Violet must accept the ugly realities of her existence... and try to stay alive. But then a forbidden romance erupts between Violet and a handsome gentleman hired as a companion to the Duchess’s petulant niece. Though his presence makes life in the Jewel a bit brighter, the consequences of their illicit relationship will cost them both more than they bargained for.
I was really surprised at how much I liked this book! It was recommended to me, but the cover made it look like The Selection (ugh) or Matched (snore), so I didn't bother picking it up for ages. I'm really gladI did in the end though, because it was pretty great.
On the face of it, The Jewel has an awful lot in common with other dystopians: girl born into abject poverty, change of circumstance, makeover scene, yadda yadda yadda. However, the storyline is a bit more gruesome than other dytopians - girls sold into slavery for their reproductive organs - and the worldbuilding was a lot better than other dystopians. I rattled through this book in little over a day.
I liked Violet and I especially liked her relationship with Ash, even though it was totally instalove-tastic. Violet despairs of her situation, but she never gives up and rolls over. Even at the end, when it looks like all is lost, she clings onto hope.
As the story progresses, you learn more about the horrible things that are happening in The Jewel and it actually elevated what would otherwise have been a fairly bog-standard dystopian to almost Hunger Games levels of cool.
Yep, this is definitely recommended. I'm off to get the sequel.