She’s got a knack for words: A Review of CREWEL by Gennifer Albin

Crewel (Crewel World, #1) 
Gennifer Albin
368 pages
Publisher: Macmillan
Release Date: October 16th, 2012
Source: ARC from Publisher
Rating: LIKED

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.

I was late to the game in reading CREWEL. Maybe that’s why I didn’t love it like everyone else. The hype was huge – everyone was raving about the world, the writing, Adelice.

The writing was beautiful. Flowing like the st​​rands making up Arras itself. It’s no lie that Gennifer Albin has a knack for words. The, however, world was strikingly bland – though it had so many tiers making up the governing powers that my head swam trying to keep track of it all. East and West and the Guild and various coventries named East and West and so on.

I enjoyed the story, nonetheless. At least, that which I understood. Time and portals and other worlds are a difficult aspect to describe. Some authors can describe them fluidly, building it as the plot goes. With Adelice as clueless as we are, info dumps occur throughout much of the story, and not all of it was easy to understand.

My main problem, however, aside from the hard-to-understand world, was Adelice. Coming from a family where she was always the not-so-talkative sister, where she tried to keep her talent a secret, where she couldn’t bring herself to tell her parents she slipped and that the Guild would be coming for her – Adelice is easy to think of as a soft-spoken, mostly quiet girl. I just couldn’t justify her fierceness when it came to speaking once she was taken away from everything she knew. She would bluntly put off high-ranking officials and argue pointlessly with those who tried to help her.

Then there was Josten, a character I came to love by the time I flipped the last page. I’m not a fan of the name, but his backstory broke my heart and made me long for instances when Adelice was with him.

All in all, CREWEL was good. It’s a solid story, despite the issues I had. If I had a chance to read it again for the first time, I would. While I can’t say I’m dying for the sequel (which I’ve got in my hands), I am definitely going to see what happens next.

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Hafsah Faizal is a YA author, designer, and blogger. Her designs have graced the sites of New York Times bestselling authors, bloggers, and more. She resides in Texas, with her family.



  1. Reply


    July 20, 2013

    I agree with you 100%. The writing was good, but I just couldn't connect with the characters all that much and I was super disappointed in the world building.

  2. Reply


    July 21, 2013

    I am interested in reading this book, because I like to know how my opinions compare with others.
    I think the concept of this book sounds fantastic, and I'm glad to know there is a swoon-worthy book boyfriend :D
    Chiara @ Books For A Delicate Eternity

  3. Reply

    Fly to the Sky

    July 21, 2013

    Nice review!! I am about half way through this book and I definitely agree with you about Adelice going through a complete 180. I was sooo surprised when this girl I had a summed was more of the quiet type all of a sudden was speaking out. It felt so out of character!!! Well now I kind of need to go finish the book!

  4. Reply

    Soma Rostam

    July 21, 2013

    Well, Hafsah, this book has been getting a lot of hype , indeed
    Every blogger out there was a fan, so I am scared of reading. I don't really want to be the odd one out, and i really need some time to study for senior year,
    So , maybe not this year, next year I will have time for this
    your reader,

  5. Reply


    July 23, 2013

    Yeah, it seemed like everyone was talking about this book when it was first released. And the premise just sounds sooo good! But that doesn't mean much if the execution doesn't equal the awesomeness of the idea, unfortunately. So that's a right shame, it is. I'm still curious about this one, and the writing, but I can't say it's a priority of mine. Nicely reviewed!

  6. Reply

    Jessie Harrell

    July 24, 2013

    I read it late in the game too and found myself confused a lot. It wasn't one I loved although the writing is great!