Be omnivorous, don't just read one kind of book, read everything. - Richard Wagamese

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Review: Spin by Catherine Mckenzie

Publisher: William Morrow
Pages: 448
Source: Personal Copy
Rating 4/5
Kate Standford has been posing as a graduate student but she is really a 30 year old who crashes school events and enjoys the free food. When she lands an interview for her dream job, as a writer for the “The Line,” a music magazine, she think her life is headed in the right direction. She’s wanted this for so long, and can’t believe she got an interview. Her friends take her out to celebrate, and the party lasts longer than Kate expected. She shows up to the interview late and obviously still drunk. It’s no surprise that she doesn’t get the job. Kate goes home, sulking and full of self-pity, not expecting a second chance. Fortunately for her, the magazine is looking for an undercover reporter to check into rehab for their gossip tabloid. All Kate has to do is get insider information on Amber Shepard the newest “front-cover” actress on every tabloid who has checked into rehab. If she does what is expected, they will reconsider her for the position at “The Line.” 
Spin is a great debut novel, that deals with heavy issues but the overall tone light. Kate must remain undercover, and complete a 30 day treatment. She must keep her reason for attending rehab a secret from everyone, including friends and family. Kate considers herself a “social drinker” and intends to lie to keep herself in rehab, shockingly she doesn’t have to lie too much. When her friends and family discover where she is, they don’t seemed shocked that she is there. Kate finds herself in some sticky situations, and begins to evaluate herself. It hurts that everyone thinks she should be in rehab. Kate questions if she is an alcoholic in denial.
Amber gives Kate some great stories to report back, and Kate thinks this is going to be easy howeverAmber turns out to be much different than Kate expected, and they soon become friends. Kate is torn and doesn’t know what to do. How far will she go to land her dream job? Is Amber really her friend, or is she her only option at the moment? What would she think to find out that Kate has been undercover? Kate must figure out what is more important, she must decide if she is willing to give up this new friendship for her future at “The Line.” Kate really begins to examine herself, and she doesn’t really like what she finds. 
Catherine Mckenzie has written a humorous and absorbing novel. Readers will find themselves captivated by damaged, unique and lovable characters. A great balance between heavy issues and laugh-out-loud situations. I was surprised that I enjoyed this book so much. As I began to really get to know the characters, I kept thinking “Wow, this is really good.” Spin is about Kate finding herself, and putting her life into perspective. I’m really looking forward to reading more from Catherine McKenzie. I don’t read many “Chick-lit” books but Spin has just the right amount of everything to keep me interested. 


  1. Oh, you are right, this one does sound rather interesting and absorbing! I can imagine that befriending Amber is Kate's downfall when it comes to doing what she has to do for the job, but I would love to see how this all unfolds! This was a great review, and I am now adding this book to my list. Thanks for sharing your feedback on it!

  2. "A great balance between heavy issues and laugh-out-loud situations."

    That is one of my very favorite combinations:) I love when there is a nice balance between light and dark, those types of stories always hold my interest from first page to last and keep me wishing for more page time!

  3. Oh I love to see another review of this book up! I absolutely loved this book. I am the opposite of you, I love my "chick-lit" books every once in awhile, but this one was different from a lot that I'm used to reading! Great review. She has another book coming out this year actually that sounds interesting (and not so chick-lit).

    Cozy Up With A Good Read

  4. Oooh I love chick-lit and this one sounds pretty good. And makes you wonder if magazines and social media sites are really sending in undercover reporters to these places when a celebrity goes into rehab. Quite an interesting concept here. Great review.

  5. Hi Jennifer,

    I am not a huge reader of chick-lit, but I have to say that this one sounds as though it has a bit more substance and storyline than many I have come across.

    This storyline is probably nearer to the truth than we would care to believe, never underestimate the power and prowess of the press to weasel out a story from next to nothing.

    Chick-lit, cozy mysteries and historical romance, are all great as fill-in reads when I need a break from something with a heavier theme.

    Let's face it ... I will read just about anything!

  6. This sounds like a really fun book! Thanks for brining it to my attention.