Review: Crewel by Gennifer Albin

Book Review - Crewel by Gennifer Albin
Review: Crewel by Gennifer Albin


Written by Gennifer Albin
(Farrar Straus & Giroux - 10/16/2012)
Series: Crewel World #1
Genres: Dystopia, Young Adult
Format: Hardcover (368 pages)
Source: Library of Magan Bagan
Rating: 4 Stars

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Enter a tangled world of secrets and intrigue where a girl is in charge of other’s destinies, but not her own.

Sixteen-year-old Adelice Lewys has always been special. When her parents discover her gift—the ability to weave the very fabric of reality—they train her to hide it. For good reason, they don’t want her to become a Spinster — one of the elite, beautiful, and deadly women who determine what people eat, where they live, how many children they have, and even when they die.

Thrust into the opulent Western Coventry, Adelice will be tried, tested and tempted as she navigates the deadly politics at play behind its walls. Now caught in a web of lies and forbidden romance, she must unravel the sinister truth behind her own unspeakable power. Her world is hanging by a thread, and Adelice, alone, can decide to save it — or destroy it.

My Thoughts

In a lot of dystopian books — especially those with a sci-fi or fantasy twist — the reader is introduced to an interesting world, and then CRAP HAPPENS and the environment changes. Divergent did this, Skylark did this, and so did others. Crewel came to me at just the right time. I’d been sitting around thinking about how I just want a book to let me stay in the interesting world instead of having to leave it for some unsurprising rebellion. In Crewel, I was introduced to a most fascinating world — and I got to stay there throughout the entire book!

In Crewel, Gennifer Albin creates a magical, mysterious world called Arras. Everything in Arras is controlled by the tapestry of time and materials (people, objects, resources), and only Spinsters and Crewelers can see and weave the tapestry. Let me just tell you: this was one of the most imaginative books I’ve read recently, and I am kicking myself for not reading it sooner! The society of Arras was overall very patriarchal and rather misogynistic in many of its views, and while I don’t like it of course, I also saw it as cohesive and intentional. There’s a lot of debate about this factor of the story, but I chose to believe it was intended to be disgusting and that Adelice will rise above.

I was hooked from the first page, and the plot kept me interested all the way to the end. We meet several interesting characters along the way, and all of them were vibrant and unique. I loved that Adelice had allies, but also had to deal with some very despicable personalities as well. Her attitude throughout the book was amusing and continued to surprise me!

There is a little bit of a love triangle going on, but I still hesitate to call it that. It seems that Adelice is much more interested in one guy (Jost) than the other one, but I’m still not exactly sure where her intentions lie all of the time, and I actually enjoyed not knowing everything. It made her character come to life even stronger for me, because I felt she kept little secrets even from me.

Look, basically, I really enjoyed most everything about this book, and I think you might enjoy it too. I’m very interested to see what happens in the next book!

Read 24 comments

    • Yeah, you know, it wasn’t until I was reading the book that I realized there’s a face on the cover! I feel better now, knowing I’m not the only one who missed it, lol.

      It took me a long time to get interested in this book. My sister was going gaga over it, but I just kinda shrugged it off. What pushed me over the edge was the chapter sampler I got for free on Amazon. It’s the first 5 chapters, and I randomly started reading it in a waiting room one day. Dude, after the first chapter I was hooked and knew that I wanted to abandon the chapter sampler and instead get the actual book. SO INTERESTING!

  1. Sounds interesting and imaginative, will have to check it out. I never really thought about environments changing is dystopia but yes you right. Nice to have something with a different approach. And the ability to weave reality, now that’s a superpower I’d like :) My mind has gone into overdrive just thinking about it!

    • Yeah, I’m telling you, the world in this book is SO interesting! The descriptions for the weaves and the tapestry, and how they do it, were really great. In fact, I think the cover for this book is very fitting, because of this! You should check out this book, if you find that interesting. :)

    • Yeah, it was the same for me. The bad things I’d heard about it… they just didn’t really bother me. Which is kind of cool, because sometimes when I go into a book knowing there are bad aspects, it can kinda skew my opinion on the whole thing, you know? But with Crewel, I was so caught up in it that the bad parts still kinda made sense. So maybe it will be the same for you. I hope so!

  2. So happy to hear that you enjoyed this, Kelley! I agree wholeheartedly with your review, especially this bit: “Let me just tell you: this was one of the most imaginative books I’ve read recently, and I am kicking myself for not reading it sooner!” I. KNOW. CREWEL was one of the most creative books I’ve read in my whole life, to be honest! Gennifer Albin’s imagination goes really deep, and it clearly showed in this magical debut. I also loved how you couldn’t exactly tell which characters were good and which were bad, so when Genn revealed their true intentions, it came as an utter shock.

    I really liked this book as well. And after that killer ending, how can one not want the sequel? Lovely review as always, Kelley!

  3. Oooo this sounds so cool! I can’t believe I haven’t hear about it until now! Defo adding to my TBR. Great review. I love dystopian where there’s good world building, they are rare and precious finds!

  4. I really seem to love dystopians and have my eye on this one for a long time. It sounds like it would be right up my alley! I think I might have to look into is sooner than later now. And of course, the cover is awesome! I think it would look great on my bookshelf ;)

  5. Vibrant and unique characters and a fascinating world that we get to stay in for the whole book?! Yes please! I’ll be interested to see what I think of the patriarchal system in place though.

  6. I really, really, really need to read this. I’ve had it sitting on my shelf since the fall, and between moving and all the books I’m obligated (but want to) read, I just haven’t made time for it yet. But I love what you have to say about it, and I really need to move this one to my TBR short-list.

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