Review: Crewel by Gennifer Albin

Book Reviews

Crewel (Crewel World #1) by Gennifer Albin Gone with the Words Review

4.5 Stars

In a sea of Dystopian novels, I’m surprised Crewel isn’t making more waves. For one, it’s a completely unique setting, with layers of complex world-building. Second, Crewel has a smart heroine who is strong and likable. And finally, it has TWO hot guys and KISSING!

Let’s start with the world Gennifer Albin has created. At first, you may feel a little bit lost trying to make sense of it all. I know I struggled a bit at first, but the more I read, the easier it got to understand. Since the story is told in the first person, you only know what the main character does, so she’s learning what the Spinsters REALLY do right along with us. It’s definitely way too intricate for me to try to describe it to y’all. I’d fail at it. Arras, the world these characters live in, is not Earth…OR IS IT?! There’s a mystery there and it felt very Matrix-y, except without the computer stuff. You’ll have to read it to get what I’m talking about because I’m not telling you anything else! It was just really cool getting deeper and deeper into the layers of this story.

Adelice was certainly not a naive character. She has smarts and she knows how to use them. She also has a penchant for letting her mouth get her in trouble, which is something I can relate to. I have a smart mouth and it didn’t do me any favors growing up…especially around authority figures, which is what Adelice is surrounded by. I did find it odd that she wasn’t shyer around the guys she comes in contact with, considering her whole life girls and boys were segregated in her town, so she’s never really talked to any. It’s not like there’s insta-love in this book, but there’s definitely flirting early on. She has to put up with a lot of crap after she’s taken to be a Spinster, including getting advances from a man that could easily be her father. Yuck! Also, a bitchy superior who instantly makes her life hell. But she never stops fighting. :)

I guess that’s all there is…sorry, what was that? Oh, yes! THE TWO HOT GUYS AND THE KISSING! How could I ever forget? *bats eyes innocently* Seriously. We all know this is what I’ve been dying to talk about. First, we meet Erik. He’s a guard at the coventry where Adelice now lives. He is gorgeous, charming, cocky, and completely belongs to the bitchy superior I was telling you about. At least, everyone says he does, but they make it seem like he also gets around. Then there’s Josten, the head valet. He is dark haired, blue eyed, sometimes prickly, but always kind. I thought it was so cute how he teased Adelice all the time. These two guys seem so different, yet they both watch out for Adelice in a lot of the same ways. There isn’t really a love triangle here though…at least not on Adelice’s end. She knows who she likes.

The ending was very intense! There are confrontations and secrets get out and I definitely want Altered NOW! I think Altered is going to be really interesting and different from Crewel. I can’t wait to read it.

Book Info

Crewel by Gennifer Albin
Series: Crewel World #1
Published by Farrar Straus and Giroux BfYR
Pub Date: October 16th 2012
Pages: 368
Format: ARC | Source: Publisher
Genres: DystopianYoung Adult
Buy the book! | Goodreads

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.

About Gennifer Albin

Gennifer is a recovering academic who discovered she could write books of her own and people would read them! She lives in a perfect seaside village in Washington state with her family, but spends most of my time in Arras and other fantastical new worlds. She appreciates strong coffee and bold imaginations, prefers her heroines with sass, and is always searching for her next big adventure. Gennifer’s debut novel, CREWEL, was written during NaNo ’10 and she now sits on the official National Novel Writing Month Advisory Board. Her work is represented by Mollie Glick of Foundry Literary + Media.

Jess @ Gone with the Words

16 Responses to “Review: Crewel by Gennifer Albin”

  1. Avatar

    Isalys / Book Soulmates

    So funny story…last November, we were at the Miami Book Fair and we were sitting in an auditorium waiting for the Beautiful Creatures panel. I’m sitting there with my crew, Jenna from MTG Reviews and some mystery lady. We’re all just chatting away (as girls do), hanging out…it wasn’t until later, when I noticed the name on her badge that I realized we were hanging out with Gennifer the whole time. Needless to say, I was all “oh snap!” LOL

    Honestly, I’ve seen some mixed reviews of this book but Gennifer was so cool and based on your review, I think I should read it ;)

    Thanks chica!

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    Andrea Modolo (@Book_lover1988)

    I wasn’t a fan of this book. I found it took me too long to get into and understand what was happening. I just felt distracted during this book and couldn’t wrap my head around everything. I will admit there were interesting parts (or I wouldn’t have kept with it). And the ending definitely left me wondering, but I honestly don’t think I will continue with this series, sadly. I’m glad that you enjoyed it and that it is getting love from readers!

  3. Avatar


    I remember thinking this sounded interesting when I first heard about it but then I didn’t see too many reviews and it kind of fell off my radar. Thanks for the reminder!

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    Yay, so glad you enjoyed Crewel! I also really liked Adelice’s smart mouth. It surprised me every single time, because I guess I’m so used to YA heroines letting people walk over them or something. Her dialogues with just about everyone were some of my favorite parts of the book. :D

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    Jessssss, so happy you liked this one. I’m surprised more people haven’t gotten swept away by it, too. I thought Adelice was awesome, and Josten was SWOONY. The way it left off, I am twitching for the sequel!

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    I enjoyed this book a lot too-I would probably say I was swept away with it catching me at just the right time. The ending was killer and left me so pumped for the second book!

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    Wow a female leading lady who knows which guy she wants!?!?!? I find this really hard to believe because I feel like she would change her mind later on in the series. I do like the idea of two hot guys and lots of kissing mixed with a cool world though.

    Thanks for the great review, glad you liked this one!

  8. Avatar

    Alexa Loves Books (@alexalovesbooks)

    Honestly, I know people had issues with this one, but I generally liked it. I was very curious about the world, and I do wonder what’s going to happen next to Adelice! It’s a complex world, and it’ll be interesting to see what Albin does with it as the series progresses.

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    Lauren @ Love is not a triangle

    I keep hearing great things about this one! It is on my radar for sure and I’m glad you liked it. My big worry is the two guys and the potential love triangle. That’s why I’m holding off until the next book is released. But the whole concept of the Spinsters has me intrigued!

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    So glad you liked this one, I thought it was really good too and was surprised it didn’t get as much buzz. I cannot wait for the next one, that ending was crazy!!!! =D

  11. Avatar


    After reading this review I am sorry I have put this off for so long! I bought it when it was $1.99 for my nook but I thought, meh I’ll read it later. I’m glad the second one is already out. :)

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