Cover image for The Jewel
The Jewel
Ewing, Amy.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York, NY : HarperTeen, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, 2014.
Physical Description:
358 pages ; 22 cm
Violet, a poor girl from the outer city, finds forbidden romance and uncovers brutal secrets when, after three years of training, she is purchased by a royal family as a surrogate mother for royal children.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Central Library Y FICTION Young Adult Fiction Popular Materials-Young Adult
Audubon Library Y FICTION Young Adult Fiction Young Adult
Clarence Library Y FICTION Young Adult Fiction Young Adult
Clearfield Library Y FICTION Young Adult Fiction Young Adult
Eggertsville-Snyder Library Y FICTION Young Adult Fiction Open Shelf
Elma Library Y FICTION Young Adult Fiction Young Adult
Hamburg Library Y FICTION Young Adult Fiction Young Adult
Lake Shore Library Y FICTION Young Adult Fiction Young Adult
Orchard Park Library Y FICTION Young Adult Fiction Young Adult
Julia Boyer Reinstein Library Y FICTION Young Adult Fiction Young Adult

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The Selection meets The Handmaid's Tale in this darkly riveting debut filled with twists and turns, where all that glitters may not be gold.

The Jewel means wealth, the Jewel means beauty--but for Violet, the Jewel means servitude. Born and raised in the Marsh, Violet finds herself living in the Jewel as a servant at the estate of the Duchess of the Lake. Addressed only by her number--#197--Violet is quickly thrown into the royal way of life. But behind its opulent and glittering facade, the Jewel hides its cruel and brutal truth, filled with violence, manipulation, and death.

Violet must accept the ugly realities of her life . . . all while trying to stay alive. But before she can accept her fate, Violet meets a handsome boy who is also under the Duchess's control, and a forbidden love erupts. But their illicit affair has consequences, which will cost them both more than they bargained for. And toeing the line between being calculating and rebellious, Violet must decide what, and who, she is willing to risk for her own freedom.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

*Starred Review* Violet, forced to leave her home in the Marsh to become a surrogate, will no longer be known by her name once she is purchased at auction. She'll be known as 197, the property of the Duchess of Lake, for whom she will bear a child. Her life will go from humble to opulent, but it will no longer be her own. Debut author Ewing gets inspiration from Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale (1985), but she does a delicious job of putting her twist on the surrogacy premise. Violet, who tells her own story, is by turns frightened by her fate yet bold in her choices. Her strength as a character is matched by that of the determined Duchess of Lake, who is carefully layered. Readers get a true sense of not just the social hierarchy but also the effect it has on the citizenry, from highest to lowest, through Ewing's excellent world building. This spills over into skillful descriptions that bring teens right into the Jewel, the center city where the royalty live, with each glorious gown, ornate adornment, and delicious morsel of food lovingly evoked. While Violet's forbidden romance is not the dominant story line, it intrigues. Still, the males look like they'll play more of a role in the next book, which readers will want ASAP.--Cooper, Ilene Copyright 2014 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

First-time author Ewing adds to a genre saturated with stories of poor, beautiful girls forced to live among the upper class. Sixteen-year-old Violet Lasting is from the direst sector of the Lone City. It's an island run by powerful royals who can no longer bear their own children and must hire surrogates, like Violet, with unique powers called auguries. In an annual auction, Violet is sold to the powerful Duchess of the Lake, who parades her around in fine dresses, but demands that Violet deliver a perfect daughter quickly. As Violet begins to realize the dangerous political machinations at play, the plot becomes further complicated as she falls for an off-limits guy. The idea of forced reproductive slavery provides an attention-grabbing hook, but thin worldbuilding and some narrative missteps (at least four chapters end with Violet falling into darkness after being drugged, and there are unfortunate references to characters' almond-shaped eyes or skin "the color of dark brewed coffee") don't help the story stand out from the pack. Ages 14-up. Agent: Charlie Olsen, Inkwell Management. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

School Library Journal Review

Gr 9 Up-Violet lives in a city divided into five concentric circles; with the poorest in the farthest outlining ring (The Marsh) and the wealthiest (The Jewel) at the center. The women of the Jewel are unable to produce healthy babies, so every year girls from the Marsh are tested and purchased to become surrogates; surrogates who demonstrate skills and are able to control the way the baby looks and special talents the child might have. Violet was tested at age 12 and taken from her family to be trained and sold after her 18th birthday. The Jewel is not what Violet was expecting; it is full of wealth and splendor, but the lies, mind games, and viciousness undercut its beauty. In this corrupt circle, Violet falls in love with an escort who has been hired to teach Violet's mistress' niece how to be a woman; a love that is ill-fated. Ewing writes a fast-paced story that takes readers into the inner workings of a society that is obsessed with power and perfection.√ÖFans of Lauren DeStefano's "The Chemical Garden" trilogy (S. & S.) will enjoy this YA debut.-Lisa Nabel, Dayton Metro Library, OH (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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