Book Review: Shatter Me – Tahereh Mafi

And right after finishing the book, I went to see Tahereh Mafi at L.A. Times Festival of Books over at USC :3

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Name: Shatter Me
Author: Tahereh Mafi
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: October 2, 2012 (1st Ed Nov 15, 2011)

Synopsis

Juliette hasn’t touched anyone in exactly 264 days.

The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal. As long as she doesn’t hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don’t fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.

The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war – and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she’s exactly what they need right now.

Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior.

Continue reading “Book Review: Shatter Me – Tahereh Mafi”

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Book Review: Never Fade – Alexandra Bracken

So welcome to a book review in a month. I have been really busy during October, and therefore I have only read…

Two light reads of New Adult Romance novels…
One play for the 20 page directors’ notebook assessment for school…
Two YA novels…
And 8 mangas.


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Name: Never Fade
Author: Alexandra Bracken
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Release Date: October 15, 2013

Synopsis

Ruby never asked for the abilities that almost cost her her life. Now she must call upon them on a daily basis, leading dangerous missions to bring down a corrupt government and breaking into the minds of her enemies. Other kids in the Children’s League call Ruby “Leader”, but she knows what she really is: a monster.

When Ruby is entrusted with an explosive secret, she must embark on her most dangerous mission yet: leaving the Children’s League behind. Crucial information about the disease that killed most of America’s children—and turned Ruby and the others who lived into feared and hated outcasts—has survived every attempt to destroy it. But the truth is only saved in one place: a flashdrive in the hands of Liam Stewart, the boy Ruby once believed was her future—and who now wouldn’t recognize her.

As Ruby sets out across a desperate, lawless country to find Liam—and answers about the catastrophe that has ripped both her life and America apart—she is torn between old friends and the promise she made to serve the League. Ruby will do anything to protect the people she loves. But what if winning the war means losing herself?


Book Cover Comments

Once again with the metallic cover, I think its super cool. I wonder why the choice for an ice blue cover was made, but I do love the touch of the compass on there. Tbh I never realised that it was a compass lmao. I thought it was just an eight-pointed star. If you’ve read the book, you’ll know the secret behind the compass and what its referencing ;)


The Review

So I wouldn’t say The Darkest Minds is one of those hyper-active exciting reads, but there was something in the book that kept me going on and reading more and more, getting even more immersed in the book.

Once again, Never Fade and every other Alex Bracken book is extremely slow. I burned every drop of brain oil in stock everyday in order to finish Never Fade and every other Alex book, and I die for it. But as I hold on to perseverance despite the boring beginning and the annoying middle section, I did find the ending very exciting.

Unfortunately I have to say, the beginning of the book was extremely confusing and slightly way too slow. Ruby starts off with showing us readers her new life in the Children’s League, and tbh I had no idea what was going on with their latest mission. But I did pick up one or two things along the way.

One of their missions was to retrieve a mysterious person, and when I thought it meant Ruby reunites with Liam, instead we are given with someone who looks like Liam. I actually forgot his name so let’s call him Bob. Ok I’m totally ruining this for you with the name “Li”.

Li seeks help from Ruby to retrieve the flash drive mentioned in the synopsis above, lost through some unforeseen circumstances in which you can find out yourself by reading the book. But just know that it ended up being with Liam. Li is actually such a cool character, not only because of his smart brains and strategic planning, but also because Li will be revealing some cool abilities later on in the book.

When we got to the middle chunk where Ruby begins her hunt for Liam in order to retrieve the flash drive, thank God we have the reuniting scenes. Ruby runs into Chubs at one of the locations that she has arrived in, and I can’t help but laugh at the interaction between Chubs and one of Ruby’s partner-in-crimes, I-also-forgot-her-name-so-let’s-call-her Liv. Liv, I have to say, is a very arrogant character with a very rude mouth, but I must say I connect with her deeply on this aspect. Lmao

And as the three of them, along with Ruby’s other partner, a little boy in which we shall call him Yellow because he has the power of the Yellows (Liv is a Blue, btw) visit the next location, meet someone that Ruby does not want to see again at all (hint hint wink wink book 1 wink wink) he gladly gives out a few hints in order to send Ruby along their way, then we get to the good part.

