Jiwon Choi's Review on Crewel
The book Crewel is a young adult fantasy book that was written by author Gennifer Albin. It was first published in October 16, 2012 and it is the first book in the series of Crewel World. It is about the world being controlled, being watched, and the segregation between men and women. In this world, Spinsters can decide everyone else’s destiny except theirs. Spinsters are women who control people in the world. They control how many kids one has, what people eat, where they live, and even when they die. They can also control how the world works. For example, they can weave what kind of weather the people on Earth are going to get. When one becomes a spinster, they go into a Coventry where they will control the world and will never be let out from the Coventry. Even though Spinsters are controlled and watched by the Guild ambassador named Cormac, the most powerful spot is being a Creweler. A Creweler is not controlled by anyone and is the only person who can actually make Arras (the outside world of the Coventry) a better world. Crewel is a book that is amazingly unique and is a world that is filled with magic and secrets....
Adelice Lewys is 16 years old and has a special ability in weaving. When her parents find out about her special ability, they try to hide it because they don’t want her to become a Spinster. As soon as one is eligible to become a spinster there is no going back. Every year girls train to become spinsters and they test to see if they are eligible to become one. On the day of her testing, she accidentally shows her special ability of weaving which is being able to weave without a loop and gets elected to become a Spinster. When her parents find out that she became chosen to become a spinster, they try to run away but eventually becomes caught by the group from the guild that came to escort her into the Coventry. Her father is killed, her mother and her sister named Amie are nowhere to be found. Now, she will have try to stay alive in the Coventry, where she will be spied on, and may be forced to be remapped (turn into a different person and do what the Guild ambassador wants her to). It’s her time to decide what world she would choose. The way into becoming a Creweler or go to Earth and save her sister and Jost’s daughter.
The main characters in Crewel are Adelice, Jost, and Erik. Erik and Jost both falls in love with Adelice and Adelice is not a sweet girl who does everything they want her to do. Adelice is a girl with special abilities in weaving. She is a very brave girl who does not even try to act sweet towards people she doesn’t like. She says everything she wants to and has to say. She comes into the Coventry and tries to save her sister Amie when she finds out that Amie is still alive and determines to untangle all the truth about the Conventry and what happened to her family. She also falls in love with Jost the valet even though she knows that will put both of them in trouble. Jost is the valet in the Coventry. He comes into the Conventry to avenge for his wife and his child’s death. He is a very sweet guy with some deep dark secrets, and eventually becomes close with Adelice. Soon, he falls in love with her and soon he finds out that his daughter is still alive. Then he decides to help Adelice try to find his daughter and her sister Amie even though this means that he has to risk his life. Erik is a guy that was a nobody in Coventry who soon becomes adopted by Maela and becomes a somebody in the Conventry. He is the assistant of Maela, and he does work that Cormac and Maela gives him to do. He is also the guy that is allowed to be near Spinsters because he was well trained of what he is to do and not to do when he is near girls. He tells new spinsters where to go and where they will stay. He is like the tour guide for new spinsters. After Adelice comes into the Conventry, for first time of his life, he falls in love and betrays Maela. In the end, he has to choose who to be with, Maela or Adelice...
There are two types of conflicts in this book. The conflicts of the story are person versus person and person versus self. I know that the conflict in the story is person versus person because in the Coventry, there are a lot of people who have conflicts within each other. For example, Maela is always trying to pull down Adelice and make her suffer because she doesn’t like Adelice. Adelice “stole” Erik away from her and she is loved by Cormac so she is jealous of Adelice. Another example is that when new Spinsters come into the Coventry, they have to go against each other and try to be better than everyone else to be in the top position as a spinster. For person versus self, Adelice has to fight herself in the book. For example, she has to try hard not to show off her skills of weaving and has to act dumb in order to not get into any trouble. Also, she has to pretend like she doesn’t care if someone talks about Amie and try to fight the urge of the tears coming out whenever she hears about her family.
My favorite character is Adelice because I like how she has courage and is never afraid to say what she wants to say. I like the fact that she can express her feelings and opinions without being scared of what the other person will think of her. This character trait is something I don’t have but would like it if I have this character trait. She doesn’t care about what others think about her also. I think she is a very strong character and has a lot of talents. I cannot relate to any of the characters in the story because since this book’s genre is fantasy, the conflicts the characters have are not really anything that I came across in my life. The characters have some kind of problems that are realistic or non-realistic that the characters are experiencing or struggling with. For example, Adelice’s and Jost’s family members being killed by spinsters or having to live while being monitored 24 hours. Even though I cannot relate to any of the characters in the story I like the book Crewel because I become drawn to it. The book makes me want to keep reading it because I am also curious of what will happen next. Even though I really like this book because there is clear character traits in the characters I think that it was unnecessary when Maela was being very rude to Adelice and the “evil” events in the story. In my opinion, there is suspense in the story. Also the fantasy of the story, what the story is about, and the images it creates in my head is just wonderful. Some strengths are that it makes the readers want to keep reading and find out what will happen next. In each page, something new is revealed. Also, it has a mixture of realistic and non-realistic of the world traits. There are politics, romance, segregation, being monitored and controlled. Some weaknesses are that the story is kind of hard to follow if someone is summarizing it to you because you have to read the book to understand what it’s about. Also, that even though Adelice is a very strong character in the story, there are sometimes when she could have done something better in that situation.
Important ideas that the reader should consider while reading the book is of how the women has limited options, men are in control, and there are constant observations. The readers should also note that this world is very segregated. The neighborhood is divided with men on one side and women on the other so that they do not meet with each other. They get married with the parent that their parents choose and is then controlled with how many kids they have and how much food they eat from the Coventry. The theme of the story is that you have to overcome your hardships and you have to have the ability stay strong and have determination in whatever you are trying to achieve. Also, a theme can be that the segregated world does not make our life better because the people do not really have any freedom from the segregation and how their lives are controlled.
I would strongly recommend this book to people that are into fantasy and romance. If you want to enter another and whole different world from what we are living in today, I recommend that you read this book. Also, whoever liked reading The Hunger Games and Twilight should take a look at the book.
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