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Spin [Paperback]

Catherine McKenzie
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Dec 21 2009
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?


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Review

"Spin is a fresh, sassy and compelling novel delivered with pitch-perfect humor. McKenzie's light touch with a serious topic will have readers cheering for Katie as she proves people can change." --Holly Kennedy, author of The Penny Tree, The Silver Compass and The Tin Box

"In Kate Sandford, Catherine McKenzie has created a 21st century Bridget Jones--dark and delicate, broken yet strong. SPIN is all at once comic, heart-breaking, and life-affirming." --Tish Cohen, author of Inside Out Girl and Town House

"It's been said that writing about music is like dancing about architecture--so what does that make writing about writing about music? With Spin, Catherine McKenzie proves it can be a direct path to the heart of the true believer, a virtual instruction manual on how to maintain passion. She taps into both the ridiculous and sublime elements of the world her characters inhabit, and more importantly, points out how those are often exactly the same. A thoroughly engaging effort." --David Sprague, veteran freelance music journalist whose work has appeared in Variety, Village Voice and Billboard Magazine

"Imagine if Bridget Jones fell into a million little pieces, flew over the cuckoo's nest, and befriended Lindsay Lohan along the way, and you are beginning to grasp the literary roller coaster ride that is Catherine McKenzie's Spin. Filled with brutal honesty and wry humour, Spin is a story for anyone who has ever woken up hungover and thought, 'Do I have a problem? Yes--I need to find a greasy breakfast.' And by that I mean everyone I know." --Leah McLaren, Globe and Mail columnist, author of The Continuity Girl

"In Kate Sandford, Catherine McKenzie has created a 21st-century Bridget Jones--dark and delicate, broken yet strong. Spin is all at once comic, heartbreaking, and life-affirming." --Tish Cohen, author of Inside Out Girl and Town House

"Spin is a fresh, sassy, and compelling novel delivered with pitch-perfect humour. McKenzie's light touch with a serious topic will have readers cheering for Kate as she proves people can change." --Holly Kennedy, author of The Penny Tree, The Silver Compass, and The Tin Box

"With Spin, Catherine McKenzie taps into both the ridiculous and sublime elements of the world her characters inhabit, and, more importantly, points out how those are often exactly the same. A thoroughly engaging debut." --David Sprague, music journalist , contributor to Variety, Village Voice, and Rolling Stone

"Catherine McKenzie gives her readers the chance to spin this tale two ways. We get a first-class ticket on a fast-paced celebrity ride, with drug addicted stars and starlets, on-again-off-again romances, all set amid the ever present paparazzi. On the flip side, McKenzie reminds us that it's easy to point fingers and gossip; what's not so easy is the ability to honestly scrutinize ourselves. A fabulous, page-turning debut." --Lynn Crymble, author of It Can Happen to You

"Spin is a fresh, sassy and compelling novel delivered with pitch-perfect humor. McKenzie's light touch with a serious topic will have readers cheering for Katie as she proves people can change." --Holly Kennedy, author of The Penny Tree, The Silver Compass and The Tin Box

"Catherine McKenzie gives her readers the chance to spin this tale two ways. We get a first-class ticket on a fast-paced celebrity ride, with drug addicted stars and starlets, on-again-off-again romances, all set amid the ever present paparazzi. On the flip side, McKenzie reminds us that it's easy to point fingers and gossip; what's not so easy is the ability to honestly scrutinize ourselves. A fabulous, page-turning debut." --Lynn Crymble, author of It Can Happen to You

"Imagine if Bridget Jones fell into a million little pieces, flew over the cuckoo's nest, and befriended Lindsay Lohan along the way, and you are beginning to grasp the literary roller coaster ride that is Catherine McKenzie's Spin. Filled with brutal honesty and wry humour, Spin is a story for anyone who has ever woken up hungover and thought, 'Do I have a problem? Yes -- I need to find a greasy breakfast.' And by that I mean everyone I know." --Leah McLaren, Globe and Mail columnist, author of The Continuity Girl

