Book Review: The Jewel – Amy Ewing

Welcome back to BookReviewathon 101! I read The Jewel and it’s sequel back in February 2016, but because I love Amy Ewing so much, I just have to do a review.


51wp8lrlewl-_sx324_bo1204203200_


Name: The Jewel
Author: Amy Ewing
Publisher: Walker Books (US Ver: HarperTeen)
Release Date: September 2, 2014

Synopsis

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.


Book Cover Comments

 

Ok. Can I say it is because of that simplicity, that shattered glass like background that makes everything so sweet? And then we have Violet in a violet gown standing in the middle of the room, creating a perfect contrast. The word “Jewel” is printed in glossy gold, and its really shiny, with intricate designs. The two quotes on the cover gave me a super powerful impression, I knew I was going to pick it up.

The back has the same shattered glass background, and has the mysterious-but-short-awesome-synopsis. The rose on the floor that has gradient color is gorge.

I’ll give a basic comment on the HarperTeen ver cus that’s probably what most of you would get. The cover, though pale, looks really beautiful with Violet being inside the jewel, and then the gajillion reflections.


The Actual Review

When I first read this book, I thought it was AMAZING.

I’m trying my best to remember all the details cus it’s been 6 months since I’ve read it.

Let’s begin with:

OH, MY, GOD.

Definitely a taste of The Selection Series in The Jewel, but it is something different altogether. What Amy has constructed in this book with her version of a similar selection is way more interesting, way more deeper, and, it’s just deep.

Girls with special abilities from different circles in the Lone City are collected and acts as surrogates to develop their three special abilities. The three abilities are color, shape and grow. But don’t think its just developing abilities for nothing. At a certain time of the season, the girls with better scores will be taken to an auction, where different people will come to bid the girls, and the entire point of it is to carry a child for them.

Sounds brutal doesn’t it? But that is what made the story so interesting. Violet gets chosen by one of the Founding Houses, the Duchess of the Lake. And that is where her story begins. You do well, you get rewarded. You do bad, you get punished. And there were so many dynamics going on in the House of the Lake, you couldn’t believe it. And I have to say, I felt bad for Violet whenever she had to go for medical checkups, because that means that she will have to use her abilities. I’m saying a bit too much, so I’ll leave it to you users to imagine how the surrogates will have to use their abilities for childbirth.

For pete’s sake, the Duchess of the Lake is ABSOLUTELY BRUTAL. I won’t say how or what she did. She is. She’s a horrible person, our so called antagonist in this book. But a lot of the times, she is so unpredictable, sometimes I don’t even know what she will do or what will happen to Violet.

I feel really glad for Violet whenever she gets to see her BFF Raven, who was “adopted” by the House of the Stone at any social events. You can’t stick around for long if you’re separated too long from your BFF. And how they interact and what Violet sees in Raven is all really interesting.

Amy is a genius in giving me sweet heart aches, and from time to time, I’m always going back to Chapter 24 ~ 26. Because that’s where all the sweetness reaches Zenith, especially the last page of Chapter 26.

It’s tragic that I can’t spoil much of what I would like to say, so I shall do a BookTube video soon about The Jewel + The White Rose so Amy Ewing can listen to me fangirl with no shame and full of spoilers.

BTW, the ending was brutal. I was like WAIT WHAT NONONONONONONONOONONONONONONONONONONONOONON

Also Amy is a terrible person in terms of giving readers extreme cliffhangers. I was lucky enough to read Book 1 at the time Book 2 was out, and I was fortunate enough to be in a mega-bookstore and was fortunate enough to find the Book on the “Featured/Bestelling Bookshelf” of the YA section.

After The Jewel, I knew I had to go on to The White Rose.


 

With a devastating past, a cruel society, a brave heart and blooming romance, Amy Ewing steals away our hearts in The Jewel.

Advertisements

Book Review: The Glittering Court – Richelle Mead

Note that I have never read any of Richelle Mead’s books, notably Vampire Academy, sorry to all you fans out there, and so I cannot compare this book to her previous work.


9781595148414

Name: The Glittering Court
Author: Richelle Mead
Publisher: Razor bill
Release Date: April 5, 2016

Synopsis (I finally use the right word)

Big and sweeping, spanning from the refined palaces of Osfrid to the gold dust and untamed forests of Adoria, The Glittering Court tells the story of Adelaide, an Osfridian countess who poses as her servant to escape an arranged marriage and start a new life in Adoria, the New World. But to do that, she must join the Glittering Court.