BECAUSE WE FINALLY REUNITE WITH LIAMM

It didn’t start off in a good way, though. Liam and a whole bunch of other kids were in a not so good condition considering the fact that the weather was cold and Liam and the other kids were mistreated. My memory of what happened here started to get blurry, but some sad events happen here.

When Liam’s body memory doesn’t match with what he remembers because of what Ruby did to him at the end of Book 1 (light spoilers!), Liam begins to struggle between the differences that he is feeling. He knows that he wants to throw himself at Ruby, but he doesn’t understand why. AND THE FEELING THAT SCARES HIM IS GIVING ME THE ABSOLUTE HEART FLUTTERS. LIKE SEEING LIAM AND RUBY REUNITE IS THE NUMBER ONE BEST THING THAT HAPPENED IN THIS BOOK.

But Alex Bracken continues to surprise us, because she won’t just let a happy ending land without having some more tough times. Ruby needs to face the circumstances of leaving Liam behind, as well as what she did to protect them in her way possible. The tension between Ruby and Liam was high till the very end, and I just can’t help but swoon over this bittersweet relationship.

OK at this moment I’m looking at my Darkest Minds review, and wondering how did I come up with so much shit to write about.

And at the ending, a very tragic event happens, but no spoilers everyone. The last part of the book got so exciting, it made me want to read more and more instead of the reluctant pace to continue reading during the beginning of the book. Somewhere around what happened near the ending, there was this really memorable quote but I don’t remember what it is. Also I’m typing this up at school and I don’t have my book, so I can’t check it. I’ll edit it in when I get back home from school and tutor. All I can tell you is

“ROLL CREDITS!”

The revelations that kicked off at the end was one of the best parts of the book as well. I mean, who doesn’t love revelations? And to expand on that a little bit more, we get to know the secrets that some people are trying to hide, possibly why, and what lurks behind those secrets. This also highly ties back in to the character we do not want to see again from book 1. The lock that secures the secret to why and how the children have the disease, and if there is a possible cure to it, is currently being picked open. With that much base information given in Never Fade, I’m sure In The Afterlight will be an exciting ride. But it’ll start off slow.

COME TO THINK OF IT I HAVE THE PERFECT ROLLERCOASTER METAPHOR FOR ALEX BRACKEN’S BOOKS.

Imagine riding an extreme rollercoaster. Going uphill and just going on flat tracks and finding yourself going uphill again is basically the book’s pace, and that is the longest span of the ride. Then when you reach the peak, you suddenly drop, go through some loops and boomerangs, and within seconds the ride is over. And that describes the exciting part of Alex’s books, how you just can’t get enough of it, but it all slips away too soon.

I wrote this in my previous review: The shattering ending and the darkening dystopian world of The Darkest Minds, and how each character is a pillar of light that can shine brightly on their own makes me anticipate the sequel when I get to read it.

I think I actually predicted things quite well. And the literal meaning of that matches the general concept of what this series is looking for. I’m saying this because while attempting to look for that quote I mentioned above, I stumbled across something even more amazing. I’ll keep my mouth shut until the last book’s book review, but all I will say is: THE BOOK TITLES.


As the journey of The Darkest Minds continue in order to find their oasis, and to reveal the secrets behind everything to save themselves, they can only move forward, stay together, and Never Fade.

Book Review: The Darkest Minds – Alexandra Bracken

Geez I should have tried to write this earlier but hey procrastination got in the way


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Name: The Darkest Minds
Author: Alexandra Bracken
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Release Date: December 18, 2012

Synopsis

When Ruby woke up on her tenth birthday, something about her had changed. Something frightening enough to make her parents lock her in the garage and call the police. Something that got her sent to Thurmond, a brutal government “rehabilitation camp.” She might have survived the mysterious disease that had killed most of America’s children, but she and the others emerged with something far worse: frightening abilities they could not control.

Now sixteen, Ruby is one of the dangerous ones. When the truth comes out, Ruby barely escapes Thurmond with her life. She is on the run, desperate to find the only safe haven left for kids like her—East River. She joins a group of kids who have escaped their own camp. Liam, their brave leader, is falling hard for Ruby. But no matter how much she aches for him, Ruby can’t risk getting close. Not after what happened to her parents. When they arrive at East River, nothing is as it seems, least of all its mysterious leader. But there are other forces at work, people who will stop at nothing to use Ruby in their fight against the government. Ruby will be faced with a terrible choice, one that may mean giving up her only chance at having a life worth living.


