Violet has been trained for the past four years to be a surrogate to a royal family. It's also been four years since she's seen her family, and the path her life is on (which was decided for her by a DNA test) will prevent her from seeing them again and having a life of her own. Once Violet is auctioned off to her royal family, she learns that she's expected to do more than just have a baby to carry on the family's line. Violet's life lacks choices, but she finds that there are a few things she can choose, like falling in love and deciding how much she wants to risk to get her freedom.
The book reminded me of The Hunger Games in terms of the setting: an opulent and rich district with poorer districts all around. I thought the premise was interesting and probably also has something to say about a women's right to choose what happens to her body.
When I saw Amy Ewing speak about this book at Book Expo America, she said a scene from the movie Taken had inspired the book. (Good to know that movie was good for something aside from doing bad Liam Neeson impressions - "I have a special set of skills" - whenever the movie is on TV.) I could totally tell that the author used the part of the movie where the girls are being auctioned off as the model for the auction scene in The Jewel.
This is just the start of a series, and I can't wait to find out what happens next. The book is for ages 14 and up and really doesn't contain anything too inappropriate.
The Jewel is published by HarperTeen and is available to purchase now. I picked up a free advance review copy at Book Expo America with no obligation to review the book.