Series: The Lone City Series #1
Publisher: HarperTeen on September 2, 2014
Genres: Dystopia, Young Adult
Source: Blog Tour
Add to: Goodreads
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.
What Inspired Me to Write The Jewel
by Amy Ewing
The idea that sparked The Jewel isn’t exactly what you might expect for a story that deals with reproductive slavery. I’d like to say I was inspired by a book on women’s rights or a documentary or something, but it actually came out of a lazy Sunday afternoon watching bad action movies on cable. TAKEN came on, and I thought to myself, “Sure, why not? I like Liam Neeson.” If you haven’t seen it, there is a scene when his daughter (the one who gets taken) is paraded onto a stage and bid on by powerful men who want to buy her as, essentially, a sex slave. As I watched that scene, I wondered to myself what it would be like if, instead of men, it was women bidding on her. Why would a woman buy another woman? I thought at first it would be to carry their children for vanity purposes. Why go through nine months of hormones and stretch marks and dietary restrictions when you can have some other girl do it for you? Slowly the idea evolved to the point that these women needed these girls. That generations of inbreeding had caused too much chromosomal damage, and that these surrogates had the power to fix it. And so, the Auction was born, and Violet’s story came to life.
But even without Liam Neeson’s badass, super-spy moves, the issues that are dealt with in The Jewel have been important to me for a long time. I think the idea that someone could legislate what I can and cannot do with my body has always been a fear. I was fortunate to grow up in a family where I know I would have been supported in any decision I made regarding my body—even such trivial things as piercings or tattoos. But that isn’t the case for many women and it sickens me to see the government and society revert back to archaic views on women’s issues. Terms like “legitimate rape” and mandatory ultrasounds before getting an abortion are society’s way of saying, “We know better than you.” Everyone should have the freedom to choose, especially when it comes to their own bodies.
So I suppose I always had The Jewel in my mind in some way or another. And I’m forever grateful for that movie-bingeing afternoon.
Click Here for a sample excerpt from The Jewel