02 October 2012

(ARC) YA Book Review: Crewel by Gennifer Albin

Release Date: 16 October 2012
Publisher: Farrar, Straus, & Giroux BYR
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher via NetGalley

Goodreads description:
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.
My Thoughts...
While I generally avoid reading reviews of books that I'm planning on reviewing myself, I couldn't help but notice that this one was getting both a lot of positive and a fair amount of negative reviews. Thankfully, I fell into the positive category. Sometimes a book will inexplicably pull you in and Crewel did that for me.  It took turns and made choices that constantly kept me on my toes. This book, in my opinion, was brilliant and creative.  Ms. Albin crafted a story that pulls from the common dystopian elements that prolific readers will recognize but puts unique spins on the inner-workings of her world and crafts everything into something new and different.

The main character, Adelice, is hard to connect with at first as she's quite naive, but as you struggle through the new world of the Coventry with her, the connection grows.  I found that as she (and consequently I) learned more and more about what goes on and how the world really works I began forming a deeper connection. As her understanding grows and she's forced to face relentless persecution for her parents' decision, she really does develop and her sharp wit and fierce personality begin to shine through. While she does let herself get ensnared in a dreaded love triangle, I felt like there wasn't an overwhelming amount of angst surrounding her decision between the two boys.  Her flawed characteristics made her that much more agreeable and relateable for me.

The world itself is complex and difficult to imagine at first.  The concept of weaving both time and matter are so foreign and difficult to envision that you have to let your imagine do most of the thinking. However, it's precisely the complexity and uniqueness of the world that really make this novel stand out.  Top off a complex world with a plot that continually surprised me and you've got what was for me a knockout book.

Woven with beautiful prose, interesting characters, political intrigue, and just the right amount of romance, Crewel is a debut novel that I will definitely be adding to my collection when it is released.  The ending shocked the heck out of me and I will be waiting on pins and needles for the sequel.


Molli @ Once Upon a Prologue said...

I'm reading this one now and even at only about 100 pages in, I'm already fascinated. The characters and elements are coming together in an awesome way. Glad you enjoyed!

Molli | Once Upon a Prologue

P E said...

I really like the cover. The subject also sounds interesting. I haven't really seen that many reviews for it, but I'm glad you like it. I think I'll probably check it out.

Nikki @ Books Most Wanted said...

I'm looking forward to this one. I hope it is as good as everyone is saying it is!

Nikki @ Books
Most Wanted

Amy Fournier said...

I really enjoyed this book too. A lot of the stuff was a bit far fetched, but I still found myself totally hooked. I loved the characters.

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