Based in a world were control is everywhere and everything, Crewel by Gennifer Albin is about a sixteen-year-old girl, Adelice, who is elected to become a “spinster,” part of an elect group able to weave the very fabric of the universe into being. Despite breaking many of the strict laws that keep women under the tight control of the government, she is left alive thanks to her singular abilities to weave space and time without the use of a loom.
As she comes to terms with her abilities and the complicated workings of the government she is now a part of, Adelice struggles to free herself from the (largely male) tyranny of those who claim to be “protecting” her.
As far as dystopian novels go, Crewel impressed me with its imaginative world and the complicated workings of said world. The idea of weaving the fabric of the world felt new and it was exciting to explore the possibilities and limitations of such an ability with Adelice.
This novel was also filled with lots and lots of themes about control, women, and the value of freedom and respect for individual agency to choose. I was surprised that I didn’t mind the overwhelming amount of thematic material incorporated into this book. Albin did an excellent job using the themes rather than allowing the themes to use her.
Overall, I enjoyed this book and would rate it a 4/5 stars, points taken off only because I’m not a fan of the dystopian genre in the first place. But if you like dystopian YA novels, and like themes about women’s independence, you will love this book.