Page Links

Home      About      Reviews      Contact     

29 August 2014

Review & Interview: 'Spin' by Catherine McKenzie (2014)

Kate's To-Do List: 
1. Go to rehab 
2. Befriend/spy on "It Girl" 
3. Write killer expose 
4. Land dream job 
Piece of cake! 

Katie Sandford has just landed 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?

At the start of the summer I was contacted about possibly reviewing author Catherine McKenzie’s bestselling novel ‘Spin.’ Catherine McKenzie is an internationally bestselling author of four novels and up until now I wasn’t familiar with her work. ‘Spin’ was first released in 2009 and quickly became a bestseller in Canada. The book was released in the UK this year and I’m really excited to be able to tell you all a bit more about it today by sharing my review. Next to that, I’ve also had the chance to interview Catherine McKenzie about ‘Spin’, so be sure to scroll down to check it out!

Katie Sandford has always dreamed of working as a journalist for her favourite music magazine, The Line. So, when she manages to finally land an interview for a position at The Line she knows she has to do anything she can to get the job. Unfortunately, the celebrations for her 30th birthday the night before the interview get out of hand, resulting in Katie completely ruining her chances. The Line decides they want to give Katie another chance because they need someone to go undercover to a rehab facility to spy on one of the biggest celebrities of the moment, Amber Sheppard, also known as ‘The Girl Next Door.’  Katie immediately accepts the assignment, but things get more complicated than she expected as soon as she walks into that rehab facility.

After reading this novel I completely understand why it was such a big bestseller in Canada and I’m quite surprised I never heard or read anything about the book before I was asked to review it! Catherine McKenzie has managed to write an engaging and thoroughly entertaining debut novel that has some great characters, a fascinating plotline and a lovely touch of romance at its core. I really enjoyed Katie’s story, mainly because she is a naive and realistic heroine who, just like every single one of us, makes mistakes and has her own personal issues and dreams. Next to Katie, the book is filled with a large cast of interesting secondary characters, who each bring something to the story. I specifically warmed to Amber and loved seeing the friendship between her and Katie develop.

The book is quite fast-paced, devoting just the right amount of time to each event and conversation. It felt like I was flying through the pages, which had to do with both the author’s comfortable style of writing and the fact that I just really enjoyed what I was reading and was curious to find out what would happen next. Catherine McKenzie has definitely written a wonderful debut novel and I’m already looking forward to checking out her novella ‘Spun’ which is a follow-up to this book. ‘Spin’ is a convincing, compelling and entertaining read which I would like to recommend to all chick lit fans, I loved it!
For more information about this book: / / Goodreads

Thanks to the publisher for providing me with a review copy in exchange for an honest review.

Author interview with Catherine McKenzie!

I'm really excited to welcome Catherine McKenzie to the blog today to answer some questions about her wonderful novel 'Spin', her own favourite books and what the future has in store for her!

Can you tell us something about your novel, ‘Spin’?
Well, it’s about a journalist who follows a celebrity into rehab undercover so she can try to get her dream job.

Where did you get the inspiration for your novel? Is it in any way based on your own personal experiences?
It is in no way based on my personal experience. Got that, Mom. Good. Okay, seriously, I am not a journalist, nor have I been to rehab. I do, however, have a slight addiction to etc. and watching celebrities go in and out of rehab—and the invasive nature of the paparazzi who report on their time there—was what popped the idea into my head.

Can you tell us a bit more about the main protagonist, Katie?
Katie’s a wanna-be music journalist who, even though she’s about to turn thirty, pretends she’s a twenty-five year old grad student so she can scam free wine and cheese a university functions. Think of a female Rob Gordon in High Fidelity.

There’s a great cast of supporting characters in the novel as well. Which character did you most enjoy writing?
Oh, that’s easy! Henry :) I have a serious crush on Henry.

A large part of the novel is set in a rehab facility. Did you do any particular research for this part of the book?
I did read several memoirs about being in rehab and research treatment programs. I also ran the therapy aspects by two people I know who are therapists.

Can you perhaps tell us something about your future plans? Are you perhaps already working on a next novel?
Yes! My novel, Forgotten, will be releasing in the UK this fall. It’s about a woman who was supposed to go on a one month trip to Africa but got stuck there for six months. When she returns home, she finds out that everyone thinks she’s dead and her life has moved on without her. Oh, and if you liked Spin, I’ve written a novella sequel called … wait for it … SPUN, which is available now!

Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?
Write, write, write. Read, read, read.

What is the last book you read that you’d like to recommend to others?
May I pick three? Of course I can: (1) I read Robin Black’s Life Drawing this summer (it came out in the UK in the spring) and I just loved, loved, loved it. Such a beautifully written and suspenseful book—think Gone Girl meets The Husband’s Secret. (2) I recently read my first Jonathan Tropper novel, This is Where I Leave You, and I found it hilarious. (I think a movie based on the book is coming out soon). (3) One of my favourite novels of last year is coming out in the UK on September 23rd – it’s called The Banks of Certain Rivers by Jon Harrison. A really touching story about a single dad and his son trying to figure out how to move on with their lives and beautifully written.

Which book could you not live without?
Well, I don’t think I could live without books, period, really, but Pride & Prejudice is crucial.

And last but not least, if you had to describe ‘Spin’ in just three words, which words would you pick?
Funny, touching, thought-provoking (okay, that last one is two words, but the hyphen kind of makes it one, right?)

Thanks so much, Catherine!

No comments:

Post a Comment