A Spinster is an important job. So why doesn't Adelice want it?


In Arras, the Guild seeks girls who can become spinsters. Being a loom worker is the most important position available to a woman. Spinsters have the power to weave the strands of matter and time. Adelice Lewy (16) has this gift but no desire to use it. All her life, her parents have trained her on how to fail the Guild's tests for Spinsters. A simple slip of her hands gives away her secret, and she is whisked away by Manipulation Services from the only life she has always known - or wanted - into the mysterious confines of the Coventry. 

BTSYA / Teen Reader (14):
Crewel is a new and refreshing YA novel. It has bits like The Giver and Matched, and hints of The Hunger Games, but it brings its own light to this genre. The idea of spinsters and the world Albin has created are incredible. Adelice is likable, a bit of a rebel, but still intelligent. The romance was fine. I am usually not a big fan of love triangles, but this one kept it light and it was not the main conflict of the story. The ending is open with a cliffhanger that begs you to read the sequel.

The book spends quite a bit of time on worldbuilding and there are a lot of descriptions and details given. Teenage girls, especially, would enjoy Crewel. I recommend borrowing it from the library. 

Reader Enjoyment Factors:

Adelice is a strong character with a rebel streak readers will find appealing. The story has plenty for teens who love worldbuilding, dystopian science fiction, and wholesome romance. 

Content Awareness Factors:

Our teen reviewer notes that there is some death in the story. The "romance" does not get more explicit than kissing.

Type of Book:
This is the first book in a science fiction trilogy about a totalitarian society where women are chosen to "weave" together time and matter, affecting the lives of the people around them.
Educational Themes:

Crewel is meant to be read for fun. It is a young adult novel written at a middle-grade level, which gives it wider appeal. With a little nudging, you can initiate conversations about ethics (was it right for Adelice to break the law and hide her skills?) and relationships.

Although this is fiction the concept of someone having control and the ability to change another's life has some very real parallels, particularly in the medical field (cloning, healthcare advances, medical directives, et al).

Reading Level:
Recommended Age To Read By Yourself:
13 and Up
Recommended Age To Read Together:
13 and Up
Age of child:
Teen STAR Review Team, Be the Star You Are!™ . Reviewer age: 14
Purchase Recommendation:
Borrow. This is a good story, but not one you are likely to re-read.

Title Crewel

Crewel World, Book 1

Author Gennifer Albin
Publisher Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Imprint Macmillan Publishers © 2012
ISBN 9780374316419
Material Hard Cover
Cost $18.99
Genres Science Fiction, Romance
be the star you are Cybils
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