Crewel by Gennifer Albin: Book Review

Crewel by Gennifer AlbinCREWEL by Gennifer Albin Book Review
Series: Crewel World, #1
Publication Date: October 16th 2012 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Rating: – Acceptable |

Book 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 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.

Crewel by Gennifer Albin Book Review Overview:

  • Unlikeable protagonist
  • The world-building was enough to win me over
  • Of course there’s a romance, but it’s not heart-melting.

The main problem that I had with CREWEL by Gennifer Albin is the fact that the protagonist, Adelice, is not very likeable. She has a tendency of not knowing when to stop talking, and after a while, it gets really tiresome. How many times must secondary characters tell her to watch her mouth? Her tendency to speak out only gets her in trouble when everyone else is mercilessly trying to keep her safe and alive. She’s not afraid to voice out her opinion, but her rebellious attitude does not get her anywhere.

Usually, an unlikeable protagonist is such a deal-breaker for me, but the world that Albin creates is so intriguing that I let it slide this time. The world of Arras is fascinating: Spinsters have the ability to weave time and matter, which lets them control just about everything from the weather to people’s lives. I love Albin’s description of the weave and the threads of life that keep Arras together. This fantasy element is what sets CREWEL by Gennifer Albinapart from other young adult dystopians.

But of course, a young adult dystopian is in need of some romance. CREWEL by Gennifer Albin is not lacking in this department. There is the inevitable forbidden romance for Adelice. It really didn’t give me any tingly feelings as a reader, but I wouldn’t say that the romance was unnecessary. It was just nothing special. There is a hint of a love triangle brewing, but I guess readers will have to wait until the sequel to see if Adelice will take interest in more than one suitor.

Albin does save a huge shocking secret that she reveals at the end of CREWEL but lets readers squirm in anticipation for the next book by failing to spill the juicy details about the secret. Of course, I figured it out way in advance, but instead of feeling disappointed by the author’s inability to surprise me, I just feel impressed that I was able to figure it out in advance.

I haven’t decided if I want to read the rest of the Crewel World series. My unlove for Adelice might be problematic later on. As much as I love the world that Albin has created, it might not be enough to win me over as a devoted fan of the series. CREWELby Gennifer Albin has a little more than the standard dystopians out in the market, but I’m not one hundred percent convinced that I will be following up on this one.

Other Book Reviews:
The Book Rat
Popcorn Reads
The Reading Date

About the Author

Gennifer Albin holds a Masters degree in English Literature from the University of Missouri. During her student years she served as an editor for Pleaides and The Missouri Review, and since then she’s founded the tremendously popular blog  She lives in Kansas with her ridiculously supportive husband, two small children, and a Tuesday cat.

Find the Author

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  1. Usually I can’t stand an annoying protag either, so it’s intriguing to me that the world kept you sucked in. And the fact that you guessed the secret but wasn’t disappointed — interesting. But if the romance didn’t fly either, I don’t think I’ll be picking this one up. I’ve come to really need the characters to sing to me. Thanks for the comprehensive review, Cialina!

  2. I actually found Adelice’s outspokenness to be likeable, but I have heard some people say they don’t like Adelice either for various reasons. I consider myself one of the lucky ones who does, because that really effects how you receive the story. I DIDN’T LIKE THE ROMANCE EITHER. It just felt so… abrupt and not very well explained or described. It was just so typical and didn’t give me any tingles at all… I’m intrigued enough though by the world-building and the ending to want to read the sequel.

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