Brilliant new YA dystopian perfect for lovers of The Selection
The Jewel Summary
Today is my last day as Violet Lasting. Tomorrow I become Lot 197.
Auctioned as a surrogate to the highest bidder.
Imprisoned in the opulent palace of the Duchess of the Lake.
Destined to carry the child of a women she despises.
This book is right up my street. It’s dystopian, it involves royalty, balls and beautiful dresses, and it also has an intriguing concept, so I knew right away that I was going to enjoy it.
I raced through The Jewel, determined to find out the many secrets and get answers to the many questions that arise throughout the novel. And when I got to the end and read that enormous cliff hanger, I knew I would look forward to the day when book number two in this trilogy arrives (I love cliffhangers, but I know there are some of you who HATE them, so be warned).
As you’ve probably already guessed, I loved this book. But, the more I think about it now that I’m writing this review, the more I think it’s really going to divide opinion so I’d recommend you read several reviews before buying The Jewel to help you decide whether it’s for you. You really need to have an open mind with this book and take it as it comes rather than over thinking things, which is quite easy for my little, escapism-loving mind to achieve.
Some parts of this novel take a while to get your head around, like why there are surrogates in the first place (I believe it has something to do with incest…), and why the city is laid out the way it is, with rings of various class and purpose surrounding The Jewel, where the royals live – I’m still not sure I understand this yet but I think we’ll learn more in book two.
Some elements verge on silly, too. For example, their names are a bit ridiculous. If they’re born in the Marsh they’re named after plants, birds and other wildlife (Violet, Hazel, Raven), if they’re born in The Smoke they’re named after smoke/factory-inspired things (Ash, Cinder), and if they’re born in The Jewel they’re named after precious gems (Pearl, Garnet, Ebony).
And the thing that I think will divide people the most is the topics that this novel highlights, namely slavery. It’s uncomfortable to read at times, particularly when the royals attach their surrogates to leashes like pets, but I found it to be horrifying in a way that really helped me root for Violet, even though she’s not the most interesting of characters.
I should also warn you that there’s a definite case of insta-love in The Jewel, although I think what followed sort of made up for it and in the end I was really invested in the relationship between Violet and the mystery man that I won’t tell you about in case I spoil it for you.
If you liked The Selection, you’re bound to enjoy The Jewel. The Jewel is a bit more stressful and less fluffy than The Selection, but they’ve definitely got a similar vibe and I loved them both.
I’m looking forward to finding out what’s in store for Violet in the second book in this series, which is currently untitled but I’m hoping will come out next year.
***** 5/5 stars
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