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The Girl in a Cafe

Loving Books Since Before It Was Cool! All reviews can also be found on my main blog!

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Crewel  - Gennifer Albin From reading the synopsis, Crewel is a novel that captures your immediate attention. From the cover (at least, the US one) to the idea of Spinsters and weaving in a dystopian setting, there’s something about Crewel that shouts, “I’m different, pick me, pick me!”Unfortunately, the problem with books that are like this is that they are a bit like Buster Baxter’s homemade chocolate. Great to make, with a pretty design on the outside that lures you to buy but once you take a bite, all you want is your money back. Okay, so that’s probably not the analogy to use, especially if you haven’t watched Arthur (in which case I will question your ability to live in this world with not having watched it!). But Crewel for me, was kind of like this. Okay, here’s another one. Imagine it’s Christmas morning again, and there’s a present under the tree, all wrapped up and a tag with your name on it. The paper is so beautiful and Christmassy, and you’ve been eyeing it off with excitement ever since ‘Santa’ placed it under the tree. You carefully unwrap said present, not wanting to destroy said pretty wrapping paper. Your heart is pounding, you’ve already drunk half of the egg nog and you have that general “IT’S CHRISTMAS!” feeling. Then you see the present, and it’s not exactly what you wanted. The Christmas –bad-gift disappointment sets in, and you have to force a smile and say, “Great! Thanks so much!”Yeah, that feeling? That’s the feeling I got when reading Crewel.Don’t get me wrong, what gives Crewel points – or in this case, three stars – is the originality and creativity behind the story. Spinsters who control and weave time. Women who hold onto threads, of which they are delicately woven into people’s lives, into the landscape around you. A dystopian novel where women hold the POWER? Hell to the yes! A love that defeats everything! Yes!I’m still waiting for all of that. For me, Crewel felt like a rushed mess. To be honest, I was floundering at times. I felt like a kitten trapped in a ball of wool, all tied up. The way the idea of weaving time hadn’t been describe very well, if in fact at all. With an idea so intricate, you need to make sure that everything fits perfectly, and in the book it seemed to be very here there and everywhere. Or you were made to feel as if you should just already know about the weaving etc, which works fine in some books, but not one with an intricacy such as this. The beginning was probably the best part of the book. When you get to the end, it’s such a hot mess, I didn’t even know what was going on any more and then Boom! Chicken Licken style, the sky was falling. And I was left scratching my head and wondering huh? Because what brings this novel to an almost anticlimax is the idea that – and be warned, yes, SPOILERS! – the world is actually a world inside our world. Which makes me think even more that this isn’t really dystopian fiction, but more of an alternate reality type of novel with a totalarian government - kind of like What’s Left of Me by Kat Zhang.The worst part for me though was the characters. I couldn’t keep up. Was the so called love triangle supposed to be Adelice, Jost and Cormac? Or Adelice, Jost and Erik? Because not only did Erik not give off any “I’m interested in you in more than my playboy ways” vibe, it only took me to reading reviews to actually click that Erik was a love interest. None of the characters were particularly memorable. The romance was plausible, at best and I found myself stopping and reading over books in between. Each character just fell flat, which is such a disappointment.In saying that, I will more than likely pick up the next book, mostly out of sheer curiousity. I need an explination for why the world has been created so, and I’m hoping Book 2 will provide the answers for that. Unfortunately, in the mean time, I’ll just have to be content with Crewel being just another dystopian novel that doesn’t live up to the height and expectations you want it to.