Thu, October 4, 2012

Crewel by Gennifer Albin Review

Crewel book cover

Crewel book cover

Crewel
By Gennifer Albin
Publication date: Oct. 16, 2012
Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR), 368 pages
Source: Publisher

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.

— Goodreads.com description

The real standout for me in Crewel was Gennifer Albin’s writing. Her story follows Adelice, a “Spinster” gifted with the ability to control the world around her by weaving time and matter to her will. The elements that create the world around us are beautifully described as a tapestry, vibrant and strong in parts and weak and frayed in others. Albin does a stand-out job here, making Adelice’s loom come to life in our imaginations. It’s just gorgeous.

I also adored the themes of gender equality in Crewel. I mean, the girls are called “Spinsters” and they have to wear extreme cosmetics and take a purity pledge. Hello, double-standards! Feminist Anna loved these elements, and I’d like to see more authors taking these things on.

But, I definitely had problems with the world-building in this book…just a little hard for me to follow along in terms of the geography of Arras, the power structure, etc. Also, I didn’t love the love triangle aspect. Sure, the boys were cute and great, but the choice Adelice would make was clear to me from the get-go, so it dragged.

All in all, this was a well-written read with an intriguing premise. Flawed? Sure, but I’m still very curious to see what happens in book two!

Anna Reads young adult book blog

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Posted by: Anna   •   In: dystopian, gennifer albin, magic, romance
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11 Comments

  1. Carla said:

    gurl this sounds soooooo pretty!! and you know how much of a sucker I am for good writing. i’ve not really been feeling this one tbh. but you definitely made me intrigued to maybe give it a chance. (p.s. have you seen the UK cover? PAHAHAHAHA it’s so bad)

    [Reply]

    Anna Reply:

    I just googled it! EW!

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Thu, October 4, 2012

  2. Lori said:

    The writing sounds fantastic, but a love triangle? 🙁 Aren’t we done with those yet?

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Thu, October 4, 2012

  3. April Books & Wine said:

    How did I not know you were a feminist <333333

    Despite the flaws, I am BEYOND pumped to read Crewel. Lovely review <3333

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Thu, October 4, 2012

  4. Candice @ The Grown-Up YA said:

    I’ve heard super things about this one; haven’t gotten to read it. Not a fan of the love triangle aspect though. Glad it’s kind of obvious who she’ll pick! Can’t deal with another “who will she end up with?!” situation!

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Thu, October 4, 2012

  5. Jamie said:

    Sounds super interesting but I’m a little concerned about the worldbuilding you bring up! Is this a Jamie book or should I pass?

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Thu, October 4, 2012

  6. Mary @ My Sisters Bookshelf said:

    Nice review, Anna. Have you read The Handmaid’s Apprentice? If not, you really should. It sounds like this book, like so many others, owes much to a trajectory of fiction begun by Margaret Atwood!

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Thu, October 4, 2012

  7. We Heart YA said:

    Oh yay! We’re so glad to hear that this was a good read (and a feminist one to boot!). We’ve been looking forward to it ever since we saw The Real Fauxtographer’s take on it: http://www.therealfauxtographer.com/2012/04/crewel.html

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Thu, October 4, 2012

  8. Emmi said:

    This actually looks really good, I’m excited!

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Thu, October 4, 2012

  9. Bookworm1858 said:

    I liked this book a lot too, just trying to visualize everything and especially its themes about gender equality. I was not pleased with the love triangle, not because of the triangle part but because I thought both guys were kind of boring. Hope they get more interesting in the next book!

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Thu, October 4, 2012

  10. Lisa @ Read.Breathe.Relax. said:

    I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed Crewel! It’s been on my TBR since BEA, and I’m excited to finally jump in. Oh, love triangles, though… Another book that you might like (if you haven’t read it) that plays off of beauty themes is Uglies by Scott Westerfield. It was amazing!

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Thu, October 4, 2012

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