Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Crewel by Gennifer Albin: Review

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Author: Gennifer Albin
Page Count: 357 pages
Release Date: October 16th, 2012
Status: Book 1 in the Crewler Trilogy
Received From: My public library :)

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

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 to work the looms is everything a girl could want. It means privilege, eternal beauty, and being something other than a secretary. It also means the power to manipulate the very fabric of reality. 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 used her hidden talent for a moment. 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 jokes. One hour to pretend everything’s okay. And one hour to escape.

Because tonight, they’ll come for her.


**MAY CONTAIN SOME**
 

Jumping into the story with the knowledge of it being dystopian, I already knew that there was going to be a lot of story building, new terms and words, but Albin is able to create a story and a narrator that is able to keep the reader informed and in the know of what's going on.

The story is about Adelice Lewys, a girl from the Western Sector of Arras. In her world, everything is ruled by the Guild, and when a girl turns sixteen, she is to undergo training for a month and is tested to see if she has the ability to become a Spinster, a person that can weave time. Adelice has been demonstrating these abilities since she was about eight years old, but she worked with her parents to hide her abilites for her testing.

Unfortunately, she slips up and ends up weaving her surroundings without the use of a loom, and knows that she is to be taken away to live a privileged (yet lonely) life in the Coventry, the home of the Spinsters. She decides to play it cool and not tell her parents, but the Guild comes barging into her home, causing her family to execute an escape plan that (sadly) fails, leaving her parents dead, her sister reassigned to another family, and her being taking away to the Coventry to begin her life of glamour, restrain and solitude.

There, she meets the arrogant, sketchy and somewhat alcoholic Cormac Patton, who seems to have some crazy plans and radical ideas; the crazy Eligble trainer, Maela, who wears everything on her sleeve; her kind but secretive mentor, Enora; Maela's handsome yet confusing lapdog, Erik; a fellow Spinster named Pryanna, the not-so-team player; the blue-eyed head valet, Jost Bell; and the Creweler herself, Loricel.

Adelice tries her best to avoid using her gift, but when Malea and Pryanna start playing dirty, her mentor Enora dies, and Cormac (who was also the leader of her Retrieval and the person behind her parent's execution) still has the power to manipulate her by using her newly reassigned sister against her, Ad learns that their interst to keep her alive is due to the fact that she is the next Creweler.

She makes a lot of mistakes and refuses to be put in her place, she makes her final decision that changes the lives of her loved ones, but leads her to a place that no Creweler can ever manipulate, Reality.

After reading the book, I was left completely lost for words. The end of the book just was....WOW! It was already 11:30pm-ish when I finished and I had sacrificed studying for my French test today (which I know did not turn out well), so I wasn't really able to grasp my emotions and figure out how I was supposed to feel.

But now, reeling from yesterday's emotional events and re-reading the parts of the book that I either dog-earred or book marked (which was pretty much the entire book!).

I loved how Albin was able to create a dsutpian world with it's own background and orgins. Yes, sometimes I did find several of the terms misleading, but Albin has this amazing ability to use her character, Adelice, to make us part of her journey.

Unliike most books, she isn't completely clueless in the beginning. She's a little bit of Rose Hathaway from the Vampire Academy series in the sense that all the information is already with her and she knows the ins-and-outs of the world. Adelice knows the world of Arras and understands that living a life of a beautiful Spinister will leave her sacrificing a lot more. She knows how the world works, but at the same time, she doesn't know how the lives of those in the Coventry work. And that's where she learns how to grow as a character.

I love Adelice as a character, and I love her interactions with Cormac, especially their banter.

"Miss me?" he asks.

"It hasn't been that long," I remind him.

"I'm sure it's felt like a lifetime," he says, running his

eyes down me. "Adelice, you are looking... malnourished."

"Cormac, you're looking overdressed."

"Good," he sneers. "Now the hair matches the attitude."

-Crewel, page 122

 

There are times when she is very scared and she is unable to process her emotions (like when she drank a bottle of wine by herself), but it is understandable with all the loss she's experienced. But then there are moments like her conversations with Cormac that her personality is just perfect.

Another thing I liked from this book are the villans. Ooh! They just got under my skin so much, but in my opinion, any antagonist that makes me want to throw a book across the wall is just brilliant. But the anatagonists in this book come from all different forms, so I was pretty much going crazy the entire book.

Loricel is the Creweler in the book (aka, the Spinster with the power to weave without a loom), and whenever Adelice was with her, I was either really upset that she was so cryptic or really interested with the information she was giving Adelice. My favourite thing about her was that she reminded me a lot like Hannah's grandma from Pretty Little Liars (or was that just me?).

AND THE BOYS! OH IT'S THE BOYS *coughs* (sorry, That's So Raven reference).

Jost and Erick are so...I...they were just AMAZING, let's put it like that. I can't even tell you how I'm supposed to feel with them. Ablin doesn't make the love triangle like a typical one, and there was A LOT of plot twists in it. I was able to figure the Jost-Erick thing pretty early on in the book, but Jost's little story in chapter thirteen just threw me off so bad. Like:


But what I liked the most about this book was the plot. THE PLOT IS AMAZING GUYS! Unlike most first books that just drag on and on with story building and information, the plot is really fast pase, and you find yourself trying to figure out what's going to happen to Adelice after something bad happens. There are times when Adelice is in such a bad situation, you just don't know what she'll do. I actually thought she'd crack under the pressure, but she proves she's tough.

There is SO much restriction in this book, it makes the Giver, the Chrysalids and the Hunger Games look like jokes. The world that Albin builds is a world that has been woven from matter and the fabric on time, and sits above our Earth. Everyone and everything belongs to that overall weave, so if you misbehave, those Spinsters can remove you from the world by cutting your string and then reweave everyone's memories to make them forget you. Or they kill you. Or, they can reweave you and make you forget who you are, which is what is usually chosen instead of death.

It's an amazing world, and an amazing book! I give this book a 4.5 out of 5 stars, because although the characters are amazing, the world is nicely built and the plot is structured nicely, the terms will have you going back and forth alot, trying to make sense of what's going on. BUT IT'S WORTH THE READ, SO GO GET IT!

And I can't wait to get my hands on Altered, available October 29th, 2013!

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