The Jewel (The Jewel, Book 1)
HarperCollins Teen (CA: 25th August 2014; US: 2nd September 2014); Walker (UK & AU: 4th Septemebr 2014)
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TRIGGER WARNINGS: This book contains human selling, eugenics, prostitution, sexual abuse, and miscarriage – thus they may also be referenced in this review.
SPOILER WARNINGS: If reading this review via Goodreads, the spoilers are marked. If reading this elsewhere, they are unmarked.
For the most part, The Jewel is quite enjoyable: It’s Gothic, with secrets among the wealthy, and weird science – just my kind of fun read. The first half of the book drew me in, and it was a great time.
I calculated the pages to give myself permission to quit the book exactly halfway through. But the first part was intriguing, so I continued…and in the very next chapter, the love interest is introduced.
I’m not necessarily against romance in fiction, but this one doesn’t work for me because:
-Before meeting Ash Lockwood, Violet Lasting’s priority concern is the wellbeing of her best friend, and those of the other surrogates. While Violet continues to worry about them, it’s diluted because she’s distracted with thoughts of Ash, kissing Ash, and boning Ash.
-Violet becomes jealous of the duchess’s niece, for whom Ash was hired as a “royal companion” (to teach her how to become more attractive to men, or whatever). But as we’re constantly told, Carnelian Silver is not beautiful – she’s either plain or hideous, and has no skills that men like, so there’s no way Ash will fancy her. Also, Violet picks on Carnelian’s name, which seems a bit hypocritical because EVERY CHARACTER in this book has a special snowflake name. (And yes, this is one of those novels wherein not being beautiful means people are supposedly justified in treating you unkindly.)
-Violet Continue reading