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Crewel (Crewel World) by Gennifer Albin
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Crewel (Crewel World) (edition 2012)

by Gennifer Albin

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5127519,823 (3.59)12
Member:ABookwormsHaven
Title:Crewel (Crewel World)
Authors:Gennifer Albin
Info:Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) (2012), Hardcover, 368 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:None

Work details

Crewel by Gennifer Albin

  1. 00
    The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood (StefanieGeeks)
    StefanieGeeks: female roles, feminist allegory, patriarchal society, dystopia.
  2. 00
    Across the Universe by Beth Revis (StefanieGeeks)
    StefanieGeeks: post-apocolyptic, isolation dystopia, romance, earth-like world, government conspiracy, teen series.
  3. 00
    Gathering Blue by Lois Lowry (Jthierer)
    Jthierer: Similar theme of a girl's talent for weaving singling her out in a dystopian society.
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Showing 1-5 of 75 (next | show all)
The world Gennifer Albin creates in Crewel is a complex one. Arras is ruled by the Guild, which is run by men; but the world itself is controlled and held together by Spinsters - women who, quite literally, weave the world. The world is so intricate that it takes the entire novel to completely understand the kind of world that Adelice, the protagonist, lives in.

Adelice is gifted with seeing the raw weave of the world she lives in and has the rare talent of manipulating the weave without a loom. Her parents, recognizing this talent tried to teach her to hide it, but failed to tell their daughter why they wanted her to hide it in the first place which leads to her being chosen as a Spinster in the beginning of the story.

There is extensive world building in Crewel; a very ambitious attempt. However, to convey the inner workings of the world, Albin had to make Adelice ignorant of the world she grew up in. At first, I was able to accept this, but it struck me as very odd that her parents trained her for years to hide her gift, but did not educate her on the reasons. The more Adelice’s character was revealed the more unbelievable this became. She is a very headstrong protagonist, willful and curious, but she shows none of this towards her parents and blindly accepts their attempts to hide her gift. Given her character, I would assume that she would want to know why her parents did not want her to become a Spinster - the only women who are respected and honoured in their society. The reason they gave her - being taken away from home - seemed very flat.

This isn’t to say that I didn’t enjoy her as a main character. I enjoyed her spunk and all the times she stood against the society, I just wished that she wasn’t so ignorant of the world she lived in or the potential of her talent. Of course, without her ignorance the world building would have been an extremely difficult task.

It took almost the entire story to set the world and its history, and even after the end there were still some question as to what exactly Arras was and how large it was. Even so, there was enough there to keep me reading.

If there was one downfall to the story it would be the love triangle. I’m not saying this only because I think most love triangles in YA novels are unbelievable; the main reason for this was that the two love interests could have been one person and nothing would have been lost in the story.

I’m definitely interested to see where Gennifer takes this world and its characters and am looking forward to reading more in the second installment.

[Review of ARC from BEA]
( )
  iShanella | Dec 2, 2016 |
Full review to come at Southern Bred, Southern Read!

This was by far one of the most confusing YA books that I have ever read. The story line between the characters is fine--typical YA stuff. The actual plot involves time weaving, altering illusions, real v. not real, and a whole lot of crazy mind Fs. It took me about four days to get through the book (which is pretty slow, for me), because I kept having to go back and reread to figure out WTF was going on. Overall, I really enjoyed it. I love reading books that have time travelling or altering time as a major theme, so even though this was super complicated, it was still fascinating to read. The ending of the book is crazy, and I can’t imagine how the rest of the series is going to go. I mean seriously, bombs start dropping everywhere and plot twists everywhere!

I really enjoyed the main character, Adelice. She has been a people pleaser her whole life up until The Guild comes in and destroys her life and everything she has ever known. She has a lot of self-loathing moments, but I feel they are warranted. I mean, the chick literally loses her entire family. Cut her some slack! I do love that she channels her anger into sarcasm and sass. She mouths off to everyone (and gets her butt handed to her SO many times because of it), and despite some really nasty consequences she stays true to herself. I wish she had more motivation to come up with a plan towards the end of the book instead of just being like “Oh snap I wish I had a plan this sucks” and just going with the flow. I feel like everything could have gone a lot smoother than it did.

