Crewel by Gennifer Albin Review

Monday, May 6, 2013

Title: Crewel
Author: Gennifer Albin
Publisher: FSG BYR
Publish Date: October 16, 2012
Genre: YA, Dystopian, Fantasy
Pages: 368
Source: Publisher

Sixteen-year-old Adelice Lewys has always been special. When her parents discover her gift—the ability to weave the very fabric of reality—they train her to hide it. For good reason, they don’t want her to become a Spinster — one of the elite, beautiful, and deadly women who determine what people eat, where they live, how many children they have, and even when they die.

Thrust into the opulent Western Coventry, Adelice will be tried, tested and tempted as she navigates the deadly politics at play behind its walls. Now caught in a web of lies and forbidden romance, she must unravel the sinister truth behind her own unspeakable power. Her world is hanging by a thread, and Adelice, alone, can decide to save it — or destroy it.
Adelice lives a careful lie. She always had, and she's been taught that she will probably always need to. She must always fake ignorance, feign normalcy and, without a doubt, never use her powerful ability to weave, or create the fabric of reality. To do so, for many, would mean endless riches, power and wealth, but for Adelice, it means entrapment. She'll be destined forever to play the hand of a god - determining the future for all, but never having her family and those she loves for herself. But one simple slip-up sets forth a chain reaction that ignites Adelice's destiny and giving her a chance to either save or end the world as they know it.

Ok, first off...what a seriously cool concept! I mean, I'm sure that I've heard touches of this storyline in fairytales and whatnot, but wow. I really love the utter originality of the mere idea behind it. So, you can understand my apprehension to read the book. What if it didn't live up? Can you imagine the letdown? Gennifer Albin skillfully meshed together a whirlwind plot, lovable characters, a heroine worth believing in and, most of all, a beautiful combination of internal and external struggles. With a deft hand, Crewel sweeps you up in its pages, guaranteeing one heck of an adventure.

There was so much that went right with Crewel and, for the most part, I really loved this book. The storyline was fantastic. Each plot point was carefully developed, thought-out and led directly to the next piece. Foreshadowing was light, but just enough to keep me on my toes. Adelice was a great heroine, and I found it incredibly simple to become invested in her plight. She was strong and brave, and I never found her too be cloying or too much, if that makes sense. Likewise, the love interest, Jost, was sweet and simple, just whetting my appetite but never actually giving me exactly what I wanted. In a world of YA fiction where insta-love dominates, this was wholly refreshing. I will say, however, that I did have a bit of an issue with the world-building of Crewel. We're given immense details with the power-players in the book, such as the Spinsters, but I felt that sometimes the world, itself, played second-fiddle to the story, and I would have loved to see the backdrop of this eerie dystopia been pronounced and developed just a bit more.

Overall, however, I found Crewel to be an extremely engaging and unique read, despite its flaws. I love the concept, and the ending left me wanting more, so I'm definitely excited for the next installment in the series. I give it a 3.5 out of 5, and I highly recommend it to all fans of YA, especially those who enjoy dystopian and fantasy stories.

I received this book free of charge in exchange for an honest review. This, in no way, affected my opinion or review of this book.


  1. YAY! I'm glad you enjoyed this one for the most part, I loved it. The concept was crazy cool (even though my head hurt sometimes when I tried to think about it too much), and I adored Adelice. I need Altered immediately:) Lovely review Melissa!!!

  2. Thanks, lady! And yes...the concept was the best possible way. I think that's why I ended up loving it despite its flaws! :D

  3. I really liked the concept, too! So wild and unexpected. While there were some flaws and some cardboard characters (to me, anyway), the overall story was definitely enjoyable.

  4. I'm so glad to see you enjoyed the concept, too! I thought it was utterly mind-bending!

  5. I've been on the fence about reading this one. It's nice to hear there isn't any insta-love though. Definitely a point in favor of reading it.

  6. I recommend it. It's not without flaws, but I thought it was a pretty darn good read.

  7. I felt similarly about this one...the idea behind it is so immensly creative and original and the charcatre developemnt was fantastic...I just wish the world had been described and explained a lot more...I was left feeling pretty confused...

  8. Yeah, I was a bit bummed about being confused, but overall - I loved the originality!

  9. Crewel definitely had a great concept! I was mostly satisfied with the world, but I'm really hoping we'll learn a lot more about it in the sequel. There are still a few things I'm curious about!

    Nice honest review :)

  10. Thanks for sharing your review. I'm actually waiting for the second book to come out.

  11. I enjoyed this one too! The world-building was slightly confusing, but I do think that there's potential for it to be further explained in the next book. Glad you liked it!

  12. The ending was so amazing-my favorite part and a big reason why I'm craving the second book like right now!

  13. I still cannot decide if I want to read this or not! Ugh! Lol.

  14. I agree, this was such a cool idea! Like you, I enjoyed the story in spite of its flaws (I would have liked to see a more fleshed out world too). I was totally sucked into the story, and I really liked Adelice. I need book two to come out already! Wonderful review :-)

  15. Thank you! I think that, overall, the strengths definitely outweighed the story's weaknesses, for sure!


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