Monday, January 30, 2012

Review: Spin by Catherine McKenzie

Publisher: Harper Collins
Publishing Date: February 1st, 2012
Genre: Adult Contemporary
Pages: 424 pgs
ISBN: 9781554687589

Rating: 4 stars

Summary from GoodReads:
Katie Sandford has just gotten an interview at her favourite 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. No surprise, she doesn't get the job, but the folks at The Line think she might be perfect for another assignment for their sister gossip rag. All Katie has to do is follow It Girl Amber Sheppard into rehab. If she can get the inside scoop (and complete the 30-day program without getting kicked out), they'll reconsider her for the job at The Line.

Katie takes the job. But things get complicated when real friendships develop, a cute celebrity handler named Henry gets involved, and Katie begins to realize she may be in rehab for a reason. Katie has to make a decision -- is publishing the article worth everything she has to lose?

My Review: 
This book has been out for about a year in Canada and I was surprised when I saw it on NetGalley; I guess it is being released in February in the States.  I have to say that I quite enjoyed this book.  I had just finished listening to a pretty serious book on audio and this was a welcome change.  This book deals with the serious issue of alcoholism and addiction but it does so in a way that is not too depressing.  The novel is mostly set in a rehab clinic where Katie Sanford is undercover trying to get a story on celebrity Amber Sheppard, aka The Girl Next Door.  When Katie enters rehab she thinks that she going to have to "fake" her alcoholism just to get in but in the end she discovers that perhaps maybe she did have a problem that needed some attention.  This book becomes a novel of self discovery and Katie ends up hurting not only herself but someone she forms a friendship with.  This novel plays out the way that one would expect but to me this isn't a bad thing.  When you begin reading this book, you know it is the kind of book that will conclude positively.  I quite enjoy books like this when I need a little cheering up and I was glad to have this book on hand when I read it.  The book is full of shenanigans that both Katie and Amber get into in rehab and in the end there is a little romance.  There is only one thing that irked me with the book but I think this is because I have the distinct pleasure of dealing with close family members with alcoholism my entire life.  I found that Katie's transformation to be a bit too sudden.  Every alcoholic that I have dealt with is highly in denial and even after several stints in rehab, they still have a very difficult time admitting that their drinking was ever  a problem.  Again, I don't think this is something that the average person would pick up on while reading Spin and I realize that I may just be extra-sensitive to the issue.  Even with this one complaint, I really enjoyed McKenzie's writing style and I am looking forward to reading more of her novels.  I give this book 4 out of 5 stars. 

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