Tuesday 23 October 2012

Crewel by Gennifer Albin

Pages - 360
Published by Faber and Faber on October 4th 2012

I can count the days until summer draws to a close and autumn seeps into the leaves, painting them ginger and scarlet. Right now, though, the dappled light of mid afternoon is glorious emerald, and it's hot on my face. . With sun soaking into me, everything is possible. When it is inevitably gone - the seasons programmed to begin and end with smooth precision - life will take its predetermined route. Like a machine. Like me. 

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.

I have read a lot of dystopian novels in the last couple of years and to be honest, I was beginning to get bored with them.  Then I read Crewel... This is one of the best dystopian novels I have read and enjoyed since The Hunger Games! Loved it! Loved it! Loved it!
It was so not what I was expecting. Think The Matrix meets Total Recall and you would be half way to visualising this book. 
Though saying that, the beginning reminded me of Anne Frank; the way her family were hidden in order to hide from the Germans; Adelice was hidden in the same to keep her safe. Her family knew she was special and didn't believe that the life of a Spinster was as wonderful as the media made it out to be. 

Adelice is really clever! She can manipulate and weave time without using a spindle. She deals with a lot of heartbreak to begin with, which only goes to make her stronger as a person. She will do all she can to avenge everything her family suffered.  Adelice is a really strong protagonist and I warmed to her straight away. As the story progresses she finds herself woven into an interesting love triangle - one I did not see coming! I loved Josh and Erich; their reaction to each other was a brilliant sub plot to the story. 
I loved the plot! It was extremely detailed and well thought out. I really enjoyed the whole weaving experience written so well and completely believable.   I did have to read sections about the weaving and how the Earth was connected to Arras a couple of times; because I found it quite mind blowing and I needed to be able to visualise it properly. The ending surprised me and I find myself desperate to find out how the characters will cope in their new environment. 
This book has very strong themes of lesbianism and women's rights which I felt were both dealt with extremely well. You could feel the strength of the female battering against the domination by the males. 
This book has really raised the game when it comes to dystopian fiction - I think others books may fall at the starting line, as this one gather speed in a race to be the new face of dystopian fiction. 


  1. This looks great, and I've seen so many great reviews for it - I can't wait to read it! Great review :)

  2. High praise indeed, thanks for recommending this.

  3. So thrilled you loved this! I have it on the review pile and am really looking forward to it :)

    1. I really did. And I have read a LOT of dystopian novels!

  4. I loved this book too. such good world building and characterisation. Loved it to bits. One of my favourite reads of the year.

  5. I was starting to get bored of Dystopia's too but this book sounds amazing - I am now bumping it up the pile.

    1. I think the market has been saturated by dystopian. So this was a breath of fresh air.

  6. I loved this aswell. Probably my fave dystopia novel. It was truely amazing and different. And beautifully written. Can't wait for book2.

    Great review!!


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