It’s been a while since I read this book. Actually, almost three months. Now that the year is coming to an end, I told myself I couldn’t wait any longer. Otherwise I probably never would write this review. So, it’s mostly based on my lingering feelings and impressions because I can’t remember all the details. I’ve no intentions of rereading this book either to help me remember. I didn’t love it enough. Altogether, it took me two months from the day I started reading till I finally managed to finish reading this, so that kinda is an indication in itself.
Incapable. Awkward. Artless.
That’s what the other girls whisper behind her back. But sixteen-year-old Adelice Lewys has a secret: She wants to fail.
Gifted with the ability to weave time with matter, she’s exactly what the Guild is looking for, and in the world of Arras, being chosen to work the looms is everything a girl could want. It means privilege, eternal beauty, and being something other than a secretary. It also means the power to manipulate the very fabric of reality. But if controlling what people eat, where they live, and how many children they have is the price of having it all, Adelice isn’t interested.
Not that her feelings matter, because she slipped and used her hidden talent for a moment. Now she has one hour to eat her mom’s overcooked pot roast. One hour to listen to her sister’s academy gossip and laugh at her dad’s jokes. One hour to pretend everything’s okay. And one hour to escape.
Because tonight, they’ll come for her.
Crewel was a tough one for me to get into. I think I read the first couple of chapters three times before finally moving past them. I started reading, then it was due at the library. I borrowed it again, started, then put it down. Five days before it was due, I told myself I had to plough through. I’m glad I did. The world building was extremely original. It was different from the other Dystopians I’ve come across. Weaving time and matter, and being able to build people’s reality is a blessing and every girl’s dream. Unless that girl is Adelice. For her it was a curse and a nightmare. It meant being torn away from her own life and her own path to fulfil the requirements of a Creweler.
For the world building alone, I just had to finish reading the book. See, every life in their society was a thread on a loom that could be broken or relocated. This meant that a Creweler indeed had a lot of power and since Crewelers could only be female, more power to women! But that is also where my problem begun. On the surface, more power was given to women. Once you dig deeper, you realize that that was not the case. Men still were in power. View Spoiler »The Guild these women stayed in? Yes, run by men who treated women as weak, even if they were Crewelers. Then there was this creep of a guy who would choose a Creweler to escort him to important events. Not out of respect, mind you. As an accessory. Even more disturbing was when he picked out Adelice. Their age gap constituted decades and yet he also made advances towards her. Eww! « Hide Spoiler So yes, I had a huge issue with the appearance of women having power since men couldn’t be Crewelers but in the end, women still were subverted because they had to yield to men. There was no mention about that being the problem. Nope. The problem lay with the pretty standard dichotomy between the government and the people. Go figure.
When it comes down to it, I think this is why I took so long to pen down my thoughts about Crewel. I didn’t love it, even though the synopsis and the Goodreads ratings and reviews had me believe I would. I wasn’t underwhelmed either such that I hated it. The setting and concept make Crewel and extremely worthwhile book. But the characters didn’t draw me in as much. The love triangle was terrible; I didn’t care for it. I thought the writing was a little cumbersome to read at some points (especially in the beginning) but maybe I was in a semi-reading slump, so I couldn’t muster much excitement. Most annoying though were the overtones of sexism that were apparent in this book. I know I will still read Altered (Crewel World #2) eventually, if only for the world building alone but I’m not sure if that will sustain me till the third book.
Some other opinions:
Kat from Cuddlebuggery downright hated Crewel and gave it 1 out of 5 stars.
Renae from Respiring Thoughts had the same reservations as I did but didn’t feel as generous and gave 2 of 5 stars.
Lauren from Lose Time Reading loved Crewel so much, she couldn’t get enough of it and gave it a glowing 5 out of 5 stars.