Tuesday, February 28, 2012
Spin: A Novel by Catherine McKenzie
Kate's To-Do List:
1. Go to rehab
2. Befriend/spy on "It Girl"
3. Writer killer expose
4. Land dream job
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.
Kate is an alcoholic, but doesn't realize it. She drinks all the time and for any reason. Her roommate has been purchasing good wine as an investment and Kate has been drinking it all in secret. In order to pay for her drinks, Kate is a freelance writer. She loves to write and loves music, so she is hoping to one day write for her favorite music magazine, The Line. As luck would have it, an opening appears at The Line for a writer and Kate sends off her resume ASAP. She receives a phone call asking her to come down for an interview. Giddy with excitement, Kate goes out drinking and winds up showing up drunk to her interview. Five minutes in, she has to rush out of the room and run to the bathroom to vomit up last night's drinks. Unsurprisingly, she does not get the job. In order to drown her sorrows at having mucked up the interview, Kate settles down on the couch with a bottle of her roommate's wine. She doesn't connect the dots - the bottle she is holding is the reason she didn't get the job. Anyhow, The Line winds up calling Kate back in for another interview about a different job. You see, they think Kate is an alcoholic (based on the facts that she showed up reeking of alcohol, couldn't answer any questions and wound up throwing up - how could they not? ) and have just come up with an idea for a story for their gossip magazine. Apparently the latest "It Girl" is in rehab and they want someone on the inside who can feed them interesting tidbits about the "It Girl's" stay in rehab. Knowing that Kate can write (based on her resume) and that she suffers from a drinking problem, they figure that she would make the perfect informant. Embarrassed that they think she is an alcoholic, but eager to get a job with The Line, Kate agrees to the assignment. You see, if Kate succeeds in giving them inside scoops, then they will give her another shot at interviewing for The Line.
Okay, so you can pretty much guess what happens next, right? Kate enters rehab, discovers she is an alcoholic, befriends the "It Girl", and falls in love. Of course, nothing can end so simply, so a little drama must ensue - like, The Line threatening to sue Kate for $40, 000 (the money spent to pay for Kate's rehab and the other costs detailed in the contract she signed when she accepted the assignment) if she doesn't complete her assignment. After all, how can Kate write an article about her new best friend, right? Well, considering her bank balance is nil, the decision gets made rather quickly. Anyhow, more OMGs occur and the next thing you know Kate is all smiles. So, suffice it to say, happiness abounds. The end.
Now for my thoughts on the book, hmmm...I love chick lit or women's fiction or whatever its called nowadays. In fact, I dip into this genre every now and again - its perfect for reading on a rainy day or for the beach or for helping get someone out of a reading rut (which is usually how I use chick lit - as a quick read to get me reading again). However, Spin didn't do the trick. It wasn't a fun read on a rainy day and it didn't help get me out of my reading funk. You see, I wound up reading Spin bit by bit, like, during commercials while I watched Glee or while I waited in line at the post office. It was just a book that I couldn't really get into. I found myself skimming ahead and happy when the last page was turned. I just felt like this was a book I had read before. The writing was okay-ish, but the characters were under-developed and the story felt a bit flat to me. I just couldn't get on board with Spin.