# of Pages: 357
Time it took me to read: 5 days
# of pages a day to finish in a week: 51 pgs
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Adelice has a gift. She has the power to see and weave the threads that make up everything in her world, a gift that means she will be called by her government to be a Spinster. Though being a Spinster means a life of glamorous parties, decadent food, and unparalleled privilege, it also means that she will have to leave her family and her home behind forever. But being a Spinster isn’t what it seems, and when Adelice arrives at her new home, she knows that she has to make allies, and fast. Because in a world of politics and desperate bids for power, Adelice might not be able to trust anyone besides herself. And if she wants to protect the few people left that she loves, she has to make sure that she has more leverage than the people who are trying to control her.
First off, I can’t shake the feeling that this book reminds me of the book that I read last week. It’s super weird, the premises aren’t at all the same, the style isn’t particularly similar, and the characters don’t have the same characteristics at all, so I’m not sure what it is. Perhaps it’s because I enjoyed them about the same amount.
Author Gennifer Albin wastes no time jumping right into her almost fantasy seeming world, though later it evolves more into a dystopia/sci-fi type universe. Normally I try and talk about some of the good parts of the book first, but I really can’t get past the biggest issue I had with this book, and that was that there were too, too many details. It is very clear that Albin had a clear picture in her head when she was writing this book, and I think that’s fantastic. I also think that she didn’t do the most amazing job transcribing that vision onto the page. Sometimes I had to go back and read a passage two or three times to try and understand exactly what just happened, and every once and a while I still couldn’t understand it after a few passes, so I just moved on. Albin’s concept of Adelice’s whole world of Arras being made up of threads of time and matter that the Spinsters can weave and manipulate is fascinating, I just think that I got lost along the way in the sheer number of details and Albin’s complex way of describing them.
Something that I also thought was interesting was that in the beginning of this story, I thought this was going to be an interesting gender power swap kind of book, where the women actually have all the power. And while that is technically true, women are the only ones that have the capabilities to be Spinsters, it is actually the opposite in terms of who holds the power in this world. Because while the women do the important work and wield the power of weaving the threads, the men have the true power in this story. They keep the women placated with fancy parties and beautiful gowns, while the male politicians make all the real decisions.
Adelice figures out the power structure pretty quickly, to her credit, but can’t do a whole lot initially to fight it. She rebels in her own smalls ways, and gets punished fairly severely for it. It doesn’t stop her, though, and I admire that kind of tenacity in a character. In fact, as protagonists go, I don’t have a lot of problems with her. Sometimes it takes her a while to figure things out that I, as a reader, understand a lot quicker, but I guess I understand that some things can’t be revealed until later for plot reasons. But I guess that if I were writing this story, I would have made things slightly less obvious so it didn’t make Adelice seem totally oblivious for not seeing them sooner.
I’m definitely going to pick up the sequel pretty soon here, because the end of this book left me with a lot of questions. I have high hopes that Albin will reign in her writing style a little bit in the second book, and that I’ll have a bit of an easier time understanding the “science/magic” behind the power that Adelice possesses.
This book was definitely a brain candy kind of book, and I think that it’s books like this book, and like Incarceron, that give YA a bad name among those who don’t know better. Don’t get me wrong, I think that brain candy books like this are just fine, for entertainment’s sake. I enjoyed reading this book and Incarceron, but they certainly weren’t perfect, and I don’t think that they were particularly substantial, and perhaps that’s why I was getting a kind of de ja vu while reading Crewel.
YA is my favorite genre, and I feel like day by day, the genre itself is becoming more and more cutthroat in who gets published, because YA has got to be one of the most highly monetized genres in publishing. I’m into it, because I have a lot of feelings about why YA is the most important genre because it is written for an age group where people commonly fall out of reading for fun, particularly in this age where digital media is on the rise and becoming more and more accessible. Okay, end rant. But if you ever want to have a conversation about this kind of stuff, hit me up! I have a lot of opinions and would love to hear yours!
As much as I hate to have this kind of thought process going in, I have a feeling that my book for this upcoming week is going to leave me with much the same feeling, but here’s to hoping that I’m wrong and it’s spectacular. Stay tuned!
If you liked Crewel, try: Incarceron by Catherine Fisher
The Maze Runner by James Dashner
Maximum Ride by James Patterson
After the End by Amy Plum