Favorite Quotes on Books and Reading

"A book is a gift you can open again and again." Garrison Keillor

Literature is a textually transmitted disease, normally contracted in childhood.” Jane Yolen

"It is what you read when you don't have to that determines what you will be when you can't help it." Oscar Wilde

"Books have furnished, burnished, and enabled my life." Julia Keller

Thursday, October 18, 2012

2012 Book 204: CREWEL Review


Crewel (Crewel World #1) by Gennifer Albin
ISBN: 9780374316419 (Hardcover)
 9780374316440 (Ebook)
ASIN: B0080K3D10 (Kindle)
Publication date: October 16, 2012
Publisher: Farrar, Strauss and Giroux

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.

Adelice, and her parents, know that she is special, but they don't want her to become a Spinster. Her parents know that if she is taken by the Guild she'll never return home or see her family again. They have tried to teach her to hide her gifts and expect her to fail her testing. Unfortunately Adelice excels during her testing and knows that she'll be taken. What she doesn't know are the great lengths her parents will go to while trying to save her. Their efforts result in her father's death, her mother is missing, her sister is in custody, and she is considered a runaway. This is not a great way to start with the Spinsters.

After initially being thrown into a cell and treated as a prisoner, Adelice is soon given preferences no other Eligible is shown. She is wined and dined by the Coventry Ambassador, Cormac Patton and hated by her training supervisor, Maela and another Eligible, Priyana. She befriends a guard, Erik, and falls in love with a valet, Jost Bell. Her mentor, Enora, tries to guide her in proper protocol, as well as in curbing her resistance to the rules and regulations. She is also cautioned by Erik and Ambassador Cormac, but Adelice knows that all is not what it appears. She is all too aware that the Guild and the Spinsters control the lives and well-being of all residents of Arras. She quickly learns that the reality of Arras may be defined by the Spinsters but it is the Guild that has total control. 

Adelice quickly becomes the new Crewel trainee under the guidance of the current Crewel, Loricel. The Crewel has weaving skills that no other Spinster has and is given a certain amount of latitude with regards to rules and regulations, or at least Loricel is partially due to her age as well as her skills. But the more Adelice learns about being a Spinster and the Crewel the more she questions. The more Adelice questions the more she realizes she must escape . . . escape not only from the Guild but from Arras. Will her actions cause more ripples in the unrest throughout Arras? Will she be able to successfully escape and leave her sister behind?

Ms. Albin has created a wonderful dystopian tale with Crewel (Crewel World #1). Adelice, Loricel, Jost, and even Erik are all likeable characters and the interaction between them all adds a sense of realism to the story. Maela, and Priyana to a lesser extent, are vindictive and jealous and play the roles of "mean girls" quite well. Cormac Patton symbolizes the power and the corruption of the Guild in their need to control everything, even how people think. Crewel provides a few twists and turns when learning about the responsibilities of the Spinsters and the Guild and just how controlling they are over the reality of Arras. The plot twists at the end (no I won't reveal what it is) provide a glimpse into what may happen with the next book. I eagerly await the next installment in the life and reality of Adelice.

Learn more about Crewel World here.

Disclaimer: I received an advanced reader copy of this book free via ShelfAwareness Pro. I was not paid, required or otherwise obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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