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Book review: ‘The Jewel’ is the start of a surrogate’s story and romance

SHARE Book review: ‘The Jewel’ is the start of a surrogate’s story and romance

"THE JEWEL," by Amy Ewing, HarperTeen, $17.99, 358 pages (f) (ages 12 and up)

"The Jewel" is the story of Violet Lasting, a young woman who is a surrogate, and whose choices have been stripped away from her.

She's been bred to bear a royal child, and trained to behave properly in social situations. She's also been trained to create things with her mind, but they come at great physical cost.

The duchess, who bought Violet at the annual auction for an astonishing amount, wants her to conceive and bear a child in just a few months. The duchess wants a perfect daughter who can marry the next heir to the throne.

Violet doesn't want this life. She wants her family, her new love and freedoms others take for granted. She jumps at an opportunity to escape, but it could cost her a relationship she's come to cherish.

This dystopian novel takes elements from other similar series like the Hunger Games, the Selection and "Perfected" and weaves a story that builds on the possibilities that can come with a society using women to carry babies for those who can't or won't.

It's an absorbing story, simple but somewhat horrifying.

The sex is clinical and the attraction between Violet and a young man hired to be a companion to the royalty is deftly described. There is not any swearing or described violence.

If you go ...

What: Epic Reads tour with Andrea Porter, "Anatomy of a Misfit"; Madeleine Roux, "Sanctum: An Asylum Novel"; Anna Carey, "Blackbird"; Amy Ewing, "The Jewel"; and Heather Demetrios, “Exquisite Captive."

When: Friday, Oct. 10, 7 p.m.

Where: The King's English, 1511 S. 1500 East, Salt Lake City

Web: kingsenglish.com, epicreads.com

Note: Places in the signing line are reserved for those who purchase a copy of the featured book from The King's English.

Sharon Haddock is a professional writer with more than 35 years' experience, 17 at the Deseret News. Her personal blog is at sharonhaddock.blogspot.com.

Email: haddoc@deseretnews.com