The Jewel (Jewel Series #1) by Amy Ewing

I never quite understood those girls, the ones who bought into all the caretakers’ lines about how important we are, how we are fulfilling a long and noble tradition. I once asked Patience why we couldn’t come home after we’ve given birth, and she said, “You are too precious to the royalty. They wish to take care of you for the rest of your life. Isn’t that wonderful? They have such generous hearts.” I said I’d rather have my family than the royalty’s generosity. Patience didn’t like that very much.

Violet isn’t swayed by the promises of prestige that come with being bought at auction and birthing royal babies. All she can see is the last nail in the coffin that contains her freedom.

Once to see it as it is. Twice to see it in your mind. Thrice to bend it to your will. I picture what I want in my mind—a heat builds in the center of my palm at the same time the ache begins at the base of my skull. I can feel the life of the tree, a moving, shimmering thing, and I pull at it, tugging on it like strings on a marionette, drawing it out. A tiny lump forms under my palm, a green leaf peeking out between my fingers. The tree resists a little and I gasp as fire rips down my spine, and it feels like needles are being shoved into my brain—my back arches and my head spins, but I’ve experienced worse pain in my four years at Southgate, and I’m determined to succeed in this. I force myself to focus, biting my lip hard to keep from crying out, coaxing the threads of life one by one, like strands of gossamer, pulling them out, shaping them, and the lump grows bigger, until it fits comfortably inside my hand. A lemon.

I give this book a 3.7 out of 5 stars. I really liked the way that the author described the world in which they lived, as well as the different people’s role within said world. My favorite character was Violet, I like that she wasn’t fooled by the things they taught in the ‘school’ where she was pretty much raised. She took care of her friends and people in general, but she also stood up for herself and even pushed the boundaries of her captivity. I also really appreciate the Duchess as a villain. I really like that she isn’t one dimensional, while what she does has something in it for her she also thinks that by doing what she is doing it will ultimately help others as well. I’m actually looking forward to what she does and what happens to her in the future. This book is the first of a series, luckily it’s looking like it’s just going to be a trilogy (ending in sight!) and the second book The White Rose is already out!

All it Takes by Sadie Munroe


Comes to Kindle 6/30/15!

Like everything bad that has ever happened in my life, it started with a phone call. But sometimes just a simple phone call is all it takes, and that innocent ring that breaks through the smiles and laughter beforehand can interrupt more than your day. It can change your life.

Star has had it hard, after her father died her mother had a bit of a breakdown which ended with Star in the foster system.

Ash made a mistake, one that ended with him in jail. Now that he’s out, he’s stuck in a town where his parents won’t acknowledge him and the people hate him.

Can these two who have suffered so much heal their wounds?

The day I aged out of the foster-care system was the day I got my first tattoo. Well, tattoos. I don’t know if it’s self-serving or if I was just so wrapped up in having my own identity that wasn’t Delaney’s daughter or foster child or what, but I knew from the start what I was going to get. All my life, I’ve just wanted to be me, to be Star. So that’s what I got. Stars. Eighteen of them. One for every year I’d been trying, and failing, just to be me.

Star is looking for herself

Ash is looking for his place

Can help each other fill in the missing pieces?

I gave this book 3.5 out of 5 stars. I really liked the characters for the most part. Star is a strong, independent soul with a mischievous streak. Ash is a man who’s been broken, but he’s putting himself back together and with Star’s help he could be better than before. I have to say that my favorite character was Roth (one of Star’s best friends), you’ll definitely understand if you read it, he’s creepy funny and I need him as a best friend.  One thing I didn’t like was that though the characters were really interesting and engaging the storyline was flat at places and a bit random towards the end. I think that this would have been even better if the villians of the story had more time in the spotlight, I was kind of confused at parts were they would randomly do something (they would do something and I’d be confused as to who they were for a minute). Otherwise this was a great book and an enjoyable read and… a standalone! Looking forward to more from Sadie in the future 🙂