"It is hard to make a decision to save thousands
when it compromises one."
--Gennifer Albin, Crewel
Genre: YA Science Fiction, Dystopia
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 368 pages
Publication Date: October 16th, 2012
Warning: There will be multiple attempts at being witty laced with horrible puns trying to interchange cruel and crewel...you have been warned. And boy, was this novel crewel (yep, right off the bat, had to do it, couldn't resist) but crewel in the best possible way. But I'm getting ahead of myself. First, how BEAUTIFUL is this cover?! Oh my stars, I just want to stare at it all day and fall into it. Definitely sets the visual foundation. The novel is a fantastic blend of science fiction and dystopia that takes place in the world known as Arras where Adelice lives with her parents and younger sister Amie. In Arras, girls are evaluated to determine if they have the skills to become Spinsters, and no this does not have a negative connotation to it as it does in our world, Spinsters are celebrities. They have the best food, gowns, accommodations, jobs, they are seen as goddesses among mere mortals because they weave the time and matter that make up the world around everyone. It is an honor and a privilege...to some. Adelice has spent her life secretly training with her parents in order to avoid this fate however their plan backfires. Adelice is whisked away to the Coventry where she trains along with a multitude of other things. You'll have to pick up this fantastic book to read the rest and find our for yourself...how very crewel of me...I know ;)
I LOVED this book. Everything about it. The characters, the world, the science but I have to break it down to give this book justice. SO the world building in the book is definitely intricate and the foundation of the work that the Spinsters do is a little difficult to wrap your head around at first. Maybe its just me because I am a geek and have to read and re-read every description of the process in order to begin to wrap my head around the details of the job. I like to know everything so while I am a very quick reader, I personally took a little longer with the first 100 pages because I did not want to miss one detail or image of the weaving. I wanted to be able to really picture the looms and colors in my head before moving on which is just one reason why I loved reading this.
And let's talk about the science for just a second. The basis of this novel with Arras and all the details you find once you read it is SO UNIQUE! The idea that matter and time can be weaved and created and destroyed was so geek-tastic to read about I just couldn't get enough! The visualization of the looms and the process was so vivid. Just fantastic.
*sigh* The characters. Holy amazing. I just blogged about my Top Ten Kick Ass Heroines (and you can read all about them here Top Ten Kick Ass Heroines :) C'mon, go ahead, click it) and I am so sad that I compiled that list before reading Crewel because I would have had to kick somebody off in order to include Adelice. Damn, was this girl a spitfire. I'm biased. Any female character that has a sharp tongue, quick wit, and zero tolerance for ignorant humans gets an automatic gold star in my book. She is no exception. And what I like about her is that she goes from zero to sixty in 1.2 seconds. Her family is wronged, she is pissed, and from that moment on she is not going to go easily or quietly. Admirable to say the very least. She is a fighter and does she ever fight. She does not take any crap from anybody and I could not get enough of this. One of my favorite lines from the book is when she says, "I don't think they could go far enough to make me docile." *BOOM* Watch out world, Adelice is a force to be reckoned with. Stand clear. She is a truly kick ass female and I cannot wait to see what she does next...when is Book 2?!
Now...on to the boys...*rawr*. This novel does not lack in any imaginary male eye candy...mind candy?...Anyways. We not only have 2 young and good-looking suitors for our heroine but a handsome older gentleman as well...oh, hey there. I really have nothing super intelligent to say about the boys I just wanted to gush for a second. The differences between the young bucks are great. Quiet and passionate versus confident and cocky. But like all complex characters there are fantastic layers to both of these men that one would never see coming. They are not just nice to imagine they both keep the story twisting and turning and Albin weaves (yep, did it again, how punny am I?!) an amazing story and you never really know where the loom will lead us next. Cormac especially keep things very interesting...and I have a feeling that quality will not go away anytime soon.
Crewel was very fast paced, intense, emotional and really difficulty to put down. And maybe it was just me but one of my favorite moments was when Adelice began to work with who she ends up working with (no spoilers, sorry, go read it!) because I felt an instant connection to The Giver which is one of my all time FAVORITE books so it felt a little like coming home to me when this whole storyline developed. I couldn't keep the smile off of my face. I also LOVE the quote I chose at the top of the page. I loved how Albin brought to light the idea of choices and repercussions and how the choices you make affect so many more than you think. There are so many times that the situation of would you sacrifice one to save many arises and most people would say that's an easy choice but I've never thought that. If that one person is you or somebody you love that decision would not be so easy to make and I could not get over how Albin presented it here. It was just fantastic.
Overall this book is really quite amazing. It was unique, the emotions raw and honest, and the situations poor Adelice has to face reiterates the statement that has been repeated for decades...It's a crewel, crewel world...