Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Enter a tangled world of secrets and intrigue where a girl is in charge of other’s destinies, but not her own.
Sixteen-year-old Adelice Lewys has always been special. When her parents discover her gift—the ability to weave the very fabric of reality—they train her to hide it. For good reason, they don’t want her to become a Spinster — one of the elite, beautiful, and deadly women who determine what people eat, where they live, how many children they have, and even when they die.
Thrust into the opulent Western Coventry, Adelice will be tried, tested and tempted as she navigates the deadly politics at play behind its walls. Now caught in a web of lies and forbidden romance, she must unravel the sinister truth behind her own unspeakable power. Her world is hanging by a thread, and Adelice, alone, can decide to save it — or destroy it.
Crewel was very unique. I haven't read anything quite like that in a while! I was hooked in pretty quickly, by the second half, I didn't want to put it down at all! Adelice has the ability to weave on the looms that make up time, surroundings, people--basically the ability to weave life. Despite her parents' best attempts to help her hide her abilities, her talent is noticed and she is forced to join the Spinsters that are part of the Guild that rules and controls all life. While it might seem like a posh, plush life to live from the outside, Adelice learns otherwise pretty quickly; there are politics and power-hungry people that aren't worried about trampling others to get what they want--after all, they have the ability to change and destroy lives.
It was a very intriguing read that I quite enjoyed. It feels hard to describe any of it without giving too much away, but I will say it is a gripping, unique read that will keep you entertained! However, while it was an enjoyable read for me, it wasn't flawless. I found myself re-reading several parts to try to understand how the looms and their worlds worked. It's a bit confusing at times, and I think some of it could have been explained a bit better, but it's certainly an interesting idea! I don't fully understand the intentions of a certain character (sorry about the vagueness, but I really don't want to give anything away!) and while most of the characters are developed quite well and the world-building is terrific, I found a few characters a bit lacking, which made it harder to understand what was going through their minds.
I am not a big fan of love triangles and there's a bit of one in Crewel. I don't think it was that well developed and the two boys involved could have used a bit more of character development; despite their importance, I did not find them to have much depth. It would have been nice to know more about their pasts and to see more of their personality. That said, Adelice's involvement with boys was a bit shaky. Granted, she's been mostly segregated from boys her whole life, but some of her decisions are still confusing to me.
Lastly, the ending. It was interesting and not entirely what I was expecting, but it was also a bit messy. Character motives, the structure and world of Arras...it as a bit jumbled and confusing at the end, but it does leave us at an interesting cliffhanger. With this being a series, I'm hoping that the second book will pick up smoothly and be able to untangle the ending to Crewel!
Overall: 4.25 out of 5
Plot: 4 stars
Characters: 3.75 stars
Writing: 4.25 stars
Cover: 4 stars