Friday, August 29, 2014

Feature Friday ARC Review : The Jewel by Amy Ewing

*Feature Friday is a meme I came up with to feature YA books that have not yet been released by reviewing them on The Tattered Page.*

*Warning: This review may contain spoilers. Read at your own risk.

PublisherHarperCollins Publishers
Release Date: 9.2.2014
Pages: 368
Source: ARC

The Story:
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.
Debut author Amy Ewing expertly crafts an enchanting story full of riches, rivalries, and riveting twists and turns that will keep readers on the edge of their seats until the very end.
via -- Barnes and Noble

RatingTHREE Gold Stars!!!!

My Review: One word: HYPNOTIC

The only reason why I give The Jewel three stars, instead of four, is because the beginning pace of the plot. Usually I prefer the books I read to move a bit faster. Luckily, once The Jewel hit the late 100s the pace picked up. Now, onto more exciting news . . .

Violet Lasting lives in a world where poor girls from the Marsh are taken away if they possess a special genetic quirk that will allow them to carry babies to term and without deformities for the royalty of The Jewel. After years spent in a holding facility honing her abilities, Violet -- along with hundreds of other girls just like her -- is sold to the highest bidder. The Duchess of the Lake.

Stemming from a long line of royalty -- more specially one of the four founding houses of The Jewel -- the Duchess of the Lake expects to get her way, as she usually does. And what she wants is for Violet to use her Augury abilities to grew her a child to gain more control in The Jewel. But there is more than meets the eye to the surrogacy set up. In the mist of murder, enslavement and deadly secrets, Violet must find her way. And fight for the power to make her own choices. Even if they cost her her life.

Violet is a likable character. And likable characters are never something to turn a nose up at. I appreciate that she is not a completely docile character who lets her circumstances rule her. She has a little spice to her, which makes her a bit daring and the story more interesting. Even more so, Violet has people she cares for and a passion for something. Music. I am a sap for a character with a strong passion for something that makes life sparks inside of them. And in Violet's case it is the cello.

"The memories burn inside me like a candle flame, and the bow flies across the strings, the notes climbing higher and higher and I feel free, really free, because no one can touch me in this place, no one can hurt me, and as I draw the bow across the final fifth, a chord that reverberates throughout the cavernous room, I realize that I am smiling and a tear trickles down my cheek" [page 225].

Having said all that, who doesn't love a badass best friend, good ole forbidden love and cute guys? The Jewel has all the above! Violet's best friend is the fierce Raven who was also auctioned off but who refuses to let the wicked Duchess of the Stone to break her. And when Violet discovers a devastating secret that jeopardizes not only herself but her best friend, she is forced to make a difficult decision that has the potential to ruin all that she has hoped for. A way out of The Jewel.

As for forbidden love and cute boys, I will not say much about that other than you will have to find out more on your own. But here is a taste of what you have to look forward to:

"'What is your name?'
My heart explodes into a million glittering fragments that rain down like fireworks through my chest.
'Violet,' I whisper.
He closes his eyes and breathes it in, like it's the answer to a riddle or a secret key. 'Violet,' he murmurs. Then his mouth is on mine" [page 253].

By the end of The Jewel I was disappointed the story was over. Talk about a cliffhanger! The Jewel is a hypnotic tale that smoothes you into false security then rips the carpet right from under you but all you can do is beg for more. Well done Ms. Ewing!

Also, I want to say thanks to HarperTeen for handing out copies of The Jewel at BEA 2014!

*** Check out Amy Ewing's website for more information about her and The JewelHERE

Happy Reading!


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