"In Kate Sandford, Catherine McKenzie has created a 21st century Bridget Jones -- dark and delicate, broken yet strong. Spin is all at once comic, heart-breaking, and life-affirming." --Tish Cohen, author of Inside Out Girl and Town House

"It's been said that writing about music is like dancing about architecture -- so what does that make writing about writing about music? With Spin, Catherine McKenzie proves it can be a direct path to the heart of the true believer, a virtual instruction manual on how to maintain passion. She taps into both the ridiculous and sublime elements of the world her characters inhabit, and more importantly, points out how those are often exactly the same. A thoroughly engaging effort." --David Sprague, veteran freelance music journalist whose work has appeared in Variety, Village Voice and Billboard Magazine

From the Back Cover

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!

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.


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Most helpful customer reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Chick Lit With Substance Jan. 21 2010
By BookChick TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
Kate Sandford is almost 30, but she still poses as a graduate student at times for the free food available at graduate events. She writes articles for the newspaper about obscure but interesting bands, and when she gets an interview at The Line, a music magazine that she has always aspired to work at, she is ecstatic. The night before the interview she goes out with friends to celebrate the combination of her birthday and the interview and, well, over-celebrates a little. She arrives at her interview the next day hungover, reeking like alcohol, and sick to her stomach and it isn't long before the interviewers politely dismiss her. Kate is devastated, but a few weeks later she receives a call. If Kate follows Amber Sheppard, the current celebrity "It Girl" into rehab and writes a tell-all after completing the program she will get another chance to work at The Line. Kate doesn't think twice and hops onto a plane headed for the rebab centre Oasis.

Things get complicated after Kate arrives. Even though she was convinced that she didn't have a problem with alcohol, her time in rehab is starting to open her eyes a little to her own destructive behaviour. Kate also manages to not just meet Amber Sheppard, but befriend her, and then comes the ultimate question: can Kate still write her article without losing her new friend? Kate also meets Henry, a celebrity handler, and sparks begin to fly. Will Henry be able to fall in love with a girl that he met in rehab, and can their relationship last outside of the walls of Oasis?

Spin is chick-lit with a heart, and I absolutely loved it. Kate Sandford is definitely one screwed-up individual at times, with the habit of leaping into things without thinking them through first, but she is the type of character that makes you root for her.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fresh, witty new voice Jan. 25 2010
By Luanne Ollivier #1 HALL OF FAME TOP 10 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
Kate has an interview and a shot at her dream job - writing for a music magazine. The night before the interview she heads out for one celebratory drink, which somehow turns into more than one...... She makes it to the interview the next day, but five minutes in, has to run to the bathroom to throw up. Needless to say she doesn't get the job. Their sister magazine - a gossip rag- calls later with an offer. Her writing samples were good - would she consider going undercover at a rehab to get the dirt on the latest 'it' girl , Amber? If all goes well, they'll give her the job at the music magazine. She jumps at the chance.

McKenzie has created a flawed but lovable character in Kate. She has goals, but keeps sabotaging herself. But at rehab, she is forced to confront some of those flaws and decide where she wants to go in life. Can she betray the burgeoning friendship she has with Amber and spill her secrets for public consumption? The supporting characters were well drawn as well. Amber is particularly well portrayed and is a poignant commentary of celebrity in our society. Although substance abuse is a focal part of the story, McKenzie strikes a fine balance between serious and humourous. Much of the dialogue and situations were laugh out loud funny, but the foundation of recovery is handled with respect as well.

Spin was one of those books that read like potato chips. Yep, it was an addicting read for me - just one more chapter until I turned the last page and realized I'd finished it already.

This is a debut novel for Canadian Catherine McKenzie. Definitely recommended. I'll be waiting for the second book by this fresh, witty new voice!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Debut Novel! Jan. 19 2010
By Darlene
Format:Paperback
Spin by Catherine McKenzie is a fresh and fun, yet serious debut novel from this author! For me it was a perfect escape to another world with characters I loved and a storyline that grabbed me from the beginning to the end.

