By: Amy Ewing
Published By: HarperTeen
Publication Date: September 2, 2014
Page Count: 358
Source: ARC Kindly Provided by Publisher via Edelweiss
Audience: Young Adult - Dystopian, Fantasy
Okay, I admit that I may have picked this one up solely based on the cover. I really wanted to know who this girl was and why she looked so sad. I hesitated when I saw this had a dystopian spin to it since I typically am not the Lark who jumps on that genre, but I decided to read outside of my comfort zone. I'm so glad I took a chance on this one. It was entertaining, thought provoking, and creepy.
Violet Lasting lives in a world where choices do not exist unless you belong to the royal class. Her society functions like a caste system with one interesting twist. The royals cannot have children so they must purchase surrogates to carry a baby for them. These surrogates always come from the poorest sector of the society. The girls with the potential to be successful surrogates are identified through blood tests that are administered at the onset of puberty. If a girl is identified as a potential surrogate, she is taken from her family and sent to live in a facility that will educate and train her for her future role. The girls are ranked before the auction and those with the highest rankings fetch millions of dollars. Violet's story begins on the day before she is sent to auction. Once she is purchased, Violet becomes the property of the Duchess of the Lake, one of the most powerful and vindictive women in the Jewel. The Jewel is the most wealthy sector of this society. Violet is in awe of the extravagance, but soon finds that The Jewel hides dark and violent secrets.