Friday, May 9, 2014

Book Review: Spun (plus giveaway for Spin)

By Melissa Amster

**Giveaway is now closed**

When I was given the opportunity to read Catherine McKenzie's debut novel, Spin (reviewed here), I devoured it and wanted more right away. Well, I had to wait a few years, but Catherine finally delivered with her novella, Spun. This time, the story is about Amber Sheppard, the "It Girl" and celebrity train wreck who Katie was sent to rehab to write about in order to get a coveted magazine job.

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 takeoff – a decision that will change her life forever and expose her to a whole new level of scrutiny and heartbreak. (Synopsis from back cover.)

Spun was once again told in Catherine's easygoing writing style. You forget that it's a story because the characters seem that real. Amber was fun and intriguing. I was always interested to see what she would come up with next to help turn her life around. I liked how she gave an insider's view of what it's like to be a celebrity train wreck and have paparazzi chasing you all the time. It almost made me sympathetic toward certain celebrities who have gone to a bad place, so to speak. (Not going to name anyone in particular...) Of course, there were some nice doses of humor that had me laughing out loud. It was very tongue-in-cheek.

I personally have a hard time investing emotionally in teen love (which is how Amber's relationship with Connor started out) and Connor was such a mess himself, that I couldn't really understand why Amber would pine after him. Spun would have worked better as a full-length novel, where there would be more time spent on Amber's background instead of rushing through it. Some people seemed so one-dimensional as a result. I also felt like it ended abruptly, even if it was at a good spot. Selfishly, I just wanted more...

Of course, I had to cast it as a movie. (I never ended up casting Spin and am not sure why, as some of the ideas came from there.)

Amber: Jessica Lowndes
Olivia: Olivia Wilde
Kate: Zooey Deschanel
Connor: Jackson Rathbone
Henry: Paul Bettany

Thanks to Catherine McKenzie for the e-book in exchange for an honest review. She has TWO Kindle versions of SPIN for some lucky US readers, to see how it all got started. In addition, LAW Agency has TWO print copies of SPIN for some lucky UK readers!

How to win:
Please tell us which celebrity train wreck you wish the paparazzi would stop sharing about already.

One entry per person.

**Please let us know if you are in the US or UK when you comment.**

Please include your e-mail address or another way to reach you if you win. Entries without contact information will NOT be counted (and we do not count Google + as contact information).

E-book is US only. Print version is UK only.
Giveaway ends May 14th at midnight EST.

More by Catherine McKenzie:


jpetroroy said...

Lindsay Lohan.

I'm in the US

jpetroroy at gmail dot com

Jessica said...

Definitely that NBA guy who made the racist remarks. Sick of hearing about that!

I'm in the US.

jodi marinich said...

us and

i have heard enough about tori spelling..

Unknown said...

Miley Cyrus

Jeryl M. said...

Justin Bieber

bn100 said...

Lindsay Lohan

bn100candg at hotmail dot com

Mary Jo Burke said...



Amber @ A Little Pink in the Cornfields said...

Ugh, definitely Kim Kardashian. I do NOT care how much money she wastes. It is just disgusting.

Nova said...

Jay Z & Beyonce....
In the USA.

Melissa said...

Thanks for participating!
Thanks to Catherine for sharing the e-books with our readers! chose two US winners from all entries with contact info (one per person). No one from UK has entered for print copies, but we hope to change that soon!

Congrats to:
Amber @ A Little Pink...
Jessica Meddick

Melissa said...

Jessica said she already won and wanted me to give someone else a chance. chose Jeryl M as our new winner! Congrats!