Book Review: Spin by Catherine McKenzie

Synopsis: It is the day before Kate’s thirtieth birthday when she is asked to celebrate; the only problem is that she has an interview with her dream job the following morning. Katie manages to make the meeting fifteen minutes late and still a bit drