Thursday, October 11, 2012

Review: Crewel by Gennifer Albin

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I received this book for free from Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Crewel by Gennifer AlbinCrewel by Gennifer Albin
Series: Crewel World #1
Published by Farrar Straus and Giroux (BYR) on October 16th 2012
Genres: Dystopia, YA
Source: Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group
Buy on Amazon

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.

Initial reaction:
Holy mother of giraffe balls!!!

Official review:

What. Did. I. Just. Read?


Ok, wow. Creative does not even begin to describe this formidable world that Gennifer Albin has built. Bringing in some sci-fi elements into it, the explanations of the weaving and how the whole process works simply blew me away. When it starts off it garners a lot of questions and wonderment, but as the world building progresses, we’re brought into an extremely complex, incredibly well described futuristic world where everything and everyone can be manipulated by the touch of a Spinster. It can be hard to grasp, especially if you don’t pay attention – this is the kind of book you have to really be alert for – and it pays off. Furthermore, Gennifer’s world building is beautifully written, making it both surreal and believable. It’s also menacing; piece by piece, we find out details about this world that are astonishing, bigger than anyone would have thought. It’s revealed layer by layer, until you simply cannot fathom that any more mind-blowingness could come forth – then it does. The more I learned about it, the giddier I became. I love it when an author thinks outside the box; employing some sci-fi, even a bit of fantasy, to create a world that could easily become overwhelming, but instead, It becomes impressive, it becomes convincing, and heck, I think it even gave me brain cells!

Moving on to our dear Adelice. Adelice is not an especially tough protagonist. She’s not weak by any means; she knows how, and when, to take a stand, fending for herself. But, she can be naive, even feel a bit underwhelming at first. Nonetheless, I, for one, enjoyed her flawed characterization. She’s a simple girl in a surreal world and it makes her genuinely likeable. She goes through a believable character growth when she, like us, begins to understand just how extraordinary the world is; how things really work – inside and out. When you’ve been betrayed, when you go through unimaginable ordeals, you grow up. I enjoyed seeing how she realistically reacted under this pressure.

Having been brought up with a purity standard in a world where boys and girls live in separate neighbourhoods, Adelice has never been in love, or kissed a boy for that matter. So it takes her by surprise when she meets not one, but two handsome guys that are pining for her. There is a hint – just maybe a small scratch – of a love triangle, but the scratch is really only just a scratch. I fell head over heels with the romance in this book. Experiencing the “firsts” with Adelice is exhilarating, filling me with hope and lust and butterflies. And even though there is a strong romantic thread in the story, I never felt it down-right took over, nor does it take anything away from the main plot.

I know of one person who is majorly awaiting book two. I will not be the only one either I am sure. The ending is not a hair pulling cliffhanger per say, more like an OH-EM-GEE-the-sequel-is-gonna-rock-my-face ending! Like I said, the world is given to us in layers, but so is the plot – and the more I read, the faster I needed to turn the page. l I think my Kobo sparked at one point. Point of the story?  Read it. Maybe in print copy, for your safety.

Brilliant, completely gorgeous, and exceptionally unique, Crewel is highly recommended for sci-fi and dystopian fans.


5 Hot Espressos

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Canadian blogger, wife, mother, coffee lover, and sarcastic at heart! She has had a love for all things bookish since before Amazon and eReaders existed *le gasp*. You can also find her organizing tours and other fun things at Xpresso Book Tours.

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43 Responses to “Review: Crewel by Gennifer Albin”

  1. Christina

    A hint of a love triangle? Wow, you reacted differently to that. When I think of Crewel, that damn love triangle smacks me in the face. Agh. I wasn’t a huge fan of Adelice, but any feelings I had for her dissipated when that stupid love triangle happened. *grumbles*

    Okay, done ranting. I’m glad you loved it. Apparently all of my blogger friends but me did. WILDCARD!

  2. Amy

    Fantastic review chick!! I loved this too, but I wish we got to know a little more about how the weaving works. I am seriously wanting the next book right now. The romance was totally sweet!! This is also one of those books that I am going to need a physical copy of because it’s so freaking pretty!!

  3. Candace

    Oh goodness, you have convinced me! I want to read it NOW! I have seen some other great reviews and it just sounds so unique! I’m definitely anxious to get my hands on it!

  4. Elodie

    OMG I’m dying to read this one !! Adelice sounds like such a sweet heroine. I’m glad you enjoyed the romance Giselle ! Can’t wait to read Crewel !

  5. Jenn@OwlReadIt

    This one sounds so good! I’m sure I’d like it, what with my love for dystopia and sci-fi. Cliffhangers can drive me crazy though. I’m going to add this one to my wishlist though! It sounds like one I shouldn’t pass up!