The love triangle (not even sure to call it that) was pretty bizarre. She has the hots for Erik first, but she knows this is the worst idea because of his relationship with Maela. Adelice is already Public Enemy #1 because of her smart mouth and her skill, so she definitely doesn’t need to be screwing around with Erik to attract attention to herself. Luckily, it was short lived (though I feel like it is going to pop back up later in the series...YOU KNOW HE IS). Jost seems perfect. I mean, he is rugged yet sweet and caring. He doesn’t take Adelice’s crap, but he still puts up with her. Then he drops the bomb about his past. Her reaction is exactly what I would expect from a sixteen year old girl, so I wasn’t surprised and was glad that the author didn’t try to make Adelice older than she really is. Anyway, Adelice knows that even her relationship with Just is bad news because of the target on her back. It sucks, but c’mon chick, you know you are never going to be able to have a real relationship with anyone (except maybe Cormac… vom) while you’re under The Guild’s thumb.

Even the allies that Adelice try to make end up having targets on them as well. She develops some (short lived, in many cases) friendships in Pryana, Enora, and Loricel. I mean, let’s be real though, Adelice isn’t a great friend. She is pretty invested in herself and getting her sister back. She doesn’t even see the warning signs coming when something really tragic happens to one of her “friends.” It sucks, but luckily for her she still has her two dudes stuck to her side (so much for girl power) to fight her battles.

I would recommend this book if you are a fan of Altered, The Selection, or really any other dystopian novel where the main girl has some sort of special ability and has it out for the government. It is a really interesting read, despite being pretty confusing at points and some really dull (lack of) character and relationship development. All of this is why I toggle between a 3.5 and 4 star rating, but I will lean more toward the 4 because I really did enjoy the book overall.

4/5 stars ( )
  leahlo89 | Nov 2, 2016 |
Well, now I want to learn how to knit.

Totally unique premise. I love the fiery female lead and the inventiveness of the story. Yeah, the romance plot was a little predictable, but still a pretty good read. ( )
  imahorcrux | Jun 22, 2016 |
Goodreads Synopsis: 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 to work the looms is everything a girl could want. It means privilege, eternal beauty, and being something other than a secretary. It also means the power to manipulate the very fabric of reality. 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 used her hidden talent for a moment. 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 jokes. One hour to pretend everything’s okay. And one hour to escape.

Because tonight, they’ll come for her.

My Review: Imagine living in a world where everything is perfectly weaved together. Everyone lives in sectors of this utopia, some segregation occurs, and everything is planned from the very beginning. Unless of course, you turn out to be a spinster, a girl with special abilities to work on the weave of the world. Then you're torn away from your family and taken to a lush place filled with things you wouldn't dream of having as a normal citizen, eating your rations. Doesn't that sound great? Sure, until you think about the fact that not everything can be controlled, and some of the people running the show are dysfunctional. Nothing is what it seems to be. This book was a roller coaster from the very beginning, and I absolutely loved every bit of it. Adelice is a very strong and well put together character, and the world she lives in is well thought out, or even perfectly put together, if you will. I was sucked in from the very first page, and the cover is really pretty. It really suits the story. I haven't read anything like this specific dystopia before, and that's just another huge perk to this book. Honestly, there weren't very many cons (if any) to this book in my opinion, and even the background characters are strong and lifelike, the story is exciting, and the world it's in is well crafted (ha ha). I definitely will be reading the next book in the series, and if you haven't already you should check out this book! Thanks for reading.

(Radioactivebookreviews.wordpress.com) ( )
  aurora.schnarr | Feb 1, 2016 |
This book is a great example of science fiction world building; it is explicitly detailed with interesting and well-developed characters. The way the world is woven by Spinsters and the Creweler who have the ability to control farming, weather, and even life and death is vivid and imaginative. At times it was hard to understand how people live within the weave, but I managed through. Adelice’s character is part of a love triangle popular in YA fiction that helps propel the plot. There is a gruff valet, another Spinster’s striking assistant, and she is also being toted around Arras on the arm of a powerful official. This world is all about control, from the perfectly detailed weave, to when couples marry and have children, to when a person dies. The book has a very interesting ending and I will definitely read the sequel when it comes out. ( )
  clockwork_serenity | Jan 23, 2016 |
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To Robin, who demanded I write a book, and to Josh, who made it happen
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They came in the night.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Gifted with the unusual ability to embroider the very fabric of life, sixteen-year-old Adelice is summoned by Manipulation Services to become a Spinster, a move that will separate her from her beloved family and home forever.

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