Spin by Catherine McKenzie

Title: Spin by Catherine McKenzie
Publisher: HarperCollins
Imprint: William Morrow Paperbacks
Genre: Contemporary, Fiction
Length: 448 pages
Book Rating: A

Review Copy Obtained from Publisher Through NetGalley


Kate Sandford has just gotten an interview at her favorite music magazine, The Line. It’s the chance of a lifetime. So what does she do? Goes out to celebrate-and shows up still drunk at the interview at 9am. No surprise, she doesn’t get the job, but the folks at the media company think she might be perfect for another assignment for their gossip rag. Kate is to follow a young female celebrity into rehab and get the inside story. If she can get the rehab scoop (and complete the 30-day program without getting kicked out), they’ll reconsider her for the job at The Line.

Kate takes the job. But things get complicated when real friendships develop, a cute celebrity handler named Henry gets involved, and Kate begins to realize she may be in rehab for a reason.

The Review:

Catherine McKenzie’s debut novel Spin is an engaging read that is humorous and at times, heartbreakingly poignant. Kate Sandford’s dream job is finally within reach, yet she blows her chance by showing up at her job interview hung over and drunk from her overzealous celebration the night before. When celebrity Amber Sheppard enters rehab, Kate is given a second shot at her coveted job. All Kate has to do is check into rehab and then dish the good, the bad and ugly of Amber’s recovery. Sounds easy enough, but Kate’s not an alcoholic. Or is she?

Katie Sandford is a fabulously flawed, lovable protagonist. She is a fun loving and slightly irresponsible party girl who knows how to have a good time. Katie is working hard at achieving her career goals but she does not always make the best decisions regarding her future. She is not always truthful with her friends and she has a distant relationship with her family.

Katie’s complete lack of self-awareness is reflected by her certainty that she does not have an alcohol problem. While in rehab, she goes through the motions of therapy and working the twelve steps of AA. But when Katie leaves, she begins to suspect that she might have a problem, but full realization does not come until later.

While in rehab, Katie makes a few new friends and surprisingly enough she forms a close and real friendship with Amber. Now sober, Katie is faced with a moral dilemma. Does she write the article that will launch her career but betray Amber?

Spin is an absolutely captivating novel with charming characters and a refreshingly unique plot. Never angsty or preachy, Catherine McKenzie provides valuable insight into substance abuse and recovery in a thought-provoking and sensitive manner. Delightful friendships and a surprising yet sweet romance fully round out this enjoyable story. It is an engrossing and substantive novel you don’t want to miss.

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Filed under Catherine McKenzie, Contemporary, Fiction, HarperCollins, Rated A, Spin, William Morrow Paperbacks

9 Responses to Spin by Catherine McKenzie

  1. Tamsyn

    I know some people who drink like a fish. How do one really distinguish if a person is an alcoholic or not? I can never tell the difference.

    • Book Reviews & More by Kathy

      Tamsyn, those are some of the questions Katie has. When has one stepped over the line from from having fun into an addiction? The answers are sometimes surprising. Spin is one of the best books I’ve read.

  2. Eileen

    Interesting to see if she’ll take the high road or not. Thanks for the review.

  3. Timitra

    Katie is definitely between a rock and a hard place, on one hand her dream job and in the other a frienship, I agree Eileen it will definitely interesting to see which choice she makes!!!!

  4. Catherine McKenzie

    So glad you enjoyed it, Kathy! Thanks for your insightful review. – Catherine