August 26, 2014

The Jewel Blog Tour: Review + Giveaway

The Jewel (The Lone City #1)
Author: Amy Ewing
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: September 2, 2014
Rate: 4.5 Stars


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.
The Jewel is the first book in a new young adult fantasy/dystopian trilogy that follows Violet - our heroine of the series. Like every young girl, Violet was tested for a genetic mutation that would take her away from her family to be trained as a surrogate for a royal family. Violet has spent the last four years of her life learning the ins and outs of living in The Jewel - the richest inner circle of The Lone City that's reserved for royals. Violet is bought at The Auction by the Duchess of the Lake and taken to live in the palace there. Even though she's dreaded and feared her future as a surrogate, Violet's hatred for the tradition and those who rule the city only grows the longer she stays in The Jewel. When Violet finds herself falling for a male companion chosen for the Duchess's niece, she finds herself in more trouble - and danger - than she thought possible.
As soon as I read the description for the book, I knew that I had to read it. It sounded like such a fantastic blend of fantasy, dystopia, and romance that I was immediately intrigued. I'm glad to say that it exceeded any hopes or expectations I may have had for it. Right from the beginning of the book, I felt myself slip inside the story alongside Violet - and I didn't emerge until after I was finished reading it. Violet is a great character for the book. She's smart - both "book smart" and "street smart" - determined to do what's necessary to stay alive, a loving daughter and devoted friend, and strong. She definitely has weaknesses and flaws though - she's afraid of her future as a surrogate, of what will happen to her once she's sold, what her mistress will be like, and lots of other things. I immediately connected with her because of her fears and uncertainty - they made her completely realistic and easy to identify with. I loved watching her character grow and change throughout the book as she figures out what's really going on in The Jewel and how she's going to stay alive. She matures in lots of different areas during the story - which made her a fantastic main character. The other characters in the book were well written too - each with their own distinct personalities, histories, and flaws. Along with the wonderful characters, the author did a magnificent job with the world building in the book. It was incredibly detailed and explained in a way that I had no trouble seeing everything that was described when I closed my eyes. The attention to detail and the vivid imagery that was used really added depth to the setting and the rest of the story - to the point that I felt as if I was experiencing it all right along with Violet. Although the description depicts the book as a dystopian type novel, once you start reading it you realize that a single genre label doesn't come close to doing it justice. There's a original blend of fantasy, romance, action, and intrigue alongside the dystopian aspects that makes this book unique and a breath of fresh air into the genre. I highly recommend this one to fans of dystopias and fantasy fiction, along with anyone who enjoys a fast paced and magnificently written novel that entwines several genres to create a one-of-a-kind story. I'm already counting down the days until the next book is released!
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Follow the FFBC The Jewel Blog Tour and don't miss anything! Click on the banner to see the tour schedule.

Amy Ewing is the young adult author of THE JEWEL, the first in a trilogy from HarperTeen, coming out September 2014.

She grew up in a small town outside Boston, where her librarian mother instilled a deep love of reading at a young age. Amy moved to New York City in 2000 to study theater at New York University. Unfortunately, her acting career didn’t quite pan out. She worked in restaurants, as an administrative assistant, a nanny, and a sales representative for a wine distributor before the lack of creativity in her life drove her to begin writing.

Amy received her MFA in Creative Writing for Children from The New School, where she was lucky enough to meet a fabulous community of YA writers who keep her sane on a daily basis. She lives in Harlem, where she spends her days writing, eating cheese, and occasionally binge watching The Vampire Diaries.
Win (1) of (3) copies of The Jewel (Us Only)


  1. Been wanting to read this book!

  2. Christina R. in the rafflecopter

    LOVE the beginning! You care for her immediately and I love the writing style.

    thank you :)