This week, the book I’ll be reviewing is The Jewel, by Amy Ewing.
First read October 21, 2016. 1 / 5 stars.
I DID NOT ENJOY THIS BOOK.
I suppose I could end this review here, but you know – I kinda need to mention why I didn’t like it. Because there’s no point in saying you don’t like a book if you can’t point out why you didn’t like it.
(in my opinion, anyway. I mean, sometimes you DO get those books where you just can’t pinpoint what you didn’t like… but that’s a discussion for another time 🙂 )
Well, let’s start off by being nice. Because there were some good things about this book, I have to admit.
What I liked.
I really, really liked the cover. And as it was a library book (and I feel like libraries always have ugly covers, or is it just me??) that was also a HUGE bonus.
The idea for the plot.
You see, the book revolves around this girl who is sold as a surrogate to the rich people of the kingdom. The Kingdom itself is pretty average of Dystopian novels – the rich are rich and the poor are poor, essentially. But the plot was reasonably interesting and unique. I’ve never read a YA with surrogates, so that was cool. I didn’t really have many problems with the plot.
I was glued to the page.
I honestly could not put this book down. It was definitely written as a page-turner, and I fell into that trap whole-heartedly and unashamedly. The author did a good job of making it hard to put the book down. (AT THE TIME. Now I look back and am ashamed that I was so enthralled.)
What I didn’t like.
(Let’s stick to three, shall we? For the sake of your sanity 🙂 )
(Quick Disclaimer: I rate books based on CHARACTERS, WRITING STYLE, and WHAT IT TEACHES ME. Just in case you’re wondering how on earth I came around to only 1/5 stars.)
Violet was a Mary-Sue if ever I’ve seen one.
Violet (the main character) got perfect grades. She had lots of friends. She had angsty thoughts. Her father was dead. She played an instrument BEAUTIFULLY. She had magical powers that were better than everyone else’s. She was stunningly beautiful. Oh, and she had sparkling violet eyes.
(seriously though, it’s okay for characters to have all of these traits. But it needs to be handled correctly. Violet didn’t feel right for me as a main character. She was just a bit off … everything went perfectly for her, which bugged me to no end. PLUS she did stupid things and got away with them. *sighs*)
(AND I think that the other characters were no better, either. Everyone in this book felt very weak, and what they did felt forced. Characters are a huge part of reading for me, and this book let me down in this respect.)
The writing was weak.
I realised how picky I am when it comes to writing style the other day, when I was reading Four by Veronica Roth. Everything must be clean and precise; commas must be in the right place; everything must be ordered in readable sentences.
It’s really not that hard. (Come on humans, you can do it – GRAMMAR.)
I just felt that the writing was very dull. Weak verbs adorned the pages. Short and simple sentences galore. Sentences that aren’t even sentences. Clauses. What are they? Oh. Silence. Emptiness. Depression. Angst. Emotions. Kissing. Lots of kissing. Insta-love.
You get the picture.
Really not my kinda writing style. Other may like it, but it wasn’t for me.
It taught me that… it’s coming… umm…
I firmly believe that we read to learn stuff. I mean, why else would we read? But learning stuff doesn’t just mean dry textbooks – no, you can learn stuff from stories.
Courage is found in small places. (Lord of the Rings)
Happiness is found in dark places. (Harry Potter)
Growing up happens – but we don’t have to accept it. (Peter Pan)
Aussie kids are not generally model, perfect children. (Seven Little Australians)
AND SO ON.
So when I read a book, I try and look for things that it teaches me. Now, I don’t even want to BEGIN thinking about what this book taught me. Because I am quite sure that it wasn’t very wholesome, or good. At all.
Kissing random dudes after knowing them for a day is a-okay and will lead to happily ever afters. Lying to people when the fate of EVERYONE depends on your honesty is absolutely fine. And make sure you talk back to enemies even if it’s out of character and the fate of EVERYONE depends on you being alive.
AND SO ON.
The things that this book taught me are not worth mentioning, so therefore I will put this in the fun-read-but-after-i-thought-about-it-it-was-actually-really-bad category. Okay?
I hope I don’t offend anyone by my sense of humour regarding this book. If you have read this book and you liked it, tell me why down in the comments, I would love to hear someone else’s opinion!
(other than my own, which is slightly warped due to it being mine. It’s still mine though.)
Hope you have a lovely day/night/existence!