Book Review: Crewel

Title/Author:  Crewel by Gennifer Albin
(Crewel World #1)

Genre:  Young Adult, Science Fiction, Dystopia, Post-Apocalyptic

Published:  October 16th, 2012 by Farrar, Straus, and Giroux

Hardcover, 368 pages

How I Got This Book:  Checked it out from the library

Why I Picked It Up?:  This is one of those debuts that I found out about mostly through Twitter.  It sounded awesome and looked awesome, so I added it to my TBR.

Book Jacket Blurb:  “For generations, spinsters have been called by Arras’s Manipulation Services to work the looms and determine what people eat, where they live, how many children they have, and even when they die.  Gifted with the rare ability to weave time with matter, Adelice is exactly what the Guild is looking for, and in 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 once you become a Spinster, there’s no turning back.  Now caught in a web of lies and intrigue, Adelice must decide whom to trust::  her kind mentor, Enora; the handsome and mysterious valet Jost; or the charismatic Guild ambassador Cormac Patton.  They each have secrets, but Adelice is about to unravel the deadliest one of all, a sinister truth that could destroy reality as she knows it.

In a powerful and original debut about a world where the Guild decides everything, one extraordinary girl dares to defy the power of men and the boundaries of love.”

My Review of this Work:

You know those books that you read, finish, and just sit in awe afterward?  This is one of those books for me.  Crewel has the dazzle and wonderment that you look for in any great world-building read.

Let me start off by talking about the world-building.  Guys, the world building in this novel is phenomenal!  Gennifer Albin literally weaves the details together, and she slowly answers all of the lingering questions as Adelice learns how to become the Crewel.  The Crewel world is a literal weave that is worked by the Guild weavers to keep control and pleasantry with its citizens.  The dystopian aspect of the Guild plays a major part in the world-building. The Guild is a very efficient and very powerful government that uses the magic of the weavers to keep everyone calm.  They just erase unpleasant memories and remove problem citizens.  They are so corrupt that even the “evil man” isn’t as evil compared to OTHERS in the Guild.

Adelice is a pretty solid heroine in my book.  She is really snarky and doesn’t take crap from people.  On the other hand, she is also really rash in her actions and sometimes pushes the limits of her behavior towards the Guild.  But that is just her personality, from the very beginning, and I found it rather endearing.

The romance is what I really had a hard time with, and why my rating for this book is not a 5.  First of all, Adelice kissing Erik is completely out of the blue and unrealistic for me.  Not because it’s going to force a love triangle (I could have gotten over that) but because Adelice was segregated from all boys growing up.  She had never been around a boy, and yet a couple of weeks after being in the Coventry she gets the urge to kiss this man she doesn’t really like?  How is that realistic?  She has not been socialized around males, and while she has a bold personality, I still feel like her just outright kissing him is an extremely unrealistic action.

All of that being said, I really do like the relationships that Adelice has with each of the men in this novel.  The dynamic between Adelice and Conrad is by far the most entertaining, simply because he is so powerful and yet allows her to banter as she does.  But my favorite definitely has to be Jost, who is genuine and gentle and strong.  He is a character that does not belong in the Guild, and yet there is the perfect place for him!

I do not think I can fully express just how wonderful I think this novel is, which is probably why this review is a little choppy and a little short lol.  This is definitely a top read of the year for me, and I am so incredibly anxious for book number two!  So hurry up, Ms. Albin! PLEASE OH PLEASE! =)

My Bookshelf Rating: 

A Fourth Shelf Book!

To me, this story was almost perfect!  The world of Crewel is so intricately woven (no pun intended…okay, maybe that was intended heehee) that I was immediately drawn in and didn’t want to emerge, but alas, the book ended.  The only negative I had with this book was the romance angle–I thought that, at times, the romantic elements of this story were forced and unrealistic (which is why this book only gets 4.5 stars from me).  But this did not stop me from falling completely in love with Adelice, Jost, and everything else about the Crewel World.  Give me book two PRONTO!

Love and The Grinch,
Jennifer

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