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Sparkles and Lightning

Hello all! I'm Annabelle, a (currently inactive but soon to be back) book blogger with a thing for red roses and rain and fictional boys.

Currently reading

The Hobbit or There and Back Again
J.R.R. Tolkien
Civilization and Its Discontents (The Standard Edition) (Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud)
Sigmund Freud, James Strachey, Peter Gay
The Problems of Philosophy
Bertrand Russell
Dark Triumph
Robin LaFevers
Dark Matter Heart
Nathan Wrann
Temptation (Harlequin Teen)
Karen Ann Hopkins
Man's Search for Meaning
Viktor E. Frankl
Crewel - Gennifer Albin *****FINAL RATING: 4.90 STARS*****CATCHALLWow. Crewel was absolutely breathtaking. I mean, literally. It stole my breath away. It was absolutely stunning. Gorgeous. Phenomenal. Sparkling. Glittering. Worthy of the absolute most lavish praise I could bestow upon it. I mean, it was absolutely spectacular. It is easily one of the most amazing books that I have ever read. Everything about it shines. The characters shimmer, the world glows, the sci-fi and the magic blending together in a explosion of perfection. I really have very, very few complaints if I have any at all. This book stole my heart and kept me up all night reading, but it was worth it.THE HEROINEADELICEI really surprised myself by how much I loved Adelice. What I liked most about her is that she isn't perfect and doesn't try to be. She starts off mostly accepting her position as a Spinster, even if she doesn't really want it. But soon, all of that is thrown into question and she isn't sure if the government is always right anymore, and she doesn't know who has answers. But instead of giving up, she really pushes forward and keeps trying to find out information, but she doesn't do so in a stupid way that puts her life at risk.THE LOVE INTERESTS JOSTENJosten, or Jost, is the main love interest. He's somewhat of a jack-of-all-trades, although officially he's the head valet. He's a very mysterious character and even harder to figure out. Everyone is keeping secrets, but he's keeping the most. I love him. I really like the way that he treats Adelice, like he respects her and like she's important. Jost also has somewhat of a sexy rebellious streak that comes out more than once and is very, very attractive. Plus, he's apparently very strong, and that's always hot.ERIKI'm actually not sure if Erik is going to continue to be a love interest of not. Adelice's interest in him seemed to fade out, but it's obvious that he still likes her. And I like him, so I'm including him here. I really love the way he makes Adelice laugh, and he even eventually is willing to push his orders to a certain point in order to protect her. He can be sweet, but he's also tough, and I completely fell in love with him just for that. He abandons Maela for a chance with Adelice. Erik is a fantastic character, and probably actually my favorite.THE VILLAINCORMACCormac was, frankly, disgusting. And that's the only reason I'm mentioning him at all. I need to get my disgust for him out of my system. His humanity is questionable and he's a self-serving jerk who's never once tried to do anything for anyone else's benefit.THE PLOTI'm sure I've already exhausted my supply of positive adjectives, though that probably won't keep me from using them again. Because if any book deserves them, this one does. Seriously, it literally stole my breath. It kept me on the edge of my seat, despite the fact that it wasn't even that intense, not really. I just couldn't seem to help getting into it.It was impossible not to get into it. Adelice's voice is so real that it drew me into her story, into her world, into her life, until I never wanted to leave. I started to understand how the government worked, and her torn heart, and all the choices she'd made and all the ones she would have to make. Nothing was easy for her. But every step of the way, I seriously felt like I was there.I mean, I really only have good things to say. The whole Spinsters concept, and therefore that of the weaving, was fascinating. The Spinsters have relatively little power, really, but it is they who hold the world together. I'm definitely looking forward to learning more about them and figuring out how the whole ability to weave thing works. I also found the sense of hierarchy disgusting but somehow intriguing.It's a dystopian world. It took me some time to realize that, but it is. It is our world, but not. Like Earth, but different. Nearby, but also far unless you know the way.Summing it up, all I need are words like wonderful, marvelous, and fantabulous. Really.THE ROMANCEI really liked the romance here. I especially liked that although there definitely was romance it was light and didn't monopolize the entire plot. First Adelice has something with Erik, and while they have sparks that fly it's hard to tell if it will last. (Although I think I'm Team Erik, whether or not he's actually going to be a love interest.) I love Jost too, of course. He really takes good care of Adelice and is always there for her, and he treats her well and they have chemistry, though a softer type. Eventually, their mutual trust turns into something deeper. And then there's no turning back.THE WRITINGThe writing is absolutely amazing. Amazing amazing amazing. I love Adelice's voice. At times, she sounds young and innocent, but in many ways, especially at the beginning, she is both of those. And her voice reflects her character arc of awesome. Also, the writing is so lush and descriptive. Through Adelice's eyes, the weave is almost seen as a living thing, pulsing and gorgeous and bright. It shimmers and twists under her fingers, and it holds everything together yet is so delicate. And the world-building? Lovely. Adelice describes everything around her without sounding odd.THE ENDINGThe ending was fantastic. It was, if I'm honest, wholly unexpected. Never in my wildest dreamings did I imagine it ending that way! I was shocked. But once I got used to the idea, I really liked it. It ended up being perfect. Basically I read the ending twice to soak up the magic and awesomeness. It made sense with where the novel was going but also took it in a new and unexplored direction. The best part about it, though, it that it left me craving the next book, but not so desperate that I'm tempted to prostrate myself and refuse all sustenance but water until I can read the next book.WRAPUPSo yeah, if you haven't gotten the point by now, Crewel was absolutely a jewel. It totally blew me away. I never expected anything so amazing as I got, although I should have, given other reviews. Even so, Crewel is a delightful departure from the same-old you often get in YA these days. It was definitely unique! Honestly, I don't know how I could have not fallen in love with it. I'll definitely and eagerly be continuing this series! And of course, I recommend this to everyone with all my heart. All of it. So seriously, log off the Internet, head to the bookstore, and buy this book. Right. Now. You can thank me later.FINE.Find more of my reviews on Sparkles and Lightning!