*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
Publish Date: September 2nd, 2014
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian
Synopsis: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.
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.