The Jewel by Amy Ewing

The Jewel by Amy Ewing
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Violet Lasting is a girl who lives in the Marsh, the poorest circle in the Lone City. She is a surrogate sold to the highest royal bidder to bare her child after which she enters the richest circle, the Jewel and has to maneuver her way through politics, love, and friendship.
When I first read this book, I read it in a day and absolutely loved it! I still love this book because like You Are Mine this book deals with the issue of buying and selling women. However, this book also introduces the theme of surrogacy.
Amy Ewing cleverly introduces the topic of buying and selling girls to be used as surrogates. Along with that, she introduces an extra layer by having the girls bought by royal women.
I loved all of the plot twists in the book! I especially enjoyed the cliff-hanger at the end.
However, I felt that the romance between Violet and Ash was just too instantaneous for my liking. I didn’t mind the romance itself, but I thought it was forced at times and it could have been written better. I also thought the romance made Violet less independent in a way which contradicted her character throughout the book.
Overall, The Jewel brought new concepts to the table and I highly recommend it.

You Are Mine by Janeal Falor

You Are Mine by Janeal Falor
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
I’d like to thank the author for giving me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Firstly, I read the whole book in a day and I absolutely LOVED it.
Serena is a seventeen-year-old girl who lives in a land called Chardonia. In this world, the land is ruled by Warlocks—men with magic in their blood. Women are seen as inferior to them and are little better than “tarnished”—undesirable women who did not please the men and nonmagical men who are treated as slaves.
The book starts out on Serena’s birthday when she has her blood tested for magical potency. Since her blood is very potent, she is sold to a powerful Warlock named Thomas. Like Serena’s father and the rest of the men in this society, Thomas treats Serena harshly, and that’s putting it mildly. Anyway, the book goes on and Serena’s husband dies in a battle against an Envadi barbarian. Serena, along with Thomas’ other possessions are given to the Envadi Warlock. At first, Serena believes that her new husband will be more cruel to her, but as the book goes on, Serena learns to challenge societal rules, overcome childhood trauma, and learn to love others.
To say that I loved this book is putting it mildly. This book was a completely new take on witches and wizards. It also reminded me a little of The Jewel in that it had the premise of buying and selling women. I’m usually skeptical going in to books that discuss slavery, but I think the author handled the issue nicely.
Serena was a great protagonist throughout the book. She didn’t whine or plainly accept her fate and she wasn’t too annoying. However, I did think that she couldn’t get past the fact that her new husband wasn’t a barbarian even after he showed her time and time again that he would not purposely harm her.
Overall, this was a refreshing read and I can’t wait to read the sequel!

The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken

The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Bracken built an incredible world with this book.
I loved how the book took place in the United States. I also liked how seamless the shift from the present to the flashbacks was. I did find keeping track of the various people chasing Ruby and the others somewhat difficult, but it wasn’t distracting enough that I had to stop and go back to find out who was who. I also thought that the identity of the slip kid was very predictable, but maybe that was just me.
Ruby: I really loved her as a character and thought she grew significantly throughout the book. I also liked seeing events from her point of view as a teenager and as a child.
I feel that Liam and the rest of the characters didn’t just compliment Ruby, but they added a whole new level of dimension to the story. Each character was well-developed and experienced significant growth in the story.
I don’t know what took me so long to read this book and I highly recommend this book.
What are your thoughts?
Jackie

City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare

This Review Has spoilers. To see it without spoilers see my review on Goodreads
here.
City of Heavenly Fire
City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

My actual rating of this book is 4.5 out of 5 stars.
That said, no book or series for that matter has a perfect ending, however, Cassandra Clare came pretty damn close.
Honestly, this book could have ended the Shadowhunter world and I would have been fine with it. I mean I would have had many questions, but that happens with any book.
This book more than any other in the series or in general, has made me realize that no matter how small, every detail matters. I really loved how Cassandra Clare tied up all of the loose ends in the story. Those she didn’t tie up, I’m sure she left them for a purpose.
Not many books make me cry, but this was one of them. There were just so many action packed moments followed by very philosophical and emotional moments. I mean, was I the only one who cried when Raphael and Sebastian died? Oh, and let’s not even get started on Simon. When he offered himself up so that they could all leave Edom, I started crying. However, I think the most heart-wrenching moment of the whole ordeal was seeing his reaction at not remembering them all and slowly gaining his memories back.
I think the fact that so many people died in this book makes it even more real and relatable to me. I know for a fact that I would have hated the book if it had ended with Jonothan still alive, The Fair Folk getting along with everyone, and all of the couples living happily ever after. I’m so glad that the series ended with so much character development from everyone and the subtle ever-present threat of retaliation in the background. To me, this ending fits perfectly with my image of Cassandra Clare’s writing style.
I can’t wait for Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifices #1)to come out!
What are your thoughts?

Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor

Daughter of Smoke & Bone
by Laini Taylor
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
I found some of the shifts in point of view, especially at the beginning, quite confusing. Apart from that, I really didn’t have too many other problems with it. However, I did have a hard time deciphering whether Akiva, Karou, and later Madrigal was telling the story.
Characters:

  • Karou:
    I thought she was an okay character and expect her to grow much more as the series continues. I like how she’s very self-sufficient, and although I don’t like it, how well she can juggle her friendships.
  • Akiva:
    Honestly, it was nice seeing the guy as the tormented character for a change, but I think he was too tormented if that makes sense.
  • Brimstone:
    I really love this character. Even before it’s revealed that he has a soft spot for Karou, the reader can see that. Apart from that, he is such an awesome and genuine character you can’t help but fall in love with.
  • Issa:
    I loved reading about her relationship with Karou and how she was a mother to Karou. I really enjoyed reading about her and wish every book had an Issa.

Overall:
I liked the book apart from what I mentioned above and will continue reading to find out what happens and see how all of the characters grow.
Jackie