Author: Amy Ewing.
Published: September 2nd 2014 by HarperTeen.
Sort: The lone city #1.
Source: Edelweiss & Publisher.
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.
Violet – named after her purple eyes, which is already ridiculous – grew up as surrogate. She has been training her special powers in order to create a perfect child in service of a royalty. It’s her chance to shine in The Jewel, the wealthy part of their world, but Violet can only think about one thing: freedom.
I thought it was an okay concept. The royalty can’t have children, so they found out another way to continue their bloodline. I still don’t really know why they can’t have their own children. It doesn't seem important to explain and I don’t think it would make any sense anyway. How is it possible that, from all the people in the world, the royalty can’t have children? They don’t know why only girls from the poorest circle have the strange genetic mutation that causes the Auguries. How convenient! That’s also a way to avoid explanations. I better get more information in the next book.
Most surrogates come from the Mash, the outer circle, where Violet would have grown up in poverty. There are different sections with own roles in society. Lucien picks her clothes and make-up before she is sold. They all get to see their family one last time before they are swept away to The Jewel. The Hunger Games, anyone? But despite all the things I disliked about this book, the descriptions about the luxurious parties and the overall idea aren't so bad.
I felt indifferent to Violet. She never undergoes any change or development, she just stays her bland self that is described as unique, powerful, extreme beautiful and the whole shebang *yawn* To me, she was nothing too special and I’m a bit tired of these too perfect girls that never truly show to me who they are; it’s only told to me. The only thing I liked about her is how she is willing to sacrifice her life to keep her best friend, Raven, save. It shows that there is some strength in her, but it’s all hidden away behind her naivety and her important role that is yet to be revealed.
”But you, Violet, you have such a strong, natural power, that with one application, you’ve already exceeded my expectations. I’ve worked with many surrogates in my career, and not a single one of them could accomplish what you have done.”
And you know, I kind of liked the beginning. The writing-style is quick and easy, but everything went downhill the moment we are introduced to the handsome Ash with no other traits than his good looks; that’s all we know about him before Violet desperately falls in love with him. He of course answers those feelings, because she is nothing like any other girl, she sees him for who he is, he now realizes how lonely he was etc. You know how it goes. So after three meetings, it’s quite clear they have to share their lives and should get babies together. Well fuck you, because you can’t.
”Violet,” he says, and when he looks in my eyes my stomach somersaults. “I think.. I think I love you.” I feel myself dissolve into a thousand molecules, amazed at how three small words can completely alter my state of being.
“I think I love you too,” I whisper.
“Violet,” he says, getting up and putting his hands on my arms, as if to steady me. Am I shaking? I guess I am. His fingers are warm against my skin. “Are you all right? Did something happen?”
“I—I love you,” I stammer. It’s especially creepy if you imagine this situation: Ash is sleeping. She is standing there in the middle of the night. To tell him she loves him. I would be scared.
So much promise gone to waste, because another author fell into the insta-love crap we all hate. And the best part is when you reach the ending. The whole book is more a set-up where pretty much nothing happens and when the plot FINALLY kicks in, it’s in the last page where the story ends in the middle of the scene. It’s like not finishing your
I truly wish this book lived up to it’s promise and cover, but it was too good to be true. I still have a feeling I’m going to read the sequel. Damn you, horrible cliff-hanger and quick writing-style.