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.
I’ve wanted to read this book for a long time now and when I saw it on Amazon Kindle the other day I just had to buy it because it was really cheap.
I didn’t really have high expectations regarding this book though since I’ve heard many negative things about it. Still, I wanted to read it because I wanted to find out for myself if The Jewel was really that bad.
Now that I have read this novel I can say that it did not disappoint me, but it wasn’t a perfect read either.
What bothered me was the romance – I didn’t really care much about it since I wasn’t a big fan of Ash. Also, it was kind of insta-lovish and I’m not really a fan of insta-love.
Another thing that bothered me was the fact that The Jewel tried too much to be the next The Hunger Games. There was this side character named Lucien who reminded me so much of Cinna that it was just annoying. Then the Surrogates have their own version of District Twelve’s salute. And there are other similarities between The Jewel and The Hunger Games and it really bothered me because I wanted to read something original, not some story that has already been told.
Still, there were things that I liked about this book as well. For example the descriptions of the facillities where the girls lived before becoming Surrogates. Or the fact that Violet played the cello. Or the whole drama regarding the royal families. I also liked the world building and the whole idea of this book even though some parts of the world building could have been better explained in my opinion.
The plot twist and the mean cliffhanger at the end of The Jewel made me realize that I do want to read the sequel The White Rose because I just want to find out how the story continues, despite the problems I had with this novel.
All in all The Jewel was an interesting read that definitely entertained me because I was intrigued by the whole concept of the Surrogates who lived in a dystopian world and had to endure such cruelties.
3.5 out of 5 stars