Review: Crewel by Gennifer Albin

Source: Won
Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux (Macmillin Imprint)
Edition: ARC, 368 pages
Genre: Young Adult  Science Fiction
Purchase: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository*
*I receive a small monetary kickback from Amazon purchases
Rating: 4/5

Incapable. Awkward. Artless.

That’s what the other girls whisper behind her back. But sixteen year-old Adelice Lewys has a secret: she wants to fail.

Gifted with the ability to weave time with matter, she’s exactly what the Guild is looking for, and in the world of Arras, being chosen as a Spinster is everything a girl could want. It means privilege, eternal beauty, and being something other than a secretary. It also means the power to embroider the very fabric of life. But if controlling what people eat, where they live and how many children they have is the price of having it all, Adelice isn’t interested.

Not that her feelings matter, because she slipped and wove a moment at testing, and they’re coming for her—tonight.

Now she has one hour to eat her mom’s overcooked pot roast. One hour to listen to her sister’s academy gossip and laugh at her Dad’s stupid jokes. One hour to pretend everything’s okay. And one hour to escape.

Because once you become a Spinster, there’s no turning back.

Crewel really shocked me and rose above my expectations. The world that Albin creates is beautifully constructed and far more complex than I expected it to be.

When I first started Crewel I kind of wrote it off as a typical dystopian society in the distant future, it has all of the necessary components. The girl who doesn’t fall in line, a government that works so hard to seem perfect but hides a rather sinister idea,  and a world that needs saving. It follows the guidelines to a ‘t’ but the thing that sets this apart from all of those other dystopians is the precise and fantastic detail that Albin puts into the world. The slightly supernatural element to this story really sets it apart as well and the concept of the weaving was just kind of mind blowing. It sounds so pretty and so unearthly, but at the same time I got a sort of weird technology feel from it. I think the fact that ‘weaving’ things into and out of time came off as a kind of scary and unnatural to me so while the details described something that seemed beautifully organic the more I read the more it became a sort of world computer in my mind. The thought that the world can be changed by someone who simple removes a thread of the world is just a fantastic concept. However the downfall to having so much detail and such a complex idea is that it does get a tad confusing at times and there are sections that require time to process. I think that for that reason I might end up re-reading it just to make sure I got all of it, though I should say that I wouldn’t be opposed to reading it again.

Adelice is a great lead. She’s not a super strong character but she’s far from being a push over, and I think the biggest thing for me is that she didn’t turn into a super solder when she needed to toughen up. Ad is bit naive at first and kind of goes through the motions but as soon as the going gets a bit rocky something awakens in her and she starts thinking. She’s capable of thinking and planning things out, and she doesn’t just rush into things without having some idea as to what to do. My favorite thing about her is her wit and sharp tongue; she may not be able to strike back physically but she does a great job getting to people with a few words.

Now there is a bit of a love triangle…which does bring it down for me because I kind of hate them, however it’s more of a Isosceles triangle where two of the sides are of equal size and the third side is short. Ad kind of makes it clear who she is more interested in and there isn’t much room for debate on who she cares more for. That alone redeems the love triangle for me. I do enjoy her interaction with both guys and I ended up becoming kind of invested in her relationship with them both. The romance is sweet and there is a lot of past emotion that goes into it, so it comes off a little more real than expected.

I personally can’t wait for the second book, expectantly with the way this one ended. There is just so much I cant’ wait to see explained and I’m really dying to see what all Ad encounters on her journey to save her world.

4 stars

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5 thoughts on “Review: Crewel by Gennifer Albin

  1. This sounds so good and I love the blending of a dystopian/fantasy world., Adelice sounds interesting and heck yes..i can deal with a triangle that isn’t really. Excellent review and this one is getting bumped up my wishlist.

  2. You and I share pretty much the same thoughts on this book! Love triangles aren’t usually my thing either, but I wasn’t overly frustrated with this one. I also enjoyed the complexity of the world-building.

    Amazing review. :)

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