How far would you go to get what you’ve always wanted?
by Catherine McKenzie
Publication Date: February 7, 2012
Book received from: Publisher
Kate Sanford is a Bridget Jones for the 30-year-olds of today. She has not landed her dream job as a music journalist, has not yet given up the idea that college was the best time of her life, and still drinks all night and sleeps until noon to make the day shorter so she does not have to come to terms with it all. She is every 30-year-old who has been stuck in a world where success is measured by what job you have, and what your marital status is. In short: Kate is flawed, which makes her real and easily relatable.
After showing up to an interview hung over, Kate is offered a shot to get her dream job- but there is a catch. She must go to rehab in order to get the inside scoop on a major starlet who has also been admitted. If she can pull off the expose, clean up her life, and make it through the next thirty days, she may just land the job she has always wanted. Simple, right? Her potential bosses may think so, but Kate is savvy enough to how life works to know that this is going to be a bigger challenge than she wants to admit.
In rehab, Kate must learn to admit that she has a problem with drinking in order to hide from the reality of the real world. While there, she meets a menagerie of characters, each struggling in their own right. However, her mission is still clear: get the story, get the job. She learns that the starlet she is there to get the scoop on is not the person that is portrayed in the tabloids, and it becomes more difficult to separate her friendship from her mission. In the end, will she choose to reach her goals regardless of the impact on others, or will she give it all up to take the moral high ground?
The only weak point of Spin is the part of the storyline focusing on Kate’s romantic interest. At times, it felt a bit out of context with everything else going on, as though Kate is replacing her dependency on alcohol with a guy. Seeking him out in the middle of the night, and “accidently” running into him feels somewhat real, but as though she becomes a bit too preoccupied with him instead of herself. There were also times that the psychologist told her not to be so independent, which seems to be counterintuitive advice to give to a person with addiction issues. The point is supposed to be that Kate needs to learn to let people in to her life, rather than “talking to a bottle,” but it seems to go a bit far in the other direction, implying that being independent is synonymous with not “growing up.”
Spin is a well-written, fast-paced, and easy to read narrative with a hilarious and sarcastic leading lady. Reading Kate’s internal monologue will make us all feel a little bit more normal, and make us realize that not everything is black and white. It also comes with a great playlist, and a dynamic and real cast of characters. Although I would have personally preferred a slightly different ending, I enjoyed the book from start to finish. McKenzie gives us a character that is part Carrie Bradshaw and part Bridget Jones, but is a woman all her own. She is flawed, she stumbles, and she is not the most articulate. In short, she is every woman who is no longer able to relive her college years, but is not ready to give in to what society tells us is the next step in adulthood.
For more about Catherine McKenzie, visit her website.
This book can be purchased at Amazon.com, as well as your local independent bookseller.