Beyond Books


by Catherine McKenzie

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. (

Release date: February 7, 2012 (in the US) This has already been out in Canada for a year or so.

People. I should have read this years ago, before the rest of you and been telling you all of its amazingness all this time! I have failed you, Internet. I am a bad, bad Montrealer, Canadian and reader.

The first things that stood out to me as I read Spin were: a) Katie reminds me of Stephanie Plum from Janet Evanovich’s mystery series. Sure, Katie isn’t quite as inept as Stephanie, but her comments and sarcasm were up there. b) I laugh out loud with almost every page I turn. c) If I had a desk near me while I was reading I would have be banging my head against it saying “WHY DIDN’T I PICK  THIS UP SOONER!” I am very upset with myself over this.

I have seen many people call Spin “chick-lit”, and I guess you could call it that since the protagonist is female, but I really didn’t see it as chick-lit myself. (Never mind the fact that I have an aversion to being told I’m reading chick-lit!)

Katie is such a likeable, real character. She has her flaws (just like characters in Sarah Addison Allen’s stories, do) but she had them with humour and sarcasm. heh This story is refreshing in its originality even when you think it’s going to be a cookie cutter plot. Sure there’s a budding romance among the mess and a moral dilemma that’s sort of easy to see through, but the rest of the book was written so well that I honestly did not want this story to end.

While I was picturing Stephanie Plum as Katie (well, my imagination version of Ms. Plum) I was constantly picturing Amanda Seyfried as Amber Sheppard. I don’t know WHY I had an image of Amanda Seyfried in my mind, but I did. To be honest, I don’t even think she was described in any way similar to Ms. Seyfried, so my imagination just went down its own path. Still, it was sort of fun to picture AS in rehab in this situation.

One of my favourite parts of the story was when Katie had to fill out the Are You An Alcoholic? questionnaire before her admittance to the rehab centre. I laughed so hard at her answers and her reasoning behind them. I do believe this is the point that I realized Spin is going to rocket almost to the top of my Most Favourite Books Ever list. An author blurb on the cover of this book compared Katie to Bridget Jones, which I can sort of see. I laughed a lot while reading both Bridget Jones books, too.

I am someone who loves boarding school stories and stories set in institutions (like a psych ward), setting Spin in rehab made me think of Girl, Interrupted (which I adore) and I had to laugh when Katie makes a comment about having “another Girl, Interrupted moment” during the story.

Even the many, many references to songs and musical artists (since Katie is all about music and getting that dream job writing about it) were fun. Turns out, Katie and I share many a musical taste. There’s even a playlist listed at the end of the book so you can groove to all of the songs that are mentioned.

I do believe that even if you are more inclined to read YA novels, that you will find Spin HIGHLY enjoyable. Never mind that Katie has just turned 30, the humour and story are so worth picking up a copy of this book and savouring every page. I know a lot of you who read my blog are more YA-oriented, but please believe me when I say that Spin will not disappoint you. It’s not paranormal, it’s not about a teen, but it’s about a very real, flawed, likeable woman who has her coming of age a little bit late in life.

Go, now! Get thyself thy very own copy of Spin and watch how it just makes your day that much brighter!

(Thanks to William Morrow Paperbacks for the copy of this book – which I agreed to review even though I am not really accepting review books right now because I totally wanted to help promote a Montreal author! Montreal REPRESENT!)

Catherine graciously agreed to answer some questions for me as well (after I harassed her on twitter, because I am rude like that, yo!). You can check that out here!


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