Author: Gennifer Albin
Published October 16th 2012 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Source: ARC provided by publisher
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.
Okay, my dudes. First of all, let me get this out of the way because I feel that a reminiscence of this moment is required by the Bevy of Dauntless, aka Dauntless Babies when referencing this book:
Crewel was a highly anticipated read for me this year. It was one of the YA “Buzz Titles” at this year’s BEA and after hearing the author’s story and hearing this book pitched as The Handmaid’s Tale meets The Hunger Games, I was pretty much chomping at the bit for it.
After reading it, I… have thoughts. And many of them are jumbled. I will try to get through a few of them.
Number one: I suspect that The Hunger Games comparison comes solely from the fact that this is a dystopian novel because it bears very little in common with the action-packed violence of THG. I haven’t read The Handmaid’s Tale, but after skimming the summary, I suspect there’s slightly more in common there.
Next, it must be said: I love Gennifer Albin’s writing style. I thought her words flowed absolutely beautifully. Present tense, when done the way she writes it is one of my favorite things. It not only lends immediacy to the writing, but it… flows? I used that word already, but I felt like I was drawn along, like the book was tugging me in its current, like a river. (Leave my terrible metaphor alone, I know you get what I’m saying here)
I also really enjoyed the character of Adelice. She’s sassy when she shouldn’t be, which isn’t exactly wise, and yes, sometimes made me want to headdesk repeatedly, but that’s half the fun of her.
And I liked a lot of the statements that Gennifer Albin makes with her work about feminism and homosexuality. But it bothered me that in a work that is so obviously supposed to be pro-feminism, Adelice can’t seem to keep a female ally.
And the love-ness… I don’t know. There’s not a love triangle exactly because well, feelings aren”t reciprocated on all sides. But I didn’t feel for either guy. And I guessed something about them really early on, making the reveal of said something feel overdramatic and falsified for me when it came up at the end.
I like Adelice and Gennifer Albin’s writing style a lot, as I said. And I’m curious enough about the world that I want to know what happens next, so I will absolutely read the next book, but a big part of me just wants Adelice to rip the world apart and decide she’s better off single.
To sum up: I really, truly enjoyed Gennifer Albin’s writing style, but this seems to be one of those books where opinion varies widely, mostly oscillating between rave reviews or people who were incredibly disappointed. I’d suggest you check out a few reviews from people you trust.
And now a giveaway!