Book Cover Comments

The brass background is actually really cool. Especially when you hold the physical copy and it has a little bit of a reflective surface. I like the idea of that particular symbol carved into the brass like so a lot.


The Review

So I wouldn’t say The Darkest Minds is one of those hyper-active exciting reads, but there was something in the book that kept me going on and reading more and more, getting even more immersed in the book.

I actually didn’t even think or focus on the fact that this is a dystopian novel. Yes some of you know I’m not a dystopian enthusiast lmao

I really like the concept of how the special/dangerous kids were sorted. Slightly spoiling the system of the rehab camps, is that depending on how dangerous the kids’ ability, a.k.a. how strong they are, they are sorted into a color category: Blue, Green, Yellow, Orange, Red. I’m still unclear about the line between blue and green, but we get to see a little bit of everything in this book. The powers displayed are also super super cool. At the same time, even though it is supernatural abilities, it’s not over the top fantasia crazy, and sticks to reality well. (what am I even saying haha)

I love the range of main characters we have, from Liam to his friends, Chubs and Zu, and their characters are so different from each other. (i mean duh what am i even saying) I love it especially when Liam becomes protective dad. The way the others depend on him and the way he lives on with his closest friends, and how he has a strong determination to go towards his goals and to protect those important to him.

Funny thing about Chubs is that he’s kind of a “i have my own world” boy. In a sense that he’s really really blunt and direct about whatever he wants to say. At first I didn’t really like chubs cus he seemed a bit too whiny, but when we get to East River, there’s this one part where Chubs totally rocked the entire scene so that I could insert:

*burn*

Zu is a very special character, and why that is the case I won’t spoil you, but I like the fact that she’s so strong despite being (i think) ten year old, and having to face such a terrible reality. And this leads right on to our World Building.

The World that Alex Bracken weaved is indeed dark and deep. The corruption and how twisted and skewed everything behind the scenes were, especially with the complicated web of the president of Darkest-Minds-US-of-A. There were a few turn outs in the ending that was ultimately expected though never anticipated, and it indeed showed me a spectacular view of how Alex viewed the Darkest Minds. It also discusses the concept of people wearing masks and identities, the desire to be in power, the fear harbored inside of us, and many more concepts that I can revisit over and over again.

Now despite the slow and grey-ish colored plot (i couldn’t describe it any better. It wasn’t dull), as I said before, something just kept me going on and on. I think it’s definitely because of the story of Ruby, the decisions she makes to try to protect those she treasures, and oh when I think back to that ending? All dem’ feels. Getting myself into the book definitely took some time, but I think everything just got so much more interesting when Ruby finally escaped Rehab camp and went on a heck of a journey.

The one thing I especially love about Ruby is definitely that really significant i-won’t-spoil-you-event in her past. It is her past that builds up who she is now, the fears she face, the ability she must accept, that there are things that you can embrace instead of running away.


The shattering ending and the darkening dystopian world of The Darkest Minds, and how each character is a pillar of light that can shine brightly on their own makes me anticipate the sequel when I get to read it :)

 

Book Review: The Black Key – Amy Ewing

Seriously why did I delay so long to write up this review? I WAS SUPPOSED TO DO IT 500 YEARS AGO.


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Name: The Black Key
Author: Amy Ewing
Publisher: Walker Books (US Ver: HarperTeen)
Release Date: October 4, 2016

Synopsis

The third book in Amy Ewing’s New York Times bestselling Lone City trilogy, The Black Key is perfect for fans of The Selection and Red Queen.

Violet and the Society of the Black Key are preparing to launch an attack on the royalty, and Violet has a crucial role to play. She must lead the surrogates as they infiltrate the Auction and break down the walls of the Lone City. But with her sister, Hazel, imprisoned in the palace of the Lake, Violet is torn. In order to save her sister, she must abandon her cause and her friends and return to the Jewel.


Book Cover Comments

 

Note that there are two versions of the book, the HarperTeen ver and the Walker Books Ver.

HarperTeen Ver. (check it out on goodreads) I seriously think the book cover is super duper gorgeous. The white dress in contrast with the black kaleidoscope jewel was just gorgeous, and this is definitely my favourite cover in the entire series. And because of that, it’s seriously making me wanna buy the US hardcovers of the series.

