"Today is my last day as Violet Lasting. Tomorrow I become Lot 197."

The Jewel is a shocking and compelling new YA series from debut author, Amy Ewing.

Sold for six million diamantes, Violet is now Surrogate of the House of the Lake in the centre of the Lone City, the Jewel. Her sole purpose is to produce a healthy heir for the Duchess – a woman Violet fears and despises. 

Violet is trapped in a living death, her name and body no longer her own. She fights to hold on to her own identity and sanity, uncertain of the fate of her friends, isolated and at the mercy of the Duchess.

The Handmaid's Tale meets The Other Boleyn Girl in a world where beauty and brutality collide

possible spoilers

Wow, I'm not sure what to write for this one. I really did have high hopes going into The Jewel. It started off great. I guess the main issue I had with it was the pacing. 

Not much happened. At all.

After Violet is auctioned off to the highest bidder, she spends the rest of the book until the last part just moping around, wearing dresses and playing the cello. I just wish there was something more exciting happening to liven the book up a bit. A lot of it could have been shortened, she could have gotten the story going a hell of a lot sooner, and I kept waiting for something to happen.

The story starts off as Violet Lasting, also known as Lot #197, is about to be sold off as a surrogate for one of the members of the royal family. And y'know what? She isn't actually inseminated until quite late into the book (which barely even works!). So much time was essentially wasted. I found myself wondering when this book would actually end. I got bored pretty early into the story.

And another thing is the romance. If I'm honest, I was just glad something was happening, but then it just felt rushed and not really useful to the plot at all. It's almost as if the author knew she needed to put something in there as a filler, and she put romance. I've seen people comment online that it's the instalove in particular which they didn't like, but that's not what annoyed me. It didn't really feel like instalove at all. It was just a crush. They remind me of those teenagers who say they love each other after a week and they're all 'luv u bb gurl', ur my always~' and you just want to bitch slap them. It was completely pointless. Ash wasn't really a character I could get excited about. I think if he were more likable, I may have liked the romance a bit more.

Although, to be honest, Violet wasn't really much of an intriguing protagonist, either. She is all the YA girls in these big dresses, but less interesting. She had a Mary Sue vibe to her and that got frustrating. So much complaining in her narrative. I know she's going through something that's terrible, but whining isn't going to change anything. Just give this woman, who has given you riches and a real comfortable life, a child and then you're free. It's not that difficult. There's nothing you can do about it, so shut up, Violet. I found her to be two dimensional with no character development at all throughout this book. Plus, the reason she's called Violet? It's the colour of her eyes.

Le sigh.

Doesn't a baby's eye colour change soon after their birth? Hm...

I also think the plot idea could have been improved a bit, it wasn't exactly what I thought it would be. Basically, the story was bland. The author could have made it more engaging, I just felt as if I was reading the same thing over and over again, which makes me wonder if I should take a break from dystopian stories. It has the world that's divided into parts, the poor parts and the rich parts, but of course there's the protagonist who is 'different from the rest', 16 and beautiful. Of course she is. It had too many elements of other books, like the fact that, to me, Lucien was Cinna, Violet was Katniss and Ash was Finnick.

I've read this story before. Sometimes they do stand out from the rest but this one wasn't one of them. I actually didn't finish reading this book, I got to that point when I didn't really care what happened and that's such a shame. It has potential, but it let me down.

I lost interest in the surrogacy plot, the romance and the characters. The writing is good, though. I may give Amy Ewing's books another chance in the future, but this one isn't for me. I feel like people who want to write a book are completely grasping at straws to come up with something original.

I wish I could have rated this higher. Don't let the review put you off if you've not read it. The Jewel is one of those 'you either love it or hate it' books, so give it a try if it's your kind of thing. Let us know your thoughts via the comments or on any of the links below. We'd love to hear from you!