Author: Gennifer Albin
Publisher: Square Fish
Rating: 4/5 Stars
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Summary: 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.
Amber recommended this book to me awhile ago, and it's been sitting on my TBR for awhile. Recently I bought a copy from Book Outlet (for a steal, of course!) and I was super excited to start this book even if I wasn't quite sure what to expect.
There's a little bit of world building that takes place at first, and you have to pay attention for the entire duration of the book to make sure that you didn't lose any important points. I had to go back and reread a passage several times because my mind had wandered and I had gotten myself confused. Crewel is definitely a book that is chock-full of world building and fantasy - just what you'd expect from a storyline where girls are hired to weave the very fabric of the world. So my advice is to pay attention so you don't get lost - and as long as you do, you're guaranteed to really enjoy this book.
The story follows Adelice, a sixteen year old girl whose parents want anything other for her than to be chosen to be a Spinster to help weave the fabric of Arras. Everyone's taught to believe that the life of a Spinster is something glamourous - dresses, parties, big rooms and towers and all of the exquisite food that you can eat - but Adelice's parents seem to know that something about the guaranteed life of luxury is sinister. So they train her from her early childhood to fail her Spinster test so the Guild can never take her away.
But of course, Adelice has a natural affinity for weaving, and no matter how hard she tries, things start to go wrong on her Spinster test. And those few mistakes end up sealing her fate.
This book really captured my interest. I loved seeing such an interesting, new world that I'd never read about before - Arras. I won't spoil the book for anybody, but as you read the book you learn some more, pretty interesting facts about Arras as a whole that shock you and are hard to wrap your mind around. Gennifer Albin definitely isn't lacking in the creativity department, because she created such an awesome, unique world in Crewel that I can't even wait to get my hands on the second book (which Amber has and I will be borrowing ASAP!!).
You're also introduced to a lot of interesting characters in this book. Adelice herself is your typical sassy, don't-follow-the-rules type of heroine. You meet Jost, the ridiculously adorable (and off-limits) head valet of the Coventry that soon becomes one of Adelice's only friends and allies. You also meet Erik, the well-groomed and proper assistant to Adelice's sworn enemy in the Coventry, who seems to have a soft side of her as well. (Love triangle brewing, anyone?) You meet a lot more characters than these three, though, so I encourage you to pick up the book and meet them all!
And like I said, I won't spoil the book for anybody considering reading it (and you definitely should!), but the ending of this book leaves you on a total cliffhanger. I can't wait to get my hands on the next book in this series so I can follow Adelice's adventure!
All in all, Crewel was a fast-paced, mysterious, imaginative story that I lost myself in right away. Gennifer Albin is an excellent writer with a great talent for drawing readers into a story - I'm proof of that! If you're looking for a new, creative fantasy/sci-fi (ish) read, Crewel is definitely the book for you. It's time for me to head to my local library to get a copy of the second book in this trilogy!