Book 151: SPUN Review

SPUN by Catherine McKenzie
ISBN: 9780692025161 (paperback)
ISBN: 9781443436472 (ebook)
ASIN: B00I7WV51Q (Kindle edition)
Publication date: April 29, 2014
Publisher: HarperCollins Canada

In this funny and touching novella, bestselling author Catherine McKenzie returns to the story of Amber Sheppard, It Girl and celebrity train wreck from McKenzie’s reader-favorite novel, Spin.

Life has been rough for starlet Amber since leaving rehab. She’s been two years sober, but no one seems to believe her — not the gossip media, not casting agents, and most certainly not her spotlight-loving parents. With her friendships ruined by betrayal and her career at a standstill, Amber’s just trying to get her life back on track. It doesn’t help that her former love, movie star Connor Parks, keeps trying to draw Amber back in, not just to their relationship but to his hard-partying ways. One fateful night, Amber breaks down and agrees to join him on board his private jet as it readies for take-off — a decision that will change her life forever and expose her to a whole new level of scrutiny and heartbreak.

Amber Sheppard has lived her life in the public eye since she became the “It Girl” following her smash television show The Girl Next Door when she was only fifteen years old. She became emancipated at age sixteen and involved with her co-star, Connor Parks. It didn’t help that Conner was eight years older than Amber or that they had a toxic and enabling relationship. They were in love. For a while Amber was able to move on after her television show and made several movies. She was even nominated for an Academy Award…but all that is in past, along with Connor. And to think it only took three tries at sobriety and rehab before she realized her life was quickly circling the drain. Unfortunately no one in the business is willing to give Amber another try and it seems like every stumble she makes is blamed on drugs or alcohol. Just when Amber doesn’t think she can survive another blow, she is dealt the hardest blow of all. Is it possible to move forward when the media and even your parents don’t believe in you or your sobriety? This is something Amber will have to discover an answer for in Catherine McKenzie’s follow-up to SPIN, the novella SPUN.

First, if you haven’t read SPIN grab a copy today. Although reading it isn’t necessary to enjoy SPUN, it does help to provide some background on Amber and her relationship with the media, friends, and family. Second, I found SPUN to be a very fast-paced and touching read. Ms. McKenzie does an excellent job of portraying the difficulties of remaining sober, as well as the attempt to rebuild broken relationships. In this day and age when it seems like we’re hearing about some celebrity mishap and rehab failure every day, the character of Amber Sheppard was all too realistic. It was easy to empathize with Amber although it was apparent that her pre-sobriety behavior was beyond outrageous. I even cheered her on as she continued to fight for her continued sobriety and to earn back the respect of friends, family, and peers. Although SPUN is a quick read, it isn’t a lighthearted story as it deals with the struggles of sobriety, addiction, and even grief in a realistic yet respectable manner. I’ve read most of Ms. McKenzie’s writings and enjoyed them all. If you’re looking for a quick read with a little bit of grit and realism, then you’ll definitely want to grab a copy of SPUN to read.

Catherine McKenzie has generously offered to give away one digital copy of SPIN to a lucky The Book Diva’s Reads follower. To enter please use the Rafflecopter form below.

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?

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book free for review purposes from the author. I was not paid, required or otherwise obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Author: thebookdivasreads

I'm a reader, an avid reader, or perhaps a rabid reader (at least according to my family). I enjoy reading from a variety of different genres but particularly enjoy fiction, mystery, suspense, thrillers, ChickLit, romance and classics. I also enjoy reading about numerous non-fiction subjects including aromatherapy, comparative religions, herbalism, naturopathic medicine, and tea.

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