The Jewel By Amy Ewing (book review)

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Brief Summary- Will not contain spoilers!

The Lone City is comprised of 5 rings in which affluence is more and more prevalent as you move inward. Violet Lasting is reaped from the marsh, the outermost ring, to serve as a surrogate to those in the jewel, the innermost ring. After years of training, she is able to produce Auguries which are mystical powers that manipulate color, shape, and growth. She is the most powerful surrogate in regards to her powers of growth. After being permanently separated from her family and purchased by royalty at an auction, she must endure a lifestyle comprised of pain and suffering as she serves the wicked.

Brief Review- Will not contain spoilers!

This tale unfolds in a painful yet meaningful manner. The events that occur are astonishing but there is always an element of hope. The storyline was spectacular and the characters were unique. This incorporated the pain prominent in The Hunger Games and the glamour prevalent in The Selection Series. I did struggle with the amount of graphic pain that was described in the book. It was horrible to read page after page filled with suffering and then a minute amount of hope and then more suffering. Sometimes I actually had to put the book down to get a grip on my stomach. This book definitely accomplishes one task that is certainly not easy- it makes you feel pain deeply.

Extended Review:

Here are some things that I liked and struggled with in regards to The Jewel:

  1. Violet- I definitely liked Violet’s character at her core but I think that she needed some pizzaz. To me, she strongly reflected other strong literary females such as Katniss, Cassia (Matched), and America. She needed a personality alteration to make her unique. She almost seemed watered down for this reason. She was not quite as strong as Katniss, quite as passionate as America or quite as graceful as Cassia. For this reason however the book has strong potential as a movie. It is difficult to show emotions in a movie that play through a character’s mind in a book. But she displays almost all of her feelings on the surface and unfortunately the book could have used some deeper thought processes.
  2. The Royalty- Comically, the villains make this book what it is. It is incomprehensible the things they make the surrogates endure. Their lifestyle is treacherous and described in detail. As opposed to other stories, these people know what they are doing and know that they are corrupt which makes it much worse because they like it. The Duchess is extremely bipolar and confusing which adds more chaos to the story. (Is it just me or do you picture Helena Bonham Carter as the Duchess?) As horrible as they are, they were expressed in a meaningful manner. They were also very unique- their storylines and characteristics certainly made them memorable.
  3. Hope- I needed more of it. I was literally drowning in this book even as Ash came into the picture. There was never a moment when I felt as though Violet had relief. I was always waiting for someone to barge in or bad news to come flowing through. I understand that this was necessary but I did not like feeling like I just went through war after every chapter. I was exhausted but this may certainly be a personal reaction. Ash was a great character that I highly appreciated but he did cause more stomach aches and pain.
  4. Blood- Way.too.much.blood. I am queasy do not get me wrong but how in the world were those girls lasting as long as they did? I could not handle the constant bleeding it was definitely unpractical but also made a deep imprint.
  5. Story line- This unique storyline made the book a success. I knew from the beginning that it would heavily reflect slavery. It is good to remind ourselves of the wrongs of the past so that we can properly reflect upon the future. I know this is a painful process (trust me!) but definitely worth it in the end.

If you like action and romance and have an iron clad stomach then this is definitely the book for you!

Morality Rating- 2 out of 5 stars

While the lessons in this book are profound, this is not a book for young teens no matter what section of the library it is found in. There is sexual content (chapter twenty-six) but it is not in-depth or graphic just probably not appropriate. Some of the references are even appropriate in that the characters speak of the dangers of sex and how it is not to be handed out like candy because permanent damage comes to the individual. I gave this book a low rating in this area mostly because of the pain. This is a heavy book with much physical, emotional, and mental pain. The innocence of younger teens and children should definitely be spared until they are exposed to some of the truths within this book.

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