The Jewel: Lone City, Book 1

Book review by
Karen Wirsing, Common Sense Media
The Jewel: Lone City, Book 1 Book Poster Image
Popular with kids
Captivating tale of girls sold to elite women as surrogates.

Parents say

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Kids say

age 13+
Based on 10 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Encourages readers to examine cultures where women don't have a voice or autonomy. The book also introduces readers to the cello and classical musicians.

Positive Messages

Music encompasses an incredible healing quality that can be used as a therapeutic coping mechanism. In times of solitude, pursuing a passion offers hope and perseverance. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Lower-class citizens are willing to risk their lives to support one another and save lives. However, the upper class is manipulative and cunning. 


Teen girls are slapped and choked by their owners. They also are forced to walk on leashes led by their owners. Rumors float around that some girls are given lobotomies to remove their memories. 


The girls in this book are sold as surrogates; therefore, they have no autonomy over their bodies. Doctors drug the girls, and the reader assumes in vitro fertilization is used while they're anesthetized. However, all the reader knows for sure is that the girls wake up and "the procedure" has been done. There's passionate kissing, and a character loses her virginity to the boy she loves.  

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

It's mentioned that a person died from smoking cigarettes. Teens are permitted to drink wine and champagne casually with dinner. One character abuses alcohol in an attempt to forget his problems. 

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. 

User Reviews

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Teen, 13 years old Written byGat1320 April 12, 2021
Teen, 14 years old Written byReader_The_Fire September 3, 2020

Very Good

This book was amazing. It had lots of important messages.

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 ...

  • Families can discuss the significance of a name. How does a person's name identify who he or she is?

  • What makes fantasy such a popular genre for teens?

  • Explore the importance of speaking freely. Discuss what freedom of speech means to you. 

Book details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love romantic fantasies

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