Official Stuff –
Author – Gennifer Albin
Pages – 368
Publisher – Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Series – Crewel World
Incapable. Awkward. Artless.
That’s what the other girls whisper behind her back. But sixteen-year-old Adelice Lewys has a secret: She wants to fail.
Gifted with the ability to weave time with matter, she’s exactly what the Guild is looking for, and in the world of Arras, being chosen to work the looms is everything a girl could want. It means privilege, eternal beauty, and being something other than a secretary. It also means the power to manipulate the very fabric of reality. But if controlling what people eat, where they live, and how many children they have is the price of having it all, Adelice isn’t interested.
Not that her feelings matter, because she slipped and used her hidden talent for a moment. Now she has one hour to eat her mom’s overcooked pot roast. One hour to listen to her sister’s academy gossip and laugh at her dad’s jokes. One hour to pretend everything’s okay. And one hour to escape.
Because tonight, they’ll come for her.
My Rating – 2 of 5 stars
I received a copy of this book through the Arcycling blog.
I’m going to start out by saying that I absolutely hated the main character’s name, Adelice. I can’t think of any other way of pronouncing except like “headlice” (which made my head itch) and it was how I referred to her
throughout the book.
Headlice has a gift and apparently this gift is dangerous to have. All through her life her parents trained her to be clumsy so she would mess up the Spinster testing. What’s a Spinster? Well, they control the world? Sort of. Not really. They control elements of Arras but the Guild controls them. Which honestly makes no sense. The Spinsters should be the ones in control since they control LIFE.
Arras is a highly controlled, segregated place, boys and girls are kept separate until they are of age to marry. Women are possessions. If you are not selected to be a Spinster, you are to marry and be nothing more than a secretary or if you are lucky, maybe a teacher. The emphasis on cosmetics in this book is strange to me. Girls aren’t allowed to wear makeup until they are of age but then they are required to wear it. You have to be beautiful at all times.
Anyway, Headlice slips up during her testing and shows off her skills. The Guild comes for her in the night, taking her away from her family. She is by no means a willing participant in this and gets thrown in jail several times for her attitude before she finally begins her training as a Spinster.
The Spinsters live/work at the Coventry all according to rank. Headlice’s rank is very high and very odd given the fact that she’s a new trainee, which is the first sign she’s not too bright of a character. She’s convinced the Guild doesn’t know just how special her gift is, that she can see the threads of life and manipulate them without the use of a loom (which is how normal Spinsters work) but they OBVIOUSLY DO, since they didn’t kill her when she ran, they didn’t kill her when she put up fights with them, they pamper her to an extreme, and she’s passed along the ranks in like two weeks.
While at the Coventry, she catches the eye of a high ranking official, Cormac (who is an a-hole), Erik, the guard of a Spinster that wants to destroy her named Maela, and Jost, a simple valet. They are all vying for her attentions. She ends up kissing two of them (you’ll have to guess which two!).
The characters? All two dimensional. Maela hates Headlice enough to try and mangle her hands but why? Is she jealous? Or is she just mean? Does she have an ulterior motive? You learn nothing about Erik, and Jost has a tragic past that changed him from a regular subservient citizen to a revolutionary.
Headlice though? She’s terrible. She worries about her looks after people she cares for have just been murdered in front of her. She lives in a cell for days, where she has to go to the bathroom in a corner and she gets all hot and bothered when Jost touches her, not to mention she flirts another time she’s been locked in prison for days on end. She calls other girls simpering idiots for being excited about the dresses and cosmetics (like they been trained to by the government and have never been able to wear before) She has no sense of self preservation. And she gets jealous over someone’s dead wife because they were probably prettier than her.
In other words, I don’t recommend this book. The weaving thing confused me and the characters were awful.