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Spin    by Catherine Mckenzie order for
by Catherine Mckenzie
Order:  USA  Can
William Morrow, 2012 (2012)
Softcover, e-Book

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* *   Reviewed by Rheta Van Winkle

Kate Sandford wants desperately to work for her favorite music magazine, The Line. She's been living on the edge for years, barely making enough to survive as a freelance music journalist. When she finally sees an employment opening at The Line, she applies and is thrilled to get the phone call asking her to come in for an interview. The only problem is that the interview will be on her thirtieth birthday, and her friends want to take her out to celebrate the night before. None of these friends are aware that this is her thirtieth birthday, though, since she's been supplementing her meals by pretending to be younger and a graduate student, 'scamming as much free food and alcohol as possible on the university wine-and-cheese circuit.'

When one of these friends texts her, insisting that she must join them that night, at first she resists, but finally agrees to meet at their favorite bar and limit herself to one drink. Unfortunately, Kate cannot stop at one drink, and she gets so intoxicated that she's still drunk and sick the next morning when she arrives late for her interview. After struggling to respond to the magazine's interviewers with intelligent answers, she excuses herself and goes to the ladies' room where one of the interviewers finds her vomiting repeatedly and tells her that they could smell the alcohol on her breath and are not interested in hiring someone who arrives drunk for a job interview.

She gets another chance, but it involves entering a drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility as an undercover reporter for the magazine. Her assignment is to report on a well-known young actress who will also be a patient there. Kate doesn't think she has a drinking problem, and is surprised to find that she really likes the actress as she gets to know her. As her life becomes more complicated, she agonizes over what she is doing to her new friend, meanwhile counting the days when she can finish the assignment and get out of the prison-like facility.

Spin is such a fun book to read. Kate is quite a loser at the beginning, but the reader can't help liking her and sympathizing with her as she gets deeper and deeper into the hole she's dug for herself. She is definitely the strongest character, but we get to know just enough about her friends and the patients and staff at the rehab center to keep the story interesting. I thoroughly enjoyed this romp and was delighted with the ending.

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