  6. Hannah

    EEEEEEEEEEEP! Oh my goodness! I haven’t see a 5 Expresso review in a while and I’m SO glad it’s this book! I can’t tell you how excited I am for it NEXT WEEK! Woot! So glad you loved it. I’m going to bust my buttons to get this. 😀 Rock on Giselle.
    <3 Inky @ Book Haven Extraordinaire

  7. Danny

    OMG OMG I know right?? This was fanfreaking epic!!!! I haven’t read anything more unique and beautiful in such a long time!! The world building? Phenomenal!

    Oh and that ending??? It was perfect, setting the stage for book 2 – which can’t come soon enough!!!!!

  8. Ems

    I’m convinced…putting this on my must-own shelf NOW. Great review – I love getting excited about a book because someone else was & shared their enthusiasm!

  9. Micheline D

    Giselle this review is so well written, you convinced me to read this book! I remember thinking it wasn’t going to be my thing when I saw you were reading it on Goodreads, but now that I’ve read your review, I can’t even remember why?! LOL Anyways, again: awesome review, I’m off to add this to the reading list now…

  10. Jenni @ Alluring Reads

    YES! I was so IN this novel. I absorbed every single word like a deer in headlights. It was just so damn good. I really liked Adelice’s questioning of everyone around her, she was always second guessing and wasn’t too quick to trust anyone. This is a fantastic review. WE NEED THE SEQUEL!

  11. Sam

    Yours was one of the first reviews I read for this book on Goodreads. It got me VERY excited for this book and I was so pleased when it didn’t disappoint! 🙂

  12. Alexa

    I read this fairly recently, and I must say – it captivated me from beginning to end. There’s something magical about the world that Gennifer created, and that’s the really fascinating part for me! I can’t wait to see what happens next.

  13. Courtney Vail

    I have adored this gorgeous cover since I first laid eyes upon it and it’s been on my to-read list. Your review was great. I love complex novels, so I am super excited to read this now!

  14. Aylee

    Woah, now that is some seriously HIGH praise, Giselle! GAH, you completely sold this book to me right now. I get a bit weary of how repetitive certain storylines seem in books these days, so to hear you say that this one was just BEYOND creative – SOLD! Can’t wait to read this now!!

  15. Jen (A Reading Daydreamer)

    I want some brain cells.

    LOL great review Giselle! Crewel sounds extremely unique and I can’t wait to experience Adelice’s first loves with her. The sci-fi and dystopian elements sound really cool, too! Again, lovely review. 🙂

  16. Megan K.

    Creative does not even begin to describe this formidable world that Gennifer Albin has built.” – SO TRUE. CREWEL is definitely one of a kind. I mean, even being able to think of a plot as complex and unique as this renders that person a genius!

    For some reason, the love triangle didn’t really bother me at all! I LOVED the ending for this book, too. You’re definitely not the only one waiting for the sequel!

    AMAZING review, Giselle! <3

  17. Dalene @ A Date with a Book

    Sounds intriguing! I cannot believe how much science fiction is popping up in all types of books. I’m not a fan, but how could I not be with so many books getting such great review. Definitely checking this one out. Thanks 🙂

  18. Paranormal Book Fan

    5 espressos, yay, I have this one coming up soon. You have me excited for it now. It sounds like I will love the romance. I don’t know if I could get ever get too much romance in a book but I’m still glad to hear that it doesn’t take away from the main story. Great review Giselle 🙂

  19. Kelly

    Fantastic review, and fantastic blog (this is my first time here). The hint of a love triangle is just a tiny bit disappointing simply because it’s been so overdone in YA since Twilight killed the genre with cliches, but that won’t stop me from hopping right over to goodreads after this comment to add it to my TBR list.

    And the cover is sooooo preeeeetyyyyy!!!!

  20. BecAlora Walker

    MUST READ ASAP!!!! This looks so amazingly good!!! I’ve read one other review for it and you’ve both got me itching to put it on my NOOK. I’m sure it’ll spark too! 😉

  21. Megan Hand

    Love this review! I cannot wait to read this one. My sister borrowed it ages ago, I can’t remember if she read it. Need to get on that…Giraffe balls is a totally awesome reaction. Love the idea of a scratch of a love triangle, lol. I don’t mind love triangles when they’re done well. I can handle more of a deep cut 😉 Okay, that was stupid. Anyhow, I can’t wait to read this one now, and it’s been brought to the front of my attention thanks to you 🙂

  22. Haley @ YA-Aholic

    Gah I’ve had this on my shelf for sooo long!!! I think I’m gonna have to pick this up soon, you have made it sound 134567898765432x better than it already did! I love me a book with good romance, I’ll have to pick this up soon (: