Crewel is a 2012 young adult dystopian fantasy novel by Gennifer Albin. The book is Albin's debut novel and is the first entry in her Crewel World trilogy.[1] Crewel was released on October 16, 2012 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux and follows a young girl in a dystopian society that is pulled from her family due to her ability as a Spinster to manipulate the world via weaving.[2] Albin stated that she came up with the idea of using the term "Spinsters" while comparing the term for old maids with that of the usage of the term to describe someone who spins wool.[3] The following book in the series, Altered, was released on October 29, 2013.


Crewel form of magical weaving. This marks her as someone that would be of interest to the people who run Arras, as the world is completely dependent on the Guild to manipulate the world and bring in food and good weather. Every year Arras’s Manipulation Services performs a test on girls of a specific age, looking to see if they have the ability to manipulate. The girls that show promise are taken away in the night and put to work weaving the world around them. Adelice's parents knew of Adelice's abilities and tried to hide her talents, only for Adelice to accidentally reveal them during the testing period. Her parents try to hide her, only for the Guild to attack the family, seemingly killing Adelice's parents and carting away her little sister. She's told that if she cooperates, her sister will be fine. However, in a world where your entire personality can be re-woven to turn you into someone else and anyone can be removed from the world entirely at the whims of Arras's government, Adelice soon finds that not everything is as it seems and discovers a secret capable of destroying everything she holds dear.[4]


Initial critical reception for Crewel has been mixed to positive,[5][6][7] with Redbook listing the book as a recommended read.[8] Kirkus Reviews praised the book's premise, but wrote that it was "undermined by inconsistent worldbuilding, fuzzy physics, pedestrian language, characters who never move beyond stereotype and subplots that go nowhere".[9] Publishers Weekly also commented that the reality-weaving can get "murky" but that "it's easily forgiven as the plot races along".[10]

  1. ^ O'Hagan, Roisin (18 October 2012). "Words and music: how I wrote a book trailer song for a teen novel". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 22 October 2012. 
  2. ^ EVELD, EDWARD M. "Local author Gennifer Albin spins gold with debut novel". Kansas City Star. Retrieved 22 October 2012. 
  3. ^ Potts, Jessie (16 October 2012). "Jessie recs 'Unchained,' 'Crewel' and 'Angel's Ink'". USA Today. Retrieved 22 October 2012. 
  4. ^ Rojas Weiss, Sabrina. "Crewel: Exclusive First Look at the "Mad Men Meets Hunger Games" Novel Cover". VH1. Retrieved 22 October 2012. 
  5. ^ "Booklist Review: Crewel". Booklist. Retrieved 22 October 2012. 
  6. ^ "Joy at Macmillan!". School Library Journal. Retrieved 22 October 2012. 
  7. ^ Johnson, Maureen (9 November 2012). "Tech Trouble". The New York Times. Retrieved 24 January 2015. 
  8. ^ Feuer, Ava. "YA Novels for You and Your Kids". Redbook. Retrieved 22 October 2012. 
  9. ^ "Review: Crewel". Kirkus Reviews. Retrieved 22 October 2012. 
  10. ^ "Children's Review: Crewel". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved 22 October 2012. 
External links
  • Official author website

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