Since I am terrible at blogging apparently I am going to attempt to keep up to date reactions to all of the books I read. You can visit my shelfari page and see what i am reading there as well as what I plan to read in the future. [sgamble187]
I recently read The Jewel by Amy Ewing. WOW is how I would sum up this book in 1 word. If you have read the Chemical Garden Trilogy (Wither, Sever, Fever) or The Selection Series (The Selection, The Elite, The One, -The Heir* not yet released) Then I have no doubt that you will also love this new and up coming series.
The Jewel isn't a piece of Jewelry, it is actually the center of an island or the capital of this 'country'. The book never really says exactly what the world is only that water surrounds all of the land, and that is where the poorer families live. Then there are stone walls separating each class of citizens basically until you reach the center, which is the Jewel.
The people of the Jewel are royalty and you soon learn that for what ever reason they cannot conceive children of their own. Have no fear though, because they are royalty they have tons of money and can afford to buy girls to carry their children for them. They even have the technology to choose to have a boy or a girl. But this isn't even all of it...
The story follows Violet, a girl who is chosen to become a surrogate after a blood test shows she basically has magic in her. They call magic Augury in this book. There are 3 different kinds, the ability to change colors, the ability to change shapes, and the ability to make life or growth. The royals buy these girls and use the Augury magic to have the perfect children. The girls are forced to use the magic to make the child look how their owner wants them to look.
There is a love story in this book, however the main focus point is on Violets struggle to take charge of her life. She realizes very quickly that she has never been able to decide on anything since she was chosen to become a surrogate. When she is purchased she is even more limited and must listen to what The Duchess of the Lake tells her to do. When surrogates do not listen they are punished and in some cases even put to death. The whole book you are put on the edge of your seat waiting for The Duchess to hurt Violet for disobeying her. Lets just say it finally happens at the end of the book and you have to wait for the next one to come out around 1 year from now :(
Now to the writing style. It is told from a 16 year old girls point of view, but thankfully Violet does not act like a younger girl as in some other young adult books (I'm looking at you House of Night novels). There are very long descriptive parts about the scenery and the background on what is going on. I am the type of person who usually skips this part of the book and looks for the next set of quotation marks to pick back up on the story. This town, country, whatever it is, is seriously so interesting to me that I didn't skip any details. You as a reader are pulled right in to this story by the first few pages. I just needed to know more about Violet and the Jewel. I read this book in a day, which sadly is not unusual for me when I find a good book like this. Amy Ewing really sold me on her first book she had published. I have high expectations for the second book which does not yet have a title but is set to release September 2015.
Update 9/22. If you write to Amy on her website AmyEwingBooks.com she will respond!!! So insanely cool that she takes time out of her day to do this!