Both a school and a business venture, the Glittering Court is designed to transform impoverished girls into upper-class ladies who appear destined for powerful and wealthy marriages in the New World. Adelaide naturally excels in her training, and even makes a few friends: the fiery former laundress Tamsin and the beautiful Sirminican refugee Mira. She manages to keep her true identity hidden from all but one: the intriguing Cedric Thorn, son of the wealthy proprietor of the Glittering Court.

When Adelaide discovers that Cedric is hiding a dangerous secret of his own, together they hatch a scheme to make the best of Adelaide’s deception. Complications soon arise—first as they cross the treacherous seas from Osfrid to Adoria, and then when Adelaide catches the attention of a powerful governor.

But no complication will prove quite as daunting as the potent attraction simmering between Adelaide and Cedric. An attraction that, if acted on, would scandalize the Glittering Court and make them both outcasts in wild, vastly uncharted lands…


Book Cover Comments

I love how the cover features Adelaide, and the black background with roses (I assume it’s prob not) around her is really sweet, and I have to praise the photo and concept skills. It’s one of the best “RL human” book covers I’ve seen.

The silver dress and the necklace is also something we find in the book, which I love. The back cover however, had the color system and theme sorta destroyed by the promotion of the Vampire Academy series. Thy synopsis can be found inside the book.


The Actual Review

I like this book.

One thing that is notable about this book, is that it is EXTREMELY fast paced. The first 100 pages takes the span of almost an entire year, but it was a good choice made so the readers wouldn’t be too bored with the details at the Glittering Court.

“Bad things are always going to happen, there’s no way to avoid that. Our control comes in how we face them.”

Onto the plot, I thought it was really interesting and intriguing, with all the plot twists and developments, though some were a bit expected. And I also thought that some parts of the plot lets readers think what is going to happen in the future and predict some paths as well as imagine some things. And I liked that about the Glittering Court. Sometimes its sad to think about the heroine’s future routes and what will happen. That reminds me, I like how Adelaide and Cedric are chasing for the same objective/outcome through their own methods.

“It’s not just about safety. It’s about freedom. Freedom to be who I am without putting on a show for everyone else.”

The three main girls, Adelaide, Tamsin and Mira are all headstrong girls in their own ways. Adelaide is strong in terms of to help others (well in this case it’s just Cedric), Tamsin being strong to get what she needs and never gives up, and Mira being strong throughout the stormy girl fueds. You all understand what I mean when I talk about girls and their fueds.

But I knew what Cedric had on the line. His life. No matter how dire, could Tamsin really have anything comparable to that?

The story gives different messages at different parts of the story, with one of those important ones being: being in the upper class doesn’t mean you can do whatever you want, and a title does not guarantee you everything. Adelaide starts out as a bit of a pampered countess, and by entering the Glittering Court, she learns how to live with the basics. With the plot development later on, she experiences manual labor, and I thought the storyline of Adelaide being in different social classes to understand her society better is a really nice thing.

“Never underestimate your own worth.”

A little bit of supernatural was included in the story, and it sorts of play a major role in this book. And I really love the concept of it, as well as how it reflects reality in terms of how religion is seen in modern society.

“We’re all in charge of our own lives–and we have to live with the consequences of the choices we make.”

Though one thing I would like to point out is after the fast paced Glittering Court, even though parts started to slow down when Adelaide decided to settle down with her chosen one, things got slow around there, and there were one or two parts in the last 100 pages where I got a bit lost. But of course, when Adelaide finally got to marry her one true love, I was happy about it.

Tamsin shook her head. “I don’t know how you got my without me.”
“Me either,” I said. “Me either.”

Can I also say Richelle smooshed my heart by putting so many sweetheart caramel (basically sweet) scenes in this book? And I love all the parts where my heart aches for those cutie parts. 5 out of 5 for heart aching sweet scenes. I also think Richelle did a great job wrapping up the main plot in 400 pages. *claps*

I was warmed by the sun, his embrace, and the joy building up within me.

The Glittering Court definitely reminds me a little bit of The Selection by Kiera Cass, so fans of Kiera can definitely come along and try The Glittering Court.

Richelle had mentioned that the other two books will be on the same timeline, but told from the other two perspectives, which is Mira and Tamsin. Midnight Jewel, which is Mira, comes next, and I definitely can’t wait to learn more about Mira and to see another perspective of the story I just finished.


Filled with secrets and identities to hide, The Glittering Court is a one of a kind intriguing tale filled with love and betrayal, capturing readers from beginning to end.