Saturday, January 28, 2012

ARC Review: Spin by Catherine McKenzie

Author: Catherine McKenzie
Publication: William Morrow Paperbacks; Original edition (February 7, 2012)

Description: When Kate Sandford lands an interview at her favorite music magazine, The Line, it's the chance of a lifetime. So Kate goes out to celebrate—and shows up still drunk to the interview the next morning. It's no surprise that she doesn't get the job, but her performance has convinced the editors that she'd be perfect for an undercover assignment for their gossip rag. All Kate has to do is follow "It Girl" Amber Sheppard into rehab. If she can get the inside scoop—and complete the thirty-day program—they'll reconsider her for the position at The Line. Kate takes the assignment, but when real friendships start to develop, she has to decide if what she has to gain is worth the price she'll have to pay.

My Thoughts: I truly enjoyed this contemporary novel about a young woman who thinks she will do anything to get her dream job until things go from theoretical to real. The author pulled me right into Kate's life as she pursues her dreams and confronts her choices in this story.

Kate is an aspiring journalist just about to turn thirty when she gets the chance of a lifetime - an interview with her dream job. But partying the night before means she arrived late and still drunk to the interview. Needless to say, she wasn't offered the job. She spends the next few weeks huddled on her couch, eating her roommate's food and drinking her wine, and watching too much TV. She is compulsively following the exploits of the latest "it" girl - Amber Sheppard - as she self-destructs.

When Kate is called by the magazine where she blew the interview and offered a job, she doesn't hesitate. She doesn't hesitate when she finds out it is the magazine's gossip-monger sister magazine that wants to hire her to go to rehab and get the dirt on Amber. After all, she doesn't really have a drinking problem and doesn't need rehab herself, she thinks. 

Kate's slow transformation as she goes through rehab, befriends Amber, and meets Amber's ex-boyfriend Connor and Connor's best friend/manager Henry play out naturally in this story. As she follows the steps of the program, she learns so much about herself and begins to fall in love with Henry. The story is filled with interesting and well-developed characters. Kate begins by nicknaming the other people in rehab - the Child Star, the Judge, the Director. Even Amber starts out as TGND for The Girl Next Door - her most famous role - but they soon develop a closer relationship as they get to know each other. The only character that remains completely one-dimensional is Connor. We really only see him through others' eyes. He is Amber's ex-boyfriend who led her into drugs, cheats on her, and generally treats her badly . He is Henry's childhood friend who Henry enables in his bad behavior. 

The story isn't a romance but it might be the beginning of one. It isn't the story of a woman's recovery from alcoholism but it might be the beginning of that journey. It isn't even a story about friendship even though Kate makes new friends and reconciles with some old ones. The story is a journey through which Kate learns about herself and what she will and will not do. It is a story about growth and self-discovery.

I was sucked in and identified with Kate even though we are in totally different places in our lives. I could identify with the aimless, party-girl lifestyle Kate was living. I loved Kate's snarky sense of humor. I loved that she finally listened to her conscience.

I recommend this story both for its style and its message. 

Favorite Quote:
I wish I could say the decision was a difficult one, that the thought of going to rehab undercover to dig up dirt on a young woman in the middle of self-destructing gave me pause. I wish I could say I was indignant that Bob thought I'd agree to do it, or that I could convince anyone I needed to be in rehab. But that wouldn't be true, and the first step to recovery is admitting that I have a problem, right?

So, OK, I do.

I want to work at The Line so badly I'm willing to do whatever it takes to get into Bob's good books.
I got this book through the Amazon Vine program in exchange for an honest review. You can get your copy here.


  1. Thanks, Kathy! So glad you enjoyed the book - Catherine McKenzie

  2. Wow!! Great review. This is being put on my wish list right now. Sounds like a book that would be easy to get lost in-perfect winter read. Thanks for the heads up!


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