BOOK REVIEW : The Jewel
By Amy Ewing
BY SULPHIA IQBAL
To me, The Jewel was as good as Shatter Me. That is, not very good at all. Maybe even worse. Is it just me or are dystopias becoming less and less dystopia and more and more cheesy barf-worthy romance??? I come to read a dystopia and what do I get ? * sigh *
Reading The Jewel felt like reading something that wanted so hard to be like the Hunger Games and the Selection, except with a society where nobles can’t have normal pregnancies, no world-building ( The places are named THE FARM, THE MARSH, and etc for heaven's sake ) , instalove (blech), and characters named afters colors ( because that’s soooo meaningful ).
Violet ( and that’s ok name until you get to characters like Ash, Ochre, Hazel, Sable, Violet, Raven, Cobalt, Crow, Ginger ) is raised to become surrogate to one of the nobles due to the fact the latter are unable to give birth to children. Each of the surrogates ( there are 200 ) are prepared to be sold at a surrogate auction and are ranked in order of most prized, talented, and beautiful, and our beloved MC Violet is of course ranked high up there - #197 - because she’s completely perfect in every way. She’s soon bought by the Duchess of the Lake, one of richest and most popular of the nobles, who basically treats her like she's trash, which sums up how all the nobles treat their surrogates. This takes up more than half the book.
The nobels in this book are seriously crae-crae. You see, surrogates are deliberately chosen to produce an offspring who would prove to beneficial to the families in sealing alliances through betrothals. Therefore, the nobles are very specific as to what gender the child is to become so they can grow up and marry the match made between families at birth. In order to match their child and only their child with another baby boy or girl, these nobels are willing to poison and kill each other’s surrogates in order to eliminate any potential competition.
Unfortunately, the characters are flat-out boring and empty. Violet, heck none of the characters actually go through character development. Violet is not really a relatable character because she’s constantly portrayed as this perfect person who’s beautiful, a great cello player, and crazy good at changing colors with her touch ( yeah that’s a thing in this book ) .
And what made me ultimately quit on this book? ASH. When she first meets him she’s like
"’I've never met anyone like you before,’ I say.”
And then a few hours later she’s like
‘I stare at my reflection - pink cheeks, tiny smile, bright eyes... the girl in the mirror looks truly happy, for the first time.
I've never thought much about kissing, but the idea of Ash's….I giggle”
THAT’S IT, RIGHT? IT CAN’T GET WORSE. Except it can because by the third encounter they’re professing their love.
Please tell me this is not what I’m going to get in my next dystopia
Check it out ( if you want to see this for yourself ) at the library and goodreads :