Crewel by Gennifer Albin

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.

I don’t know how to review this book. I can’t do it. I just can’t. And now this is awkward because you guys are here to read a review. Okay, I’ll try my best, because I love you all.

If I had to describe Crewel, I’d say it was The Subtle Knife meets The Matrix.

Wha—what? What? What? WHAAAAAAATTT???

I know. I know. Mind == blown. I’ll give you a moment to piece together the fragments of your brain.

..

..

Good to go? Okay. Moving on.

This book is just so indescribable. As soon as I read the blurb months and months ago, I knew this book was unique. Weave time with matter? What does that even mean? HELP ME UNDERSTAND!! Have you read a book like that? I hadn’t. This is just so insane. And as it turns out, Crewel is totally and completely insane… and captivating, and mesmerizing. Reading Crewel made me want to gather up all my mom’s yarn and try to figure this shit out. I also wanted to take a photo of myself completely wrapped up in yarn, but that’s not the point.

There are so many parts of this book that I still feel like I don’t understand, just because it’s all so intricate and mind blowing. It’s hard to visualize something like this — something you can’t even imagine seeing or existing. You really have to pay attention while reading this book, or the whole idea of it will easily overwhelm you. There is so much to take in and you really have to open yourself up to the possibilities.

I thought that Adelice was a fabulous protagonist. She wasn’t perfect, but she had an amazing blend of innocence, naivety, strength, and determination. And the character development was phenomenal and seamless. At the beginning, she’s scared. She’s been brought up to hide her talent but suddenly it’s out there in the open. She doesn’t know how to tell her parents she’s failed, she’s not ready to face reality, and she’s terrified of what’s coming. But despite her fears, she doesn’t just succumb to the Guild’s temptations — the luxury and status they throw at her. Over time, she gains the confidence and strength of an admirable heroine.

Despite the mind blowing awesomeness that is Crewel, I did have a few problems with it. Things did feel a tad slow in the middle of the story. There were still important parts in the middle, but there wasn’t much action and it didn’t feel like the story was progressing very quickly. There was a lot of Adelice sitting around the compound, trying to come up with a plan, attending balls and banquets and press events, etc. I also wasn’t totally sold on the romance. I mean it was okay, but I was kind of confused by it. There is a love triangle, but it was a bit awkward and I think the resolution was a little rushed.

Unfortunately, my biggest surprise while reading Crewel is spoilery, so I’ll have to be vague. There was a lot more “reality” in Crewel than I originally expected. I mean, of course it’s a fantasy story, but there were some elements from the “real world” that I wasn’t expecting and ABSOLUTELY LOVED!! That’s really what made the story for me. The ending shocked me. If there is one first-in-the-series book in the world that’s incredibly and perfectly prepped for Book #2, it’s this one.

Bottom line: Crewel will blow your mind. Pay attention, open your mind to the possibilities, and you will love this book. Unfortunately I didn’t scream and giggle and laugh out loud like I do with a lot of 4 or 5 star books, but Crewel has a different kind of excellence about it. It’s more of an intricately woven story that will make you go “WTF O_O” than it is a story that will make you scream in delight. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it’s just different. And Crewel is nothing if not different.

The Verdict

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I'm a 27 year old California girl living in England (I fell in love with a Brit!). I like to inject a little #girlpower into the WordPress development community by teaching women how to be coding badasses. more »

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4 comments

    1. Awesome!! Congrats on the win! I really hope you love Crewel! The idea is seriously insane. I can’t wait to see what you think. 🙂

  1. Ok, when you said “The Subtle Knife” meets “The Matrix” I said “OOOoooo” in that I am SO incredibly interested now way! I adore this cover and the summary is VERY intriguing! Thanks for the review! It’s nice to read one where someone really liked the book. I’ve seen a few where they didn’t so far.

    Ange/Libby Blog recently posted: Review: Dark Star by Bethany Frenette

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