(The Lone City #1)
Publication Date: September 2, 2014
Hardcover, 358 pages, HarperTeen
Genres: YA, Dystopian
The Jewel means wealth. The Jewel means beauty. The Jewel means royalty. But for girls like Violet, the Jewel means servitude. Not just any kind of servitude. Violet, born and raised in the Marsh, has been trained as a surrogate for the royalty—because in the Jewel the only thing more important than opulence is offspring.
Purchased at the surrogacy auction by the Duchess of the Lake and greeted with a slap to the face, Violet (now known only as #197) quickly learns of the brutal truths that lie beneath the Jewel’s glittering facade: the cruelty, backstabbing, and hidden violence that have become the royal way of life.
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 must say that I was expecting this book to be absolutely terrible after all of the bad things I had heard about it, but honestly, it was good. Not fantastic, not downright awful, just good.
Violet is a special girl with special powers, so she is forced to be a surrogate for a royal Jewel household. As soon as she is sold to the Duchess of the Lake, she knows her life is not going to be easy. The Duchess is one mean old bat. (Actually, I don’t think she’s that old, I just pictured her as old in my head.)
Violet isn’t the greatest character ever. For one, her eyes are violet. I am not a huge fan of specially-colored eyeballs. Why can’t book characters have normal colored eyes, hmm? Anywho… She was a little whiny, and I didn’t understand why she was so special in regards to Lucien (you’ll see what I mean if you read the book), but she isn’t that bad of a character. She’s a little clueless, but what girl wouldn’t be if she was put into a situation as horrifying as human trafficking? And her romantic relationship with a certain someone makes complete sense when you put it into context with her predicament. While Ash and Violet seem to have an insta-love kind of connection, her attachment to him makes sense because she has no one else who really looks at her.
While the plot of this book didn’t have me jumping out of the edge of my seat, I was still intrigued. Some events were completely unexpected. I don’t think I ever really knew or guessed at what was going to happen in this book. However, I did notice a lot of parties and frou-frou stuff going on. I’m just not a huge fan of all of the parties. (**cough** The Selection series **uncough**)
There is one aspect of this book that I really, really enjoyed, though. But before I tell you, I just want to warn you that it may sound odd… I really loved how both sexes in this book are treated abysmally. Yes, the surrogates are treated like crap, but so are certain boys in this dystopian world. I was glad to see that this wasn’t just a hate-on-females kind of society. These royal scumbags are just equally sexist all around.
All in all, this book had a good plot with characters who could have been better. However, I’d definitely recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Kiera Cass’s works.
**Note: I purchased a copy of this book for myself.