3.72 (18,169 ratings by Goodreads)
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Deadly Secrets
Tangled Lies
Woven truths

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.
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Product details

  • 12-17
  • Hardback | 368 pages
  • 148 x 219 x 36mm | 449g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0374316414
  • 9780374316419
  • 297,583

Review quote

"Captivating and intense, Albin's intricate debut has the right balance of mystery, romance, and drama to keep readers' attention; Adelice's media- and appearance-focused society is reminiscent of the Capital in The Hunger Games, though this story's violence is more cerebral and remote. The plot races along to an unexpected conclusion, setting up the next book in this planned series." --"Publishers Weekly" "Albin spins an intriguing dystopian world..."--"Booklist" Advance praise for "Crewel" "Albin has created a unique world that is as fascinating as it is frightening. Absolutely thrilling!" --Josephine Angelini, bestselling author of "Starcrossed" "I love how time in Crewel is a physical, shimmering line that can be touched and woven into a pocket of safety in a lethal world. Original, artistic, layered, and nimble, Albin's novel is a compelling read." --Caragh O'Brien, author of the Birthmarked trilogy
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About Gennifer Albin

Gennifer Albin holds a master's degree in English literature from the University of Missouri and founded the tremendously popular blog She lives in Lenexa, Kansas, with her husband and two children.

Q&A with Gennifer:
Would you describe the world of Arras?
Arras is a world of cocktails, beautiful women who hide deadly secrets behind their made-up faces and silk stockings, and men who fear women so much that women have been forced into powerless roles. No one is quite who they seem and in the middle of it all, sixteen-year-old Adelice has to navigate a tangled web of lies and conspiracy to unravel the truth about her world and her identity.

What inspired you to create such a world?
I wanted to create a world that wasn't anything you might expect from a story about girls weaving the fabric of life. Weaving, sewing, and other needlecraft have always been considered womanly arts, so I chose to build Arras into a glamorous, but very Mad-Menesque world. There I can explore how girls feel about traditional jobs and responsibilities as well as the temptation of luxury and fame. And let's face it, writing characters in fedoras and pin curls is fun.

Are you like any of the characters in the book?
Eventually a high school teacher of mine is going to expose that Adelice gets her penchant for challenging authority from me. I've always been a big fan of the comeback, but as I get older I'm learning to bite my tongue. I think Jost would be proud.
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Rating details

18,169 ratings
3.72 out of 5 stars
5 26% (4,687)
4 36% (6,503)
3 26% (4,762)
2 9% (1,590)
1 3% (627)

