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. – Goodreads
Well, this one was a let down.
Maybe I’m just sick of the same dystopian storyline over and over and over, but this felt like a bad mashup of The Hunger Games, The Selection and Matched. And surrogacy.
Girl from the poor part of town ends up being forced to live in the rich part of town, doesn’t get to make own choices or live life, finds love interest, decides to escape, finds out allllll of the horrible things the brainwashing rich people do to fool the poor people. In a nutshell.
I finished it because the writing wasn’t the worst thing in the world and I needed to finish it for a reading challenge I’m doing. Otherwise I would have DNFd it a while ago.
Violet was selfish and pretty stupid. I get it—you’re being forced into becoming a surrogate for a mean old lady—that is incredibly terrible and definitely not okay. But to put literally everyone around you in severe danger just to meet your lover behind your mistress’s back (when the punishment is death) and trying to escape (and drawing shitloads of attention to yourself by ACTING OUT) which would mean the death of your family—you’re an idiot and asking for the people you love to get hurt. Common sense, dummy. Stop making out for ten seconds and think about your mom, sister and brother.
The instalove was nauseating. Ten seconds after meeting Ash:
“I’ve never thought much about kissing, but the idea of Ash’s lips against mine—” – Page 192
And ten seconds after that:
“My lips are glossed pink, my eyes lined in pale purple, making their color stand out even more. I wonder if Ash will think I look pretty. Stop it, Violet, I tell myself. It doesn’t matter what he thinks.
It’s only been a couple hours since I met him, but he’s somehow more handsome than I remember. My whole body feels like it’s blushing.” -Page 193
Anyway. This one didn’t do it for me in any way. I think many people would enjoy this if they’re still into the dystopian genre, but I’m over it.