Author: Gennifer Albin
Series: Crewel World #1
Publication Date: October 16, 2012
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Reading Level: Young Adult
Pages: 368 (ARC)
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.
Once I saw this cover, I knew I had to have this book and, boy, did it amaze me. It's hard to properly describe this book, but the words "innovative" "unique" and "one-of-a-kind" come to mind. Not to mention the fact that the magnificent world-building surpassed all expectations. The very concept of weaving the world is unique in itself, and it's easy for any fantasy lover to be entranced by the world that Albin weaved for us. This book is beautifully complex and enthralling, I easily got through it in one sitting.
With such amazing vividness used to describe the world of Arras, I was hoping for equally strong characterization. While the characterization was great for the most part, it was slightly frustrating at other times. Adelice, the main character (with such a beautiful name!) was a bit back and forth for me. I absolutely adored her snarkiness, curiosity, and sarcasm. As an elder teenager I could relate to her easily. But when put into specific situations, I was puzzled by some of her responses. Some of the things that came out of her mouth made me sit back and wonder where it came from because it was so out of character. She was a bit wishy-washy randomly. As for the other characters, I liked their building even if I disliked the character as a person. However, the attempts at villainous behavior and the motives behind such behavior were a little odd at times and instead translated to creepiness with a diabolical edge instead of outright villainous behavior. I get that jealousy can make people do stupid things, but being jealousy of a girl who is over a decade younger than you because you have a helpless crush on a boy that is a decade younger then you? Really? They're supposed to be together, they're the same age, you are the one at fault! It's skewed thinking like this that threw me for a loop and had me shaking my head at times. I'm hoping that things will be more realistic in book two.
There was a slight love triangle in this book as well, but it was incredibly clear that Adelice favored one boy much more than the other. While is one arrogant and cocky, the other is strong-willed and observant. Both boys had redeeming qualities, but I must say that I believe Adelice made the proper choice. This is not a love triangle worth getting worked up over because it does contribute considerably to the plot in a positive manner. It helps move it along and the romance does not overpower any plot points.
As for the ending of this novel, it has me craving book two. And while I am beyond anxious for the next installment in the Crewel World series, I was still left with a few questions with this one. While I understand that the place it left off at was reasonable, I have too many questions that are still left unanswered. There are many fates of many characters that still need to be revealed. And the ending itself was slightly bizarre and leads a reader to come up with theories of their own. While this ending is open to interpretation, I may go insane without book two.