Saturday, October 6, 2012

Review: Crewel by Gennifer Albin

Title: Crewel 
Author: Gennifer Albin 
Genre: Young Adult Science Fiction
Release Date: October 4, 2012
Publisher: Faber & Faber
Pages: 372
Format: eBook
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Bookdepository
Read from October 2 to 5, 2012
My rating:  3 stars: I like it
SummaryIncapable. 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.

No one knows why some girls have the gift. There are theories, of course. That it's passed down genetically. Or that girls with an open mind can see the weave of life around them at all times. Even that it's a gift only given to the pure-hearted. But I know better. It's a curse. 

When I finished Crewel last night, I was caught in such a whirlwind of excitement that I spent the next two hours thinking about it. It was a fun read!

Crewel is about 16-year-old Adelic Lewys--extraodinary teenager trying to do everything she can to appear  the opposite. The story is set in the world of Arras, which is a new world on top of Earth after its end. In Arras, girls who have the ability to weave invisible threads of time and matter are retrieved as Spinsters. Adelice is qualified as one. When she's taken in, Adelice learns more about what the threads can do (create lakes and mountains and people, for example), and what Spinsters can do to them (rip the threads to kill people and destroy buildings, etc.). What Adelice doesn't discover until later is that her exceptional ability to see the invisible threads with her bare eyes also sets her apart as a Creweler. 

I don't think there's much to say about Crewel considering that I had a lot of problems with the world-building of Arras. I mean, I liked the idea of another world built on top of war-torn Earth, but honestly, I don't think it was built strongly enough. I could see holes in it everywhere and my questions multiplied as I went on reading. And I couldn't wrap my brain around the government and social ranks in Arras to understand it. Most of the time, really, I just didn't know who's bigger than who and who does what. This is to say that the world-building is not flawless, and I'm not sure if it was believable enough for me either. 

As for the story, I have mixed feelings. While it was exciting in some places, it bored me in others. I liked the mystery the author creates when "Creweler" is first mentioned. The pacing was okay. But the glamorous parts about glamorous clothes and glamorous cosmetics of the glamorous Spinsters couldn't bore me more. The romance was good . The girl-hate annoyed me sometimes. It was just silly. The characters are okay. I didn't like any of them especially. I felt like the book started out good, and then everything went statically okay, okay, okay, okay, okay, and then things picked up really fast and suddenly in the last pages. That's why I said I was still excited when I finished it. That's the only parts in the whole book that could excite me. 

All in all, Crewel is a fun read. Despite the problems I had with it, I found the writing very good. The ending left me wanting to know more. Perhaps I will like the story more if the next book answers my questions. Looking forward to it!


This review is also posted on Goodreads.
I received a digital copy of this book from NetGalley and the publisher for review. 

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