Walker Books Ver.: It’s super duper different from the first two books, as their base color was white, and this base color is black, so when you put the three together, it isn’t the best combo. Maybe a three book gradient would help next time. BUT the gold words stand out so well among the black, and I love how Violet is wearing a purple dress, the BG girls seem a bit meh, and.. Violet’s face is kinda creepy.. soooooo… favourite cover goes to Book 1.


The Actual Review

Ok. I’ve been waiting for this book for 8 months, and I finally have it in my hands and read it.

Note that if you’re reading this, it’s kinda spoilery for book 1 and 2, so go find their reviews in my review page, or go search up Lone City Series/Amy Ewing. The other reviews are tagged with em’ :)

In this book, other than the fact that Violet has to face her old enemy and find a way out of everything, I think it’s kind of a realisation for Violet, because up till now, she’s kind of taking a lot of responsibility and being in charge of everything, and Violet now grows up for the third time in this book, taking that into consideration, and letting some things go and let them also help her along the way.

It really reminds me of this quote from xxxHOLiC (my favourite anime that’s filled with 500 billion morals)

“If a person sacrifices himself to save another, then that person should know just what kind of scars that action leaves on the rescued person.”

YUUUKOOOO *fangirling and sobbing at the same time*

Not that I’m implying that there is a huge sacrifice going on in here.

And so as the synopsis says, Violet travels back to the Jewel no longer as a surrogate, but as someone really different. I see it as viewing the Jewel from a different social class: instead of a surrogate, this time it is from a lower social class, and it was really interesting to see how some parts progressed. And OMG there were so many sudden plot twist/hits that I went Oh. My. God. No. What.

Fun thing about the relationships in this book, is that everyone is somehow related to each other (not like aunts uncles companions) in the way of their belief and their actions, as well as what they like and hate, but does not know the third person (as in, A hates royalty – knows B hates royalty, C hates royalty – knows B hates royalty, but A doesn’t know C hates royalty, vice versa), and reading this book, you’ll get to see who.

You’ll see this girl in this book thats really interesting, even though she’s not a major character or anything. I’m kinda over analysing this, but this girl is the one that represents the ignorance of what happens in the outside world of modern society/The island itself, as well as the fact that innocence is what hides all of this. Too deep? Yea. Probably. Let’s go back to my shallow commentary.

The ultimate climaxes in this book was really over the top. You would actually never see that final ending of what happened in the Jewel coming. But yes. Finally. What I’ve been hoping for, buttttt brought in a different way.

And then how that ending went omg. It was really beautiful when that conclusion came along. I saw what the characters saw, and I just felt a moment of peace, zen in my mind, and I just smiled after finishing that last line and putting down that book, looking to the sunset outside of my window. Beautiful ending. Such a beautiful ending.

And OMG the ultimate ship in this book: Violet and Ash. I seriously need more of them having private time to xoxo. Because I’m not having enough of that. Amy please write a bonus short story for Violet and Ash going out on a date. Plz make that happen XD


 

And so, the Lone City trilogy was wrapped up extremely well. Growing characters, letting it go, final blows, decisions, sacrifices, protecting those important to you, bringing equality to the society, and that beautiful calming ending, the calm waters after a storm.

Book Review: Garnet’s Story – Amy Ewing

 

The first review from the Lone City Series that is a fresh read :D

I’m really sleepy. Typing this up 1:20am in the morning.


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Name: Garnet’s Story
Author: Amy Ewing
Publisher: Walker Books (US Ver: HarperTeen)
Release Date: September 13, 2016

Synopsis

Delving into the back story of one of the Lone City’s most loved characters, this digital novella will delight readers of The Jewel and The White Rose, as well as fans of Victoria Aveyard and Kiera Cass.

Garnet, son of the Duchess of the Lake, has always been a spoiled playboy. But following a scandal that threatens to destroy his reputation, he has no choice but to accept the help of Lucien, the Electress’s lady-in-waiting – and Lucien wants something from him in return. Garnet must keep watch over the new surrogate in the palace of the Lake. As he watches and learns, Garnet finds himself beginning to realize the horrors that the royalty – including his own family – have inflicted upon others. And he might finally be ready to take a stand against it.


