Saturday, January 21, 2012

Book Review: Spin by Catherine McKenzie

I received Spin from LibraryThing's Early Reviewers program and I'm so glad I did!  I've been in a reading rut lately: it feels like all I ever read is YA or Paranormal Romance.  I tend to stay away from bestsellers, and the people who usually recommend books to me have been as busy as I have with the holidays and simply Life in general.  Also, if I have to choose to spend money on books or art supplies--I have plenty of books, so art supplies are where my attention has been directed.

The basic storyline of Spin: A Novel by Catherine McKenzie is that Kate is a journalist trying to get her dream job with a music magazine called The Line.  She finally gets an interview which happens to fall on her birthday.  To celebrate, she joins her friends the night before the interview and what starts out as "one drink, then I'll go home" ends up with her showing up at the interview looking as badly hungover as she is.  Needless to say, Katie will not be the best new writer at The Line.

One of the editors at The Line who witnessed Katie's hungover interviews is also the editor of a gossip magazine.  One of America's favorite young movie stars, Amber--The Girl Next Door--just entered rehab, and Katie is the perfect undercover spy for a tell-all feature by going to the same rehab center as Amber.  If Katie can pull this off, she'll get her dream job at The Line after all.

What begins as a job assignment soon turns into a serious reality check--instead of faking an addiction to get the undercover expos√© of a movie star stripped bare in rehab, Kate sees how her own drinking has become out-of-control.  Against her own will, she's feeling all kinds of emotions she never expected and finds herself experiencing the 12 steps of her own.

I enjoyed this book immensely.  It's already an International Bestseller, and I think America will fall in love with Kate's story as well when it's published next month.  The story can become a little slow at times, but never so much that I had to switch to another book and come back to finish Spin later.  It took me about 2 days to read the whole book, although I did stay up late last night to finish it.

I love Kate's conversations with her conscious and I sympathize with her unwilling self-awareness.  I found Kate's unique way of naming the other characters in the story, (The Producer, The Banker, Mr. Fortune 500, etc. - even her target Amber is TGND) to be brilliant!  It's much easier to remember the characters this way.

I've saved my favorite thing about Spin until the end of my review: the story does not end at Kate's release from her 30 days of rehab.  I honestly assumed the book would end with Kate's decision to write the tell-all article for the gossip magazine or her refusal to hurt her new friend this way.  Instead, the story kept going, and Kate's (and Amber's) stories show what life is like after rehab.

I like the movie 28 Days, but it pretty much ends with Sandra Bullock's release from rehab.  Spin is an excellent novel that provides the satisfaction of knowing how the characters try to fit the lessons from the 12 steps into their real lives.

A solid 4 stars out of 5!
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