The main character of Spin is Kate Sanford and she's a Bridget Jones type of character. I liked her right off. She's one of those characters that I formed a bond with from the beginning of the book. She's funny, a little crazy, vulnerable and just may have a serious problem with alcohol which just makes her all the more real. She's far from perfect and I think that's the trait that pulls people in - she's human.

The book starts out with Kate getting the interview of her lifetime to work at her favorite music magazine. She's beside herself in her excitement so when she gets a call from a friend to go out and celebrate for her birthday coming up, she agrees. What can a couple of drinks hurt? Then she'll come home, get a good rest and be in prime form for her interview. NOT! What starts as a few drinks quickly turns into too many drinks to count and Kate is hammered. She wakes up late the next morning, is late to her interview and even that isn't so bad if she'd just been sober for said interview. Needless to say Kate doesn't even get through the interview, doesn't get the job and goes home defeated and miserable.

Days later Kate gets a call from Bob, another boss at The Line, who works on the gossip side of things. While he didn't think Kate was right for the job she applied for, he does think she's right for going to rehab as a patient to spy on It Girl, Amber Sheppard for them. In return for a good story, she just might be reconsidered for that job of a lifetime she wants. Well, what is a girl to do?
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining, funny read
I came across this book while at Target. I have to say I picked it up and put it back down for about 3 visits. Finally I thought I have to read this, and I am glad I did. Read more
Published on May 1 2012 by skurtz80
5.0 out of 5 stars THEY TRIED TO MAKE ME WRITE AN ARTICLE IN REHAB AND I SAID...
"Imagine if Bridget Jones fell into A million little pieces, flew over the cuckoo's nest and befriended Lindsey Lohan along the way. Read more
Published on March 14 2012 by Buggy
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Story
"Spin" is about a young woman, Katie Sandford, a thirty year old struggling writer who loves to party in excess with her friends and who desperately wants to work for a music... Read more
Published on March 13 2012 by Toni Osborne
5.0 out of 5 stars Loves it!!!!
Besides she's a Canadian author, she is a fantastic story teller. I was lured right into this book for its' story. I had to know what was going to happen to Kate. Read more
Published on Jan. 31 2012 by fredamans
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining, Humorous, and Deeper Than I expected
Spin - by Catherine McKenzie

ARC-received from LibraryThing/Publisher

Spin is an interesting take on what may or may not happen when one goes into rehab for... Read more
Published on Dec 18 2011 by Dianne E. Socci-Tetro
4.0 out of 5 stars Good solid Read
What would you do to get the job of your dreams? Would it be worth telling tales about your newest friend? Kate Sandford found her self in just that situation. Read more
Published on July 4 2011 by Heather Pearson
4.0 out of 5 stars Kept me turning pages!
I wrote this review on Amazon and am cutting and pasting to Amazon.ca--

What a fun read! It's not that there isn't angst and deep or serious issues threaded in and out... Read more
Published on Aug. 7 2010 by Kathryn Magendie
4.0 out of 5 stars It spun me right round...
I finally picked it up Spin last week and it's been a total time sucker. In the best possible way.

Other than sharing a nickname, I have absolutely nothing in common... Read more
Published on June 22 2010 by GeekGirl42
5.0 out of 5 stars A fun, laugh out loud read with a fresh voice
Catherine McKenzie's engaging debut novel has proven her as one to watch. Her voice is fresh, new and compelling. Read more
Published on April 6 2010 by Lydia - Novel Escapes
5.0 out of 5 stars Great story. Fast read.
Debut novel "Spin" by Catherine McKenzie is a journey into something far greater than "chick lit." What I enjoyed most was getting a realistic sense of the broad range of... Read more
Published on Jan. 28 2010 by H. Dikranian
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