(e)Book Cover Comments

Oh wow. The first time I saw it, I was like WOAH FRESH RED. All the previous Lone City book covers used to be white, and this time Walker chose a bright shade of Red: Candy Apple Red. Though I would much prefer a crimson red so my eyes don’t go blind, the shimmers/glitter whatever you call them makes a perfect contrast with the candy apple red, as well as the golden font.


The Actual Review

 

Amy Ewing’s digital novellas are always so special, because they are told from another POV with scenes overlapping the main novel, making readers Always pick up their copy of the novel and read side by side, comparing lines and realising different thoughts and actions.

The story’s main outline is about Violet and Raven. But Amy turns our head, and leads us in the direction of the sorta-side character, Garnet; the son of the Duchess of the Lake.

In this story we follow Garnet’s adventure as he comes across what you expect from a normal teenager, experiences irl that reflects in the book, and last but not least, all the scenes that overlap with the main story. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to compare side by side this time as I’m moving, so I can’t dig out my book since I don’t even know which box it’s in.

Omg I have a new house to build in the Lone City.

The House of Boxes.

In this story, we really see how Garnet turns from spoiled brat to someone who is more understanding and someone who began to care more about other people around him, those who are on a different level. There were also some places in the novella that “predicted” what would happen in Book 2, and I found those sections quite interesting for me to think about. We fangirls also get to know about Garnet, what he did with his life, relationships, gossip and fued, and what were his motives when he helped out Violet and her friends, as well as how his perspective on people has changed. It was really wonderful and pretty to see.

Garnet knows the decision he will have to make in order to follow the path of what he believes in his right, and he is a really brave and wonderful character in the end.


Garnet’s Story not only gives you the full excitement a fangirl can get from simultaneously reading the actual story timeline book series and finding events that overlap in Book 1.

Book Review: The House of the Stone – Amy Ewing

Book Reviewathon 101!

I missed it.

Nah I didn’t.

Once again, light spoilers, so if you haven’t read the first book, please do, and go check out my review! The Jewel


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Name: The House of the Stone
Author: Amy Ewing
Publisher: Walker Books (US Ver: HarperTeen)
Release Date: July 7th, 2015

 

Synopsis

Amy Ewing, author of The Jewel, gives us a glimpse of the twisted cruelty which pervades the House of the Stone in this shocking and heart-wrenching digital novella.

When Raven is bought at the Auction, she knows immediately that things will not go well. And when she arrives at the Countess’s palace, Raven quickly discovers that the Countess is much less interested in having a baby than experimenting with Raven’s mind and body. Raven can only hope for an escape … and to see Violet again, all the while reminding herself that she is Raven Stirling, and she will survive.

The Handmaid’s Tale
meets The Other Boleyn Girl in a world where brutality and beauty collide. This is a must for anyone desperately awaiting the sequel to The Jewel.


(e)Book Cover Comments

 

Simplicity 101, perfect, on point, something that captures your eyes with that big fat elegant title. The white background corresponds with the Jewel, and I totally know why it was that way, because there is meaning behind it. Again this is spoiler free, so I won’t say much about it.

As for the US Cover, dark, capturing, gothic, everything that represents what the novella is about.


The Actual Review

 

You guys don’t even know how hyped I was when Is started reading House of Stones.

The Jewel was about Violet’s POV and what Violet was going through in the House of the Lake. Amy Ewing now gives us this wonderful digital novella by bringing us to see the world from Raven’s POV.

Don’t worry. It’s not a “The Jewel” copy and paste from Raven’s POV. The most fun and interesting bit is when you realise how many parts there are overlapping in story plots in The Jewel. I knew I had to grab the book off my shelf immediately and read it side by side, from both perspectives. It was extremely fun and interesting to read in such a way, and Amy Ewing is a genius for doing so.

In this story we see another cruel side of society in the Lone City, specifically the founding houses. I mean, we all know how things go on in the house of the lake and how the surrogates literally get the super short end of the stick.

I might like Violet better and that she is my favourite character, but Raven is as special as Violet was. For what reason? She is extremely strong willed, and with everything that she went through during her imprisoned time in the House of the Stone, I am extremely amazed, and cried in my mind (sorry I’m not sentimental, so physical tears do not form) because Raven is such a beautiful character in her own special way.

And last but not least, our catchphrase of the book:


 

I am Raven Stirling. They cannot own me.”

Book Review: The White Rose – Amy Ewing

Welcome back to BookReviewathon 101! I read this back in February 2016, so yea. Note that if you haven’t read the first book, this will contain mild spoilers for it. Head over to my review page to find it’s first book.


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Name: The White Rose
Author: Amy Ewing
Publisher: Walker Books (US Ver: HarperTeen)
Release Date: October 1, 2015

Synopsis

Violet is on the run. After the Duchess of the Lake catches Violet with Ash, the hired companion at the Palace of the Lake, Violet has no choice but to escape the Jewel or face certain death. So along with Ash and her best friend, Raven, Violet runs away from her unbearable life of servitude.

But no one said leaving the Jewel would be easy. As they make their way through the circles of the Lone City, Regimentals track their every move, and the trio barely manages to make it out unscathed and into the safe haven they were promised—a mysterious house in the Farm.

But there’s a rebellion brewing, and Violet has found herself in the middle of it. Alongside a new ally, Violet discovers her Auguries are much more powerful than she ever imagined. But is she strong enough to rise up against the Jewel and everything she has ever known?

The White Rose is a raw, captivating sequel to The Jewel that fans won’t be able to put down until the final shocking moments.


Book Cover Comments

 

The rose in the background along with the pink rose petals totally captures the title. I’m loving it. Violet and Raven stand in the middle, and even though I’m not a fan of these kind of outfits, the fire aura makes things really powerful and impacting. Once again with the beautiful intricate “White Rose” golden word print.

Once again the back has the mysterious mystery like premise with a pretty rose and pink petal background.

A basic comment on the HarperTeen ver: I love how Violet’s dress blends into the rose she is in. And at the same time, they maintain the prism reflection style from Book 1.


The Actual Review

Liked The Jewel? Well the White Rose is even better.

The book picks off from the previous cliffhanger in the first book, and here, we are on another roller coaster ride of adventure. Honestly I was a bit surprised when the White Rose turned out to be thinner than The Jewel, cus that’s not usually the case with sequels XD

This book is full of turning minds and thoughts, as well as detailed plans on how to save Violet, Raven and Ash out of the royal circle and into the farm circle. All the scenes of friendship were really beautiful. I’ll get to this part a bit later.

Can I just say I love how Amy puts in the sweetest scenes in the book? I went through that particular page a billion times (When they first arrived at the White Rose) because I wanted to see it over and over again. Tbh the fact that you’re at this review if you haven’t read the first book means you’re getting spoiled already. Our OTP is just the sweetest ever, there was this part where they were by the waters, and I thought that part was really sweet.

Amy creates her world of magic with intriguing history and secrets behind the Lone City, as well as introducing our “legend” Sil. The relationships between characters and the fact that you’re more closely related to each other than you think was what made the character web really interesting, especially between Sil and Violet. I also super super love the entire story behind the Auguries and how deep it actually runs. When Violet finally discovers the truth behind the Auguries and uses it the way it actually is, not childbirth of course, I thought it was super beautiful. Also the part where Violet helps Raven out and saves the day, I teared up. That was was superb to the best.

Then comes the secret societies, and I loved that part a lot. The fact that everyone is trying to help everyone out to get rid of the monarchy of the four founding houses and to have everyone live a peaceful life was really really cool. Though…

AMY WHY DID YOU LEAVE THE BOOK AT AN EVEN HIGHER CLIFFHANGER!!!!!

I

LEGIT

DIED

AT THE CLIFFHANGER. I WAS LIKE WHAT IN THE WORLD R U SRS WHERE’S THE NEXT BOOK OH IT’S NOT OUT YET DAMN IT.

I personally AM not a fan of novels with dystopian themes. I pretty much gave up on Maze Runner, and as for Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard, not that I don’t like it, but I’m not sucked into it. But with Amy Ewing’s Lone City series, she mixed the dystopian element with way more elements and themes, making it really fun to read and extremely enjoyable.

I finished book 1 in 3 days, book 2 in 2 days, and while I was reading book 2 I was in Malaysia, so the caretaker for my grandma’s friend who lives in Malaysia (we were having dinner tgt) was like “wow you read so quickly! Yesterday it was that and today it’s this!”

 


Devastating truths, cliffhangers, beautiful relationships, Amy Ewing crushes our heart with the White Rose.

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.


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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.