Book Review: Spin by Catherine McKenzie

Spin by Catherine McKenzie
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Publisher: William Morrow

Summary:  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.

A very witty, entertaining & surprisingly insightful read. I picked this up while travelling & it sat on my bookshelf waiting for me to disconnect myself from my Kindle to read it. I'm glad I finally did! Oddly, I've seen mostly recommendations for YA titles relating to this book (maybe it's the cover? idk.) & I have to say it is definitely NOT a YA book. When your protagonist is 30, has had 27 sexual partners & is spending a good amount of the book sitting in rehab contemplating her relationship with alcohol & the people in her life, even if she is emotionally immature & stunted... well, it's a whole other category.

Kate's voice is clear throughout. She is bright, witty & a straight up trainwreck. I've not read a character so engagingly un-self-aware in a while & she didn't disappoint. I found her wholly believable & I never tired of her self-delusions as she worked her way along the path of her journey. I cheered, hoped & worried for her the whole way through. I was even feeling anxious when it was clear that she couldn't act in her own best interest & there wasn't anything I could do but bear witness to it & pray she got her crap together.

I have to admit that I did find the use of designations over names for other characters in the book (TGND, YJB, E., The Banker, The Director, etc.) initially took me out of the story that Kate was narrating & I could not connect to those characters. Then I realised that it was integral to the way the story had to be told through Kate & I breezed through.

I won't give up important plot details but I will say that this is a great weekend, airport or beach read. It's thought provoking enough to keep you engaged without wearing you down with angst & gives just enough opportunities to laugh while giving a satisfying, more cliche than not conclusion. I'd have been more impressed if we didn't get the running after the guy to tell him how you feel moment @ the end but considering that Kate made the reference to the BBC adaptation of Austen's Persuasion (my very favorite Austen adaptation!) earlier, I can live with it. I'd have liked to see Kate going for a little more "Me Time" & complete in herself than obsessing over Henry. I have the author's other book "Arranged" waiting on my bookshelf & I'm sure I'll be moving it up on my "To Read" list.

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