Friday, September 19, 2014

The Jewel by Amy Ewing [Joint Review!]

The Jewel (The Lone City, #1)2.5 out of 5 Robots!

The Jewel by Amy Ewing
Series: The Lone City #1
Genre: YA Fantasy
Release: September 2, 2014
Hardcover:  358 Pages
Publisher: HarperTeen
My Copy: Publisher (Edelweiss)
Reviewer: Julia and Shannon
Buy the Book: Amazon

Book Summary:
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

(Courtesy of the Publisher)

Julia and Shannon's Thoughts:
1. Describe your feeling in one or two sentences. 
Julia: The Jewel could have been interesting, but the writing and direction the plot took made the entire thing fall flat for me. The characters weren't striking and I couldn't find myself rooting for anyone. 
Shannon: I feel like the book did not live up to its premise.  I think it could have been compelling in a silly, brain candy kind of way like The Selection, but there was just too much inconsistency and stupid plot points to make it very enjoyable.

2. What did you like?  What did you dislike?  
Julia: I liked the premise. I disliked everything else, I felt like the entire book is socialites, the royals, talking. I didn't like the instalove either. 
Shannon: As I mentioned above, I thought the premise sounded like it could be fun.  The Selection was beyond ridiculous, but fun in a Bachelor-esque, bad reality TV kind of way.  I assumed The Jewel would be similar.  But it just doesn't live up the premise.  There were too many inconsistencies and uninspired characters.  The Jewel borrows heavily from other well known YA series, but doesn't quite know what to do with all of it.  The pieces don't always fit together and nothing is fleshed out enough.  Also...nothing happens!  Until the last few pages and then it ends on a major cliffhanger.  Ugh.

3. What did you think about the world-building? 
Julia: The different class system is intriguing, but there wasn't much focus on world building other than that. 
Shannon: Here is an area where I noticed The Jewel really borrowing from other series.  With the different classes/areas and the naming conventions, I couldn't help but be reminded of The Hunger Games.  Instead of districts, we have rings (The Marsh, the Smoke, The Banks, The Jewel).  Each ring plays a part in the society, for example, the Smoke is where all the industry happens, etc. The royal families live in the center, the Jewel.  And like The Hunger Games, their names are based on attributes of where they live, so all the royal families are named after gemstones.  Unfortunately, this leads to one guy being unfortunately named Garnet.  But while I didn't find it a problem in The Hunger Games, I was put off by how overtly obvious everything was in The Jewel. That, and none of it made any damn sense.

4. What did you think about the romance? 
Julia: Boring, cliche. I rolled my eyes a lot. I didn't feel that much chemistry between Violet and Ash.
Shannon: Wow, yeah, what the hell was that?!  I mean, if you want a prime example of inst-love, you got it.  I mean, I truly don't understand it.  Violet and Ash don't even meet until literally half way through the book.  And there is no purpose to the romance.  It doesn't add anything to the storyline.  It was almost like it was added as an afterfact.  I think this book would have been so much better if Ash's character didn't exist.

5. How many stars would you give this book? Would you recommend this book? 
Julia: Two out of five stars. I just don't have anything very positive to say about this one, at a loss for words. I think it was just hyped so much that I expected a lot more. The ending is suppose to be a cliff hanger, but... merp.
Shannon: I would give it 2.5 stars and like Julia, I can't recommend it.  I just think there are so many other, better series out there.

Disclosure:  We reviewed a copy free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.  All thoughts and opinions are our own.

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