Thursday, June 12, 2014

Book Review: The Jewel by Amy Ewing

The JewelThe Jewel
by Amy Ewing
Release Date: September 2nd, 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
ARC, 358 pages 
Genre: YA Fantasy
Get a Copy:
      Amazon | B&N 

Goodreads Summary: 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. 


Cindy's Review: 

At a Glance/ The Cover: 
I first saw this book on someone's Waiting on Wednesdays meme. It had an interesting cover. I read the synopsis. Beautiful. Something I would read. Something I might like. So when I was at Book Club at school, and The Jewel was available in ARC, I grabbed it. #sojuiced. :) And I'm glad I got it. Because it didn't disappoint.

The Characters/My Summary: 
Violet - The main character was born poor. She lived in the outer layer of the city, the Marsh. The Jewels lives in the heart of the city, with circles and layers surrounding it, like it's being protected. The layers determine your caste, your wealth, and your jobs. Violet's family was suffering. Her father had died. Her mom had sold her to The Jewel, so she could be trained and help a richer folk or the royalty create offsprings. The royalties could not breed, they always need a surrogate to it for them. 

Violet lived in dresses and has anything she wants. Almost anything. The Jewel starts when Violet is about to be in the auction. The is when the royalties pick the surrogates they want. Each year, the auction has to 200 girls to choose from. The higher number you are, the more money you're worth. In Violet's case, she's 197. She will be important. 

Many girls may want to be in Violet's shoes. Who doesn't? Lived like royalty. Treated like royalty. Anything they want. Clothes. Jewelries. Everything. Everything except freedom. Violet cannot foresee freedom in her future. She doesn't want to be a surrogate, like many of the other girls. 

I find Violet to be a stubborn girl. Smart, but stubbornness sometimes overtakes the smart feature. Yet, it might save her in the end. 

Duchess of the Lake - I have no idea how old this woman is. But she seems old. At the same time, Violet just vouches how young she looks. Duchess sounds evil, but also have a hint of understanding. But not enough. She has a 19-year-old son. #hotfactor. Now she wants a daughter that Violet will bore her. A daughter that will marry the Empress and Exetor's boy. 

My Opinions: 
When the synopsis mentioned "Violet and a handsome gentlemen", I couldn't wait. The boys always make it interesting. Make it dramatic. Make the girl want something more. At first, I thought that gentlemen was Duchess of the Lake's first son, Garrett. I was wrong. But I really wanted it to be him. 

Violet's love for this second boy did not waver. It continued to become stronger. And that's what led her to her doom. But there's a way out. There's got to be. Because before the auction, Violet met her ticket out of the job of a surrogate. And apparently, there's more than one person whose trying to help Violet out. Someone that I would have never imagined. Someone that got me by surprise. 

Okay. I made sound all mysterious. But it's for the good. Read this book when it comes out in September and it will definitely leave your mouth hanging. I can't wait till the sequel comes out. 

There isn't even a sequel mentioned yet. Ugh.

Overall Thoughts: 
I'm really glad I decided to get this ARC. But that bad thing is that I'll have to wait extra long for that sequel. The first book isn't even out yet, much less the second. 

I would recommend The Jewel to those who likes fantasy fiction. I guess this could be our future, but it wasn't mentioned at all, so I'll assume this is just a made up world. But it's fine. I love fantasies. :) 

The Rating: (1-10): 8.5

Happy Reading~

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Author Signing: Nina LaCour

The Nina LaCour Signing in Diesel Bookstore in Oakland, CA was the 2nd book signing I ever went to. 
Book signings are fun and exciting! :)
I went to this one as a Book Club fieldtrip. 
And one of the club advisers knew Nina. 

She was signing her new novel, Everything That Leads to You.

Everything Leads to You

It has such a gorgeous cover.
Right?

Nina read a few chapters from the book. 
We then had a short Q&A.
(One her first book was made into a movie!)
Lastly, she was signing books.

It was a pretty short evening. 
I did enjoy it though.
:)

Looking forward to go to more book signings later on. 
They're so fun!
I really like signed books. <3

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Happy Reading~