Showing up to an interview for your dream job is pretty bad, but you know what’s worse? Going into rehab on a ruse to get the insider scoop on the “It” celebrity of the moment. Yeah, that’s much, much worse. In Catherine McKenzie’s Spin, things go from bad to worse quickly for the protagonist.

Kate Sanford lives on the hope that she will someday become a writer for the music magazine she adores. She knows music, and she’s fairly certain she’s got the writing chops to make it, but the puzzle pieces haven’t exactly fallen into place yet. But when the gods smile upon her and she lands the interview, she ends up sabotaging her own future with her partying ways. But, as a result of her drunken appearance at the interview, she is called back for an assignment… one that most people would consider dark and amoral. In her desperation, Kate accepts the assignment, not thinking it through, but only seeing the possibilities it could bring about. Little does she know that thirty days in rehab, supposedly there to get the scoop on a celeb best known for her appearances on the covers of gossip magazines, will really change her life in ways she never could have expected.

McKenzie presents these characters with all their flaws on full display, yet readers may find themselves liking Kate even as they want to shake some sense into her. Scenes that should be full of pain somehow manage to play to a dark sense of humor, so that I was laughing even while trying not to judge Kate too much. Personal transformation is a key theme here, and McKenzie also makes a fairly strong statement about how we all– celebrity or not– present ourselves in ways that may not be true to who we are.

Spin is a quick read, full of laughs and true heart, and even a little peek into the surreal world of celebrity.

Dawn’s lives in a world far from celebrity, but doesn’t mind a literary trip now and then. She can be found in her online world at my thoughts exactly.


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