Saturday, September 1, 2012

Crewel (Crewel World #1) by Gennifer Albin: review

Goodreads rating: 4.10
Hardcover, 368 pages
Expected publication: October 16th 2012 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Series: Crewel World #1
Source: ARC from ALA

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.

This book was strange but in a good way. If anyone says this book isn't unique, they seriously need a CAT scan. And this is not like any other dystopian. YA dystopians are now becoming dystopian fantasies, which I love. They have the best world-building, and I loved the world-building in Crewel. It actually reminded me of the movie Minority Report with Tom Cruise, but instead of precogs predicting crimes before they happen, it's spinsters who correct the problem after it happens. But they're so good at what they do, that no one even remembers the incident happening. And Arras is looking for a replacement for a very special kind of spinster. And they find out that Adelice may have this power when she reveals herself during the spinster test. Her mother was always teaching her to hide her abilities like it was life and death. But it turns out that the spinsters can deal out a fate worse than that: being erased completely. Even though this takes place in a society much different and much more controlling than hours, this really showed how too much power and technology can do to free will. The people of Arras are ed to believe that there's no crime and that they live perfect lives. But Adelice's parents knew better, and they paid for it.

On to the love triangle. I am so done with them. Seriously, guys, they're just getting to be tedious. I used to like picking which guy I liked, but when I realize it's going to be a love triangle, I just resign myself to seeing who she kisses first and usually end up choosing him. Adelice was a strong heroine, but everyone kept telling her to keep her mouth shut because she really didn't want to know what they would do to her if she spoke her mind too loudly. Jost was one of those people. Because Adelice ran when the government came to take her away to be a spinster, she was put in jail for a couple days, and Jost was the one that came to take her out of the cell and to her room. And then there's Erik, who Adelice is more like and he really wants to take care of her. She's around Jost more, but her and Erik shared a pretty great kiss in the moonlight. At first, I wasn't sure which guy I liked, but eventually I came to love Erik more than Jost. He's just such a mystery still, and I feel like we know who Jost is already. This book also got into the topic of sexual orientation, and Cormac (the seemingly-misunderstood yet ruthless leader) believed being gay didn't let society function. I can't say much more because it would spoil it, but I love the way the author handled this touchy subject.

This book was a little hard to get into at first because the world was so different. I didn't have any kind of context to put it into and I couldn't even imagine the technology where one's life is literally hanging by threads that some woman is in charge of. There's literally nowhere anyone can hide, because they can just bring you up on a loom by using your own personal sequence that everyone has. But then I found out that Arras isn't all that far from earth, and that's really all I can say about it. But that's why I originally thought this was a fantasy, when in fact it is both a fantasy and a dystopian. This government is amazingly corrupt and horribly controlling. They manipulate the entire population with a simple snipping of someone's thread, and I hope we never come to that. The author created very strong characters, although I wish Adelice had had more friends that weren't Erik, Jost, and her assistant. The only girl she could have been friends with started to hate her because of something another jealous spinster did. There are so many lies and so much deceit in this book, and it pretty much all takes place in a building at an unknown location. But I found myself loving this book by the end, and with that cliffhanger I cannot wait to see what happens next!

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