Book Review #30: Spin by Catherine McKenzie

30 Apr

I’m in the middle of finals, thus my life is a little terrible. I’m reading  a lot, but it’s all about Evidence. And Intellectual Property. And the Law.

So, Spin was a light, happy stress reliever. Thirty-year old Kate is a struggling writer who pretends to be in grad school for the free wine and cheese nights, with no romantic prospects on the horizon.  When she lands her dream job interview, she shows up to the interview still drunk from a crazy night of partying. Needless to say, she doesn’t get the job.

What she does get is an offer to take an all-expenses-paid trip to rehab, where she’s expected to befriend a Lindsay Lohan-esque starlet seeking treatment there.  And then write a salacious expose. Kate goes to rehab, becomes best friends with the starlet and falls in love.  When rehab ends, Kate has to make a choice.  Her new friend, her sobriety, or her dream job?  Kate chooses a fun combination of the three.

As fun as the book was, it  touched on something more serious that I don’t think gets enough attention among twenty-somethings.  There are certain drinking patterns that are totally normal and acceptable when you’re in college.  But when you graduate, at some point, those patterns become signs of alcoholism.  In your twenties, there’s a blurry, sensitive line between young, fun partying and alcoholism. Kate ostensibly goes to rehab for a job. But Kate is also in rehab because she needs it.  Kate never left her student lifestyle behind, and her slow realization that she might actually be an alcoholic rings very true.

 Let’s break down some of the classic chick lit elements found in this novel, shall we?

  • More successful or more beautiful best friend? Check – we have Scottish red head Greer as the beauty, and work-a-holic bank director Rory in the professional realm.
  • Befriends a celebrity? Check. Amber, the coke addicted television star. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen this in a chick lit novel.
  • Sisterly conflicts? Check.  Jealous, resentful younger sister.
  • Unrealistic romance? Check. A non-patient falls in love with her in rehab. Enough said.
  • Glamorous job? Check. Music writer.
  • Job v. personal life? Check. How can she still write an expose on her new best friend?! How will she lie to her current friends about her rehab stay?!
  • Over the top romantic reconciliation? Check. She literally runs after the guy during a 5K.

After reading The Next Right Thing, which presented a much more raw, real story of recovery, the glamorous gloss on the rehab felt false. Marion Keyes is the only other chick lit author I’ve seen take on rehab (Rachel’s Holiday), and while Marion Keyes does it better, this book was still a good time.

Worth a read!


2 Responses to “Book Review #30: Spin by Catherine McKenzie”

  1. mollyspring May 4, 2012 at 6:59 pm #

    Chick lit isn’t usually my thing, but this one sounds better than some. And I guess we all just need a little light fun sometimes! Thanks for sharing your thoughts.


  1. HelloKatieO’s #CBR4 Review #30: Spin by Catherine McKenzie « Cannonball Read IV - April 30, 2012

    […]  Let’s break down some of the classic chick lit elements found in this novel, shall we? Share this:ShareTwitterFacebookEmailDiggStumbleUpon Posted by HelloKatieO in 4 stars – a great book and tagged Alcoholism, book reviews, books, Catherine McKenzie, CBR4, celebrities, hellokatieo, reviews, Spin […]

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