Review: Crewel by Gennifer Albin

Written By: Kellie - Oct• 12•12


Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publish Date: October 16th, 2012
Source: BEA ARC

Rating: 5/5 Spinsters

Synopsis: 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. -Goodreads

Review: I was beginning to think I was getting tired of dystopians, something I thought would never happen. Crewel was exactly the book I needed to read. It is so, so good and has renewed my faith in a crowded but worthwhile genre. Crewel touches on so many important issues and has a strong lean towards women’s issues (which is a topic I can never get enough of, especially when it’s looked at under a new microscope, like with sci-fi or fantasy.

The world Gennifer Albin has created is incredibly thought out and creative, it’s so easy to get lost in this story because you literally get to see the very fabric of the world that these characters are living in. While some elements of Crewel seem incredibly old fashioned, it’s actually set far into Earth’s future, after we’ve inevitably screwed everything up. Now, we live separate from the planet (in a way) while certain women have the power to control everything about our environment  and I don’t just mean that in terms of nature. Walls, crops, raw materials and more are all controlled by spinsters, who are in turn controlled by the government  For as much power as these women have, our gender has been indignantly set back, once again thought of as the lesser sex.

The gender discussion is what got me really interested in this story, and I found myself fist-shaking at so many of the male characters throughout the story. It’s outrageous, and incredibly frightening because it really was (is) the reality for so many women across time. While many of the women in this society blindly accept their role, the frustration in others is practically palpable. The theme of the story benefited from Gennifer Albin’s fantastic writing throughout and will absolutely get you thinking.

All that being said, the characters are a bonus, on top of some already breathtaking elements. It’s easy to get into Adelice’s head as you follow her story. There are no easy answers for this girl, and you’ll find yourself contemplating what you would have done in many of the situations she finds herself in. The supporting characters (including those of the yummy boy variety) are fantastic and multi-layered. There are some you just want to hug, and others that will make you want to rip their hair out.

Obviously, I think Crewel is a fantastic story that women of all ages should try to read at some point. There are some slower points in the story (Adelice spends way too much time sitting in her room just waiting for something to happen), and it may not be for everyone. None the less, I highly recommend this book for anyone and everyone.

Note on the title: Within the story you learn about the role of the Creweler and Crewel work, which has to do with manipulating the world on a deeper level. Now, the series is called Crewel World, so it’s pretty clear that the role was giving this name to make this AWESOME series title work, but I still love it. Love, love, love!

You can visit Gennifer Albin on her website or on twitter.

Buy Crewel
@Amazon (US) @Amazon (CAN) @The Book Depository 

Second Opinions:
@Pocketful of Books
@Bewitched Bookworms
@Realm of Fiction

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