Title/Author: The Jewel (The Lone City #1) by Amy Ewing
Publisher/Date published: HarperTeen, September 2nd 2014
How I got this book: received it from the publisher as an egalley
Buy this book at: The Book Depository
Goodreads 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.
***WARNING: There is some ranting ahead of you, be warned***
OMG, I just cannot with this book. At first we were doing ok, I wasn't loving it, but it was interesting and it was a pretty quick read, but, and I cannot believe I'm saying this, but then we got to the romance and everything went WTF from there on.
So the whole issue with royalty being unable to have children and using surrogates with an auction system is fascinating and I'm dying to know why exactly it is that royal women can't have children, is it inbreeding or some kind of mutation and why does it affect all royal women? I cannot help myself, I am fascinated by this kind of stuff.
And Violet is ok, but she didn't seem really special to me, aside from her unusually amazing abilities with the Auguries. And that she had violet eyes, but well, that's not all that special in fictional worlds. She didn't really have any trait aside from her being awesome at playing the cello to define her to me. But I felt like I could have gotten to like her more if it hadn't been for the bullshit romance.
I mean, COME ON, isn't it time we stopped seeing this kind of insta-love? Seriously, they met for 3 minutes and already they're like 'It's like I didn't know myself until this moment' and they go from basically mostly communicating through stares to kissing and to love and I'm like WTF?? And then there's mention of them spending an hour a day together for a month but we don't get to SEE this moments. How am I supposed to believe in this love that has them risking EVERYTHING when I don't actually SEE them spend time together and get WHY the hell they would risk so much for a person they basically just met? I mean, WTF?? I like it when I'm shown things, not just told that's how it is without any evidence to back this up.
And also, on a similar subject: why does Ash not have any personality whatsoever? He's in the book from about the halfway point and I have no idea how to describe him other than he's a companion and he does insta-love.
So I'm intrigued by this world, but then the romance took over and there's just a lot of frustration and OBVIOUSLY there's a resistance (because what good dystopian novel doesn't have a resistance?) and it has the lamest reason ever for wanting to 'rescue' Violet. I really don't want to spoil anything, but SERIOUSLY? It all felt very random to me.
Ok, so rant over. If you hadn't noticed this from the general tone of the review, I'll sum up to say that this book did not work for me from the moment the romance entered, before we were doing ok, but UGH, just no.
My rating: 1,5 star