Friday, October 5, 2012


Crewel by Gennifer Albin
4/5 stars
Farrar Straus Giroux, 2012
357 pages
YA Fantasy Science-Fiction Dystopia

Source: Received an e-ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I found Crewel to be a refreshing breath of air amid a lot of books that left me disappointed. I was first attracted to the cover as well as wondering about the title-what does crewel mean? Turns out it is an embroidery term and I am interested to learn more about the practical side of that as my crafty self is flaring. I thought it was a very solid book with a lot of potential to be unraveled in the rest of the series.

I felt like this book drew from science-fiction, dystopia, and fantasy for an overall magical story. Although vastly different, I was especially reminded of Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale with severely circumscribed roles and rights for women and jealous protection of those few areas where they do reign. Most frightening of those aspects is the government which uses the weaving abilities of its citizens to "rip" dissidents out of existence if complete brain remapping proves insufficient to tame them. Even as humans prove resilient, those in power want to crush them. This is one evil government with some surprising origins. One genre I had hoped to see more of was fairy tale due to the presence of the spinning-that makes me think of "Sleeping Beauty" and "The Three Spinning Fairies" but oh well.

Three last things I liked would be the sister-sister relationship, the character Cormac, and the ending. Adelice loves her younger sister and that is unfortunate for her because it makes the sister a tool the government can use to force Adelice to use her power for their own ends. As long as Adelice cares and cannot protect the sister, it puts them in an awful situation. I've mentioned before that I have a younger sister and reading about protective older sisters is a good way for me to bond with a character. Second is that I loved villainous power-hungry government official Cormac; I don't have much to say about him beyond that but I thought he was just great for his purpose. I also have a few (non-spoilery) things to say about the ending: Well then...WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN NEXT?

But (you knew there had to be something I really didn't like) there were these two competing love interests. Now I think one definitely has Adelice's heart but there's a lot of tension between the three of them. I am not going to ding this book for the two guys but I will ding it for not getting me interested in either guy. By which I mean, they did not bring the swoon.

Overall: Although this was less fairy-tale than I had expected, it ended up being a really enjoyable read with a good MC and a great set-up for the second book.

Cover: I would say this is pretty much what first drew me to the book-I love the swirl of colors and am surprised to like a cover that doesn't feature a pretty dress!



  1. I love when books pull from many different genres so I am happy to hear that there is some dystopian, sci-fi and fantasy. A little bummed to hear about the lack of swoon. :( But I am looking forward to reading this so thank you for a great review! :)

    ~Sara @ Forever 17 Books

  2. I'm happy to hear you enjoyed this one. I've been very curious since BEA when it was getting a lot of buzz. I wished I'd received a review copy but I did not. I hope it is available at the library in the near future. Great review.

  3. I've never heard of this one but I like that it seems to bring different elements from other genres into the same book. I'm going to add this one to my list for sure.

  4. Sounds like this was a pleasant surprise. I'm glad you enjoyed it- sorry neither of the love interests were all that INTEREST-ing

  5. Glad you enjoyed this one. I am surprised so many have not heard of this book yet, considering how heavily it is being promoted. It definitely brings something new to the table and I thought it was an entertaining read. I don't know that it will be a favorite but I will definitely read the next with pleasure. I'm interested to see where the author takes this.

  6. I cannot wait to find out what happens next either.

    (I love the cover image, but they put this little flappy thing on the ARC that made it super hard to hold.)

  7. I was really keen to read Crewel, unfortunately my netgalley copy was archived a couple of days after I was approved so I didn't get a chance. Glad to hear it was good :)

  8. Now I am interested in reading this book! Aside from the whole love triangle thing it sounds very appealing. Thanks for your review!


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