Here's the summary from Goodreads: Enter a tangled world of secrets and intrigue where a girl is in charge of other’s destinies, but not her own. Sixteen-year-old Adelice Lewys has always been special. When her parents discover her gift—the ability to weave the very fabric of reality—they train her to hide it. For good reason, they don’t want her to become a Spinster — one of the elite, beautiful, and deadly women who determine what people eat, where they live, how many children they have, and even when they die. Thrust into the opulent Western Coventry, Adelice will be tried, tested and tempted as she navigates the deadly politics at play behind its walls. Now caught in a web of lies and forbidden romance, she must unravel the sinister truth behind her own unspeakable power. Her world is hanging by a thread, and Adelice, alone, can decide to save it — or destroy it.
What I Liked: 1) The complexity of the story is the first thing that strikes me about the book in thinking it over after I finished it. I think when you broach a topic like this where the very world can be altered, it has to be complex. It gives people a lot of power, but yet somehow in this story, even those who could manipulate the world like this didn't hold all the power. There are some very complex and unique social hierarchies in this world (Arras) that were very interesting. 2) Adelice. I liked Adelice as the MC more than I thought I was going to in the beginning. There is a fierceness about her that I didn't recognize in the beginning. I've seen in the past few years a lot of what I think of as "accidental heroines." Katniss (The Hunger Games), Cassia (Matched), and Gaia (Birthmarked) are the first few that come to mind. You know the ones I'm talking about, the ones who are kind of thrust into a position of being a symbol or even a leader of revolution in their world, without even really realizing it was happening. Well, Adelice is not what I'd call an "accidental heroine." Her parents raised her to be against everything the Coventry stands for, so you know from the very beginning not to expect her to roll over and play lapdog. She's not afraid, or, she is, but she doesn't let fear stop her. I loved this part about her, that she isn't reluctant or hesitant to be in the middle of everything. 3) The idea. Upon finishing the book, my best friend (who hasn't had the opportunity to read it yet) and I had a long discussion about altering realities and what we would and wouldn't do. It really came down to we'd enjoy the power (I mean, I'd totally alter Ryan Reynolds' reality into believing I was his wife), but not the responsibility that comes with it. This is one of the biggest lessons in the book that Adelice and her supporting characters have to learn, that with power comes responsibility. The fact that this idea, the idea of the whole world being woven together by tiny threads that can be altered to change the perception or reality of the people involved was very intriguing, and had led me to have some interesting conversations with the people around me. I love it when a book is able to do something like that. 4) The ending. First of all, there was one thing that happened in the end of the book that made my jaw drop. It completely surprised me, but not in a, throw you off guard kind of way. Of all the things I had been expecting, this certainly was not it, but it excited me. And then as for the very end (like, the last 2 pages), I loved it. It answered a lot of the open questions raised throughout the story, and then just hit you in the face with a whole new world full of them right at the close. A fabulous set up for book 2!
What I Didn't Like: I would have liked to hear more from some of the secondary characters, although after that ending, I'm not sure how important that would have been.
Overall Thoughts: Creative and complex, Crewel is more than a book, it is an adventure into a world where government control is as strong as it is terrifying. Main character Adelice, who has a talent few possess, finds herself in the middle of a power struggle that is both intriguing and excruciating to be a part of. My emotions ran high as Adelice got deeper and deeper into Coventry's darker side. And if the story itself isn't enough, it gives the reader a lot to take away and think about. I won't soon forget this ingenious story, and am anxiously awaiting the next installment of the series!
My Rating: 5 shots