared for becoming surrogates. It is during this time that Violet learnt to play the Cello and it plays a large part in her life once she becomes a surrogate.
They are then done over – and this bit did felt Hunger Game-ish to me – and sold at auction. They are told that they will be treated like royalty but nothing is as the girls have been told. The royal women are brutal to their slaves, and some of them are down right insane.
Violet – who is just a number to everyone around her in her new ‘home’ – had a friend, Raven, who was sold at the same time as her, but to a different house. She tries hard to make sure her friend is OK and keeps in contact with her as much as she can. Surrogates are forbidden from speaking to each other, but they find ways. I really enjoyed the friendship between these two.
The romance came into the book later than usual, but it was worth the wait. Violet gets involved in a forbidden romance that I was swooning over.
You’ll be scratching your head for a lot of the book as to why the royal women can’t have babies and why these girls have to carry them, but all the questions do get answered, and when you do it’s like *eyes bulge.* I thought it was very clever and found the whole premise really interesting.
This book was a slow unfurling, getting better and better as it went on. I was held captivated from the beginning and quickly devoured it. And then there was that ending! I am breathless! I’m still reeling from it! It’s not fair, why did that have to happen, why? But after that there is this other twist right at the end and I loved that one. I seriously don’t know how I am going to wait a year for the next book.
If you love your YA to have forbidden love, a great friendship and beautiful dresses, this book is for you. Although a dystopian, it also had a fantasy feel to me. Definitely a must read, I highly recommend it.
You can add it to your Goodreads HERE.
***I’ll be interviewing Amy and giving away 3 copies of The Jewel on September 19th so be sure to come back then.***