THE JEWEL BY AMY EWING
Goodreads Summary 3 STARS!!!
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.
Pretty much mixed feelings about this one...The star of the story was completely thrilling and terrifying. So in this city there are circles. The first is the Marsh, the poorest circle. Then comes the Farm-beautiful and full of colors, then the industry circle and finally the inner circle-the Jewel. That's where the royals and rich people live. Surrogates are girls that can do special things like change color, shape and grow; these girls are found only in the Marsh. The story opens up when Violet is leaving the Academy she was sent to years after being ripped away from home upon discovering her powers.
The idea of these girls being auctioned off to people living in the Jewel to carry their babies is absolutely terrifying. I loved the setting and the way the author tells us about the auction and her life living with the Duchess. I don't know what to make of her really-sometimes i think she's nice and other times she's bad. I loved the balls, dresses, social etiquette and especially the way the people treated their surrogates. Well, i hated it actually but the way the author imagined it made me really grasp the severity and awful conditions that those girls were forced to live in.
A lot of people have compared this to THE SELECTION but honestly the only similarity i see is the dresses and balls. There is a BIG difference between competing to marry a prince and being auctioned off, mistreated and obliged to carry someone else's baby. It did drag on but still it kept me intrigued and i loved almost all of it.
What i couldn't tolerate was the love! I mean she's attracted to him and blah but there was no build up to their relationship at all! And it doesn't help that we only meet Ash after 50% of the book-literally i saw it on my kindle! so the relationship was rushed and i just felt no connection whatsoever. There was an okay cliffhanger in the end but not something that left me gasping...Not sure if i'll continue this series :(