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Showing posts by: Miriam Weinberg click to see Miriam Weinberg's profile
Tue
Nov 6 2012 6:00pm

A Warped World is Unraveled: Gennifer Albin’s Crewel

A review of Crewel, by Gennifer AlbinFor generations, girls have dreamed of being retrieved by Arras’s Manipulation Services, called to serve their world’s highest purpose, controlling the weave that keeps Arras running smoothly. To be elevated to train as a Spinster means privilege, honor, eternal youth and beauty, but few possess the astonishing ability to weave time with matter. The women who work the looms of Arras have control over life, death, and anything in between, while those who aren’t chosen are quickly married off and given jobs as secretaries or teachers, jobs that won’t interfere with wifely duties.

For the last eight years, Adelice Lewys has lived a lie.

[Read more...]

Tue
Sep 6 2011 6:00pm

No Chocolate, Lots of Guilt, a Little Dystopia: All These Things I’ve Done

A review of All These Things I’ve Done by Gabrielle ZevinIn a not-too-distant future (the year 2083), New York City is crumbling under the weight of corruption. Supplies like water, cloth, and paper are being strictly rationed and chocolate and caffeine have been outlawed as dangerous substances. After witnessing the death of her father, the infamous crime boss and chocolate lord Leonyd Balanchine, sixteen-year-old Anya tries to stay out of the public eye and as far from her family’s chocolate empire as possible. Anya has enough to handle; she is responsible for her a precocious younger sister, an older brother with a traumatic brain injury and her dying grandmother, on top of keeping her studies up at the posh Catholic school where she is mostly ostracized for her unsavory family ties. Falling for a genuinely nice boy (who happens to be the new assistant district attorney’s son) was never in the plan. Caught up in the tides of a mafia upheaval, will Win Delacroix be her only port in a storm, or does their relationship spell her doom?

All These Things I’ve Done could have been just a Romeo-and-Juliet-type love story with a slightly dystopian flavor, but Anya’s conflicted family history and her relatable struggle with modern teenage trials (first love, high-school betrayal, yearning to go to college and escape her identity as a Balanchine) make her an easily accessible heroine with substantial dreams outside of her love affair. While this particular novel isn’t without issues, I can see why Gabrielle Zevin is a nationally bestselling author.

[I elaborate below. No spoilers]