Our customer reviews

This book amazed me, from first page to last. I was intrigued by the whole Crewling process and the weaving technique, and how it was interpreted into the book. It definitely created a whole new universe inside my brain, and every time I read this book, I felt like I was in that universe. For A book to take me to a place like that was amazing, and I wish it never ended. A++++++ for this book, and Thank you Gennifer Albin! Your book was awsomeshow more
by Eleni Monastiriotis
Not only is the cover of Crewel beautiful and striking, but the story inside is as well. This is one of those wonderful YA books that as soon as your eyes hit the very first page you find it very difficult to put it down. In fact I didn't put it down and ended up falling asleep reading it and woke up to find my poor Kindle on the floor. Never fear, I keep a pillow on the floor beside my bed for times just like this. Before I started reading I already knew what crewel is. Crewel is a form of embroidery, one I had tried when I was younger. It is not my favorite kind of needlework but it is never less a lovely one when completed. As far as I know and understand, crewel is not used when you are weaving on a loom. So I found it very interesting that while the name was used, the technique really wasn't. From an early age Adelice's parents realized that she was special. That she has a gift for weaving. While many would have loved their daughters to have such a gift, Adelice's parents taught her to hide hers. During her testing she makes a mistake and reveals that she has the gift. That night they come for her and her parents try to get her away. Unfortunately they take her and kill her father. Now Adelice must try to figure out who to trust and do her best to stay alive in her new privileged and yet dangerous world. Crewel is the first novel in a YA Dystopia/Matrix like series. While the story is fresh and creative there was one thing I didn't like, the proverbial love triangle. Crewel also left me with a lot of unanswered questions and a desire to read more in this wonderful more
by Dani Chapman
(I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Faber and Faber publishers and Netgalley.) 16-year-old Adelice has a gift. She is able to weave the very fabric of her world, a rare and extremely sort after talent. Her parents have taught her to hide her ability for many years, and if she manages to fail her testing (to see if she has weaving ability), she'll be able to live a normal life. Unfortunately she slips up - massively, and now the guild are coming for her. To take her away from her family and make her a spinster (weaver) - forever at the beck and call of the guild and what they want her to do. Adelice isn't going quietly though. The guild have taken too much from her, and when she realises exactly what being a spinster, and then a crewel (a top ranked spinster) entails, she knows that she must escape, and she must find a way to save both herself and those she cares about before they remap her (a sort of brain-washing), and force her to do their bidding forever. When I first saw the cover of this book I wanted to read it, then I read the blurb and wanted to read it even more! Maybe this was why I wasn't 100% bowled over by this book, maybe my expectations were just too high based on that amazing cover. Firstly, the characters: I liked Adelice, although at times she just needed to take action instead of hiding, which seemed to be how she dealt with things. She knows that the guild will be coming for her - she lies and tells her parents that she failed the test, and she then repeats this mistake again and again. I totally understand why she made the decisions she did, but at times I felt that just a little more forward thinking and action could have made things very different for Adelice, which was a shame. Maela (one of the older spinsters) was just a total and utter cow, and I really couldn't stand her. Pryana (one of the newly recruited like Adelice) total cow too, blaming Adelice for things that weren't her fault. I liked the two (yes two) love interests in the book (Eric and Jost), although I really had my doubts as to whom Adelice should really be trusting, which didn't occur to her until someone literally spelled it out for her. She was also pretty trusting of several other characters, who I also had questions about, although she seemed to just be a pretty trusting person overall. The storyline: I liked the storyline, but at times found the whole idea of the 'weaving' very confusing. As much as I could get my head around weaving parts of one thing or place into another to create warps or move things, when there were discussions of the 'raw materials' that made up the world that they lived in, I just got totally lost. Really could not fathom this out at all, and the issue of time travel and freezing moments in time? Total brain-freeze for me I'm afraid! I did find it very difficult to keep focus on this book and I can't find an obvious reason why. It took me about 3 days to get through it (I was expecting to finish in a day), which surprised me, and I was really easily distracted whilst reading it, which is unlike me when I'm engrossed in a book, and the only reason I can think of for this is that I simply wasn't gripped by the storyline the way I wanted to be. I think part of the problem was just that I had too many questions - what exactly did the guild want from Adelice? What did they intend her to do if they made her into a puppet? How exactly are raw materials 'harvested'? How the hell do you harvest 'time' or 'water' etc.?? Very confused. I also thought the whole 'Purity standards' thing wasn't clearly explained - I think that the idea was that if a girl lost her virginity, she would lose her ability to weave, and that this was a lie so that a women wasn't distracted from her work by wifely duties. This really wasn't explained properly though so who knows. How many more women would need to be born than men though if everyone else has to marry by the time they're 18, and they take a huge number of girls each year who have some ability to weave? As I said, maybe I built this book up too much before I read it, but although it was good, and I love a good dystopian, it just didn't capture my attention and keep me reading the way I wanted it to. I also found the ending a little strange, and even at the grand finale, I didn't really get excited which was a shame. Overall; an interesting idea, but just too many unanswered questions, and not enough excitement. 7 out of more
by Sarah Elizabeth
Honestly, I don't know how I feel about this one so this is a very tough review to write. Albin writes gorgeously, creating visuals of the weaving of the world that I could never imagine on my own. The idea here is completely new and foreign to me and that is part of the reason I am having a hard time deciding how I feel about it. So I will have to break it down. As I said, Albin's writing is wonderful. She has a vision that I've never heard of before and brings that unique idea to life. I think that whenever something like that comes up it can be difficult to tell a story as well as introduce the reader to something that is completely new, so many times the story seemed to stall. There is some romance mixed in, what YA novel doesn't have that, but it wasn't overwhelming for the storyline. Actually the story is quite political in essence - think Hunger Games without the action. And I missed the action, how I wish there were more movement to this story. If you love to get lost in a new idea, you will love the story, but I do need more than that to sustain the idea. The characters themselves weren't able to stand out enough for me to build a love/hate relationship with any of them. I know I should hate some of them due to the foul games they play, but the emotions never seemed to come forth and it might be because of how icy the main character was to what was going on. There wasn't a lot of time spent mourning the loss of those who were taken, the story just simply moved on. The ending went where I expected it to go once the information was introduced into the story, for it seemed the only place for it to go. That was a let down for me as it was too easy and expected. Though it left it open for more stories in this world and they could be more exciting given the big change at the end. ARC reviewed by Jessica for Book Sake. Book Received: For free from publisher in exchange for an honest more
by Jessica
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