Review: The Jewel by Amy Ewing

Thursday, November 13, 2014
Why I chose this book:
*This was originally part of the 'Meh Chronicles', but I got a few comments on GR and thought I would expound.* This looked like a completely awesome book. The cover was striking enough to gain my attention, and the fact that it was a dystopia didn't hurt at all. But I couldn't have been more wrong. I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion or the content of this review.

The Jewel 
by Amy Ewing
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publish Date: September 2nd, 2014
Format: eARC
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian
B&N || Amazon || Indiebound

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. (Goodreads)
My Bookish Mehs and Hates:
I was completely intent on loving this book. I feel like I am required to tell you that. I'm not on a dystopia burn out. I still like them, and this book had major potential, but it totally flopped in my opinion. The concept is quite interesting, I will give it that, but it was not executed or written well at all. This book was full of insta-love and had strong Hunger Games influences that made me want to throw up.

I also really didn't like Violet's character. She didn't react realistically, or act much like a human being in my opinion. I get that she was probably so immersed in the ideology of her culture that she didn't find strange or wrong what we would find strange or wrong today, but come on! She was basically willingly allowing people to sell her for her reproductive organs! I mean, what the hell, man?! I really wanted to pull her hair out because at times she was utterly passive about everything, and I wanted her to fight back, like gnashing teeth and bloody fists, fight back.

Final Thoughts: 
I like dystopias, and I like The Hunger Games (and I was even willing to put up with the little bits of influence from Kiera Cass's Selection series), but this book just left me feeling severely disappointed and mostly frustrated.

I gave this book one star on my Goodreads.


  1. Awh, no! Sorry to hear this disappointed you so much, Amanda.

    I definitely agree with you about the passivity of Violet, though. I wanted her to do SOMETHING to fight back, even if it was something small. But she didn't do anything. She hardly even revolted the idea of being sold in her ind. She just accepted her fate, which was certainly not the most endearing thing she could have done.

    I noticed the Hunger Games influences, as well, and I think that they are affecting whether or not a lot of people like this series.

    The instalove was so sad, because I think that the relationship between Violet and Ash could have actually been done quite well. I mean, he was a sexual teacher - that's never been seen before in YA and I think it could have been expanded upon and made into a really kind of harrowing storyline that Violet would have to help him overcome, or something. I just feel like their relationship was quickened up for dramatics, which could have been saved for later books.

    Hopefully you like your next read a lot better!

    1. Yeah the THG references bothered me but not to the extent that it bothered other people. I get that sometimes it's difficult to discern what is solely yours and what you have picked up from past reads (though in my opinion, THG is a bit more obvious than most). I am right with you on the Violet and Ash thing! It could have been great, and very interesting, but there was something that I found lacking in the back. I hope for the people who actually liked the book, that her next one will be better.

  2. If the main character is that passive, was there even any conflict in the book? Without conflict, what drove the story? I've heard some not-so-great things about this one; it didn't really appeal to me in the first place, and I've read enough bad reviews that I know to steer clear of it now.

    1. There was, but it just wasn't really big, ya know? It could have been so much more, but it was just lacking in my opinion.

  3. UHG! I hate when there's such potential (and such an awesome cover) and it just fails so spectacularly. *so much sadness*

  4. I concur! I was so disappointed with it. Actually, when there are a whole lot of negative reviews for a book it usually makes me more curious and more likely to like it! (I'm disagreeable sometimes, hehe. I like books that are hated on xD). BUT NOT WITH THIS ONE. Ughhhh. It just felt like it rewrote THG and you're right...Violet is completely bland. The romance seemed rushed and weird. >.> I probably wouldn't read the next books.


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