Author: Amy Ewing
Synopsis from Goodreads:
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.
In a cross between The Selection by Kiera Cass and Birthmarked by Caragh M. O'Brien, The Jewel is a story with a class system and a bit of rags to riches (Selection), where the rich need something from the poor in order to survive (Birthmarked) and of course forbidden romance (both); this book was right up the dystopian-lover's alley! While I enjoyed this book, I cannot say that it was among my favorites. The relationship between Violet and Ash seemed to fall short for me for some reason, perhaps the "passion" moved too quickly? The politics are what kept the book interesting rather than the romantic interest, which is a bit unusual, however I was invested in plot and wanted to know what exactly what was going to happen next. And in true 'series' form; the cliffhanger, while wasn't a big shocker given the foreshadowing, left me sitting on the couch with mouth hanging open thinking, "Nooooo...."
Genre: Young Adult - Romance, Dystopian
Rating: 3 Stars