Crewell book review | Alexia's Books and Such: Crewell book review

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Monday, March 23, 2015

Crewell book review

Book Review:  Crewel by Gennifer Albin | Alexia's Books and Such Title:  Crewel
Author:  Gennifer Albin
Release Date:  October 16, 2012
Publisher:  Farrar, Straus, and Giroux
Source:  ARC received at BEA
Synopsis:  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. (Goodreads)

My Review:

Crewel is the first book in a trilogy, but I'm not sure that I want to read the rest.

Adelice, the main character, struck me as selfish, unlikable, and unsympathetic. I know that we're supposed to feel sorry for all she's been through, but so much of it was her own fault that I couldn't muster up much sympathy.

Trained for years by her parents to hide her ability and told that she needs to fail the testing session for her own safety, Adelice "slips" on the final testing day. To make matters worse, she lies to her parents when she gets home and lets them believe the ruse worked. 

I got the impression that her parents had a plan in place in case the ruse didn't work, but things turned out terribly because Adelice wanted to pretend that everything would be okay. How incredibly selfish and immature!

Almost every bad thing that happens to Adelice is her own fault. Maybe not entirely, but at least partially. And yet she won't take responsibility for any of it, which annoyed me even more!

Yes Adelice is incredibly gifted, but too many people give her warning after warning and risk their own safety, which left me at a loss. Why would so many people try to help her when she wasn't very nice? And why wouldn't she listen?

Even when Adelice is punished and we're told how awful the punishment was, it didn't seem to matter to her. I know I'd have a quick attitude adjustment after being left in a dark, dank dungeon for days on end, but not Adelice! Are we supposed to admire her spunk? I just thought she was reckless and foolish.

That sounds really harsh and like I didn't enjoy the book at all, which isn't the case. I loved the idea of the Spinsters, weaving time and material like the Fates of old! I wish we had spent more time with the other Spinsters and learned more about the process.

The world that the author has created sounds fascinating too! The Powers That Be have absolute control over their citizens, dictating every detail of their lives, from how many children you can have to when you die. Terrifying! 

And despite the power the Spinsters have, women are definitely second-class citizens in this society. Not allowed to travel and kept in traditional female occupations, they have very few rights. I would have liked to explore this world in more detail!

The ending left me a little torn. The big finale seemed like just another reckless action by Adelice and left me liking her even less, but I sort of want to read the next book to see what happens. I think I'll wait and maybe time will soften my feelings for Adelice.

Have you read this series? Is it worth finishing? Am I being too harsh on Adelice? I'd love to know your thoughts!


  1. Well damn! This one sounds like such a cool idea but I really hate selfish reckless characters. I don't know if it's worth it. Sigh! Maybe in the following books she matures? If so, they might be worth the read.

    1. I'm not sure why she got under my skin the way she did, but I just didn't care for her!

  2. Busy reading a book in which I don't care for any of the characters I understand where you are coming from with your review of this. Here's hoping future books will prove to be more to your taste.

    1. Thanks Tracy! The rest of the book was good so never even considered not finishing, she just annoyed me for some reason.

  3. Having problems with blogger ..... again. Apologies if my comments shows up more than once.

    I know just where you are coming from when you complain about characters that you can't muster any sympathy for. I feel the same about the characters in Jodi Picoult's Mercy - awful each and every one of them.

    1. No worries! Blogger can be temperamental sometimes. :)

  4. Hmm. Sounds like the story was a bit off in reasons in places. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thinking I'll put off reading the next book and maybe she won't annoy me so much by then.

  5. From your comments I won't bother. I need my main character to be likeable, 'nough said. :-)

    Anna from Shout with Emaginette

    1. I know! I usually stop reading when a character annoys me, but the rest of the book was good enough to keep my interest.

  6. This sounds very frustrating! I hate when a plot depends on the main character making unbelievably stupid decisions.

    1. The book would have been so much better IMO if Adelice had just been nicer!


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