A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The Jewel is a story about preteen girls who are taken away from their families and used as surrogate mothers in a dystopian society. The surrogates are auctioned off as slaves to royal families, and some are treated worse than animals. One girl is choked and slapped across the face. She's also given tranquilizers to cooperate with her doctor. Rumors circulate that some girls are given lobotomies to become more compliant with their owners. The main character engages in a consensual sexual relationship with a boy she loves, and themes of personal freedom and identity are explored.
What's the story?
Violet Lasting is taken from her family and placed in a training home that teaches her to embrace the only future she's permitted to have: life as a surrogate mother for the upper class. Once she's bought at the annual auction by the Duchess of the Lake, Violet says goodbye to her friends and embarks on an unknown venture to the Jewel, the district where the manipulative elite reside. Upon arrival she’s greeted with a slap in the face and stripped of the only identity she’s ever known: her name. From now on she’s only referred to by her auction number, 197, and isn't allowed to speak unless spoken to. Regulations in the Jewel become more and more clear each day, and Violet must learn how to survive among the heartless and affluent.
Is it any good?
THE JEWEL is a captivating and unique page-turner that will have readers thinking about the significance of personal freedom and autonomy. In this novel's dystopian society, girls are objectified by their female owners. Personal stylists dress the girls in elegant gowns, glittering jewels, and painted faces to be paraded around as prizes for the upper class.
Themes of women subjugating other women flow strongly; however, the bonds formed among the lower-class girls prove that women who support other women are far more powerful than their antagonists. An exciting, open ending leaves readers eager for the second installment.
Talk to your kids about ...
- Author: Amy Ewing
- Genre: Fantasy
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Brothers and Sisters, Friendship
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: HarperTeen
- Publication date: September 2, 2014
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 14 - 18
- Number of pages: 368
- Available on: Paperback, Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Audiobook (abridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
- Last updated: April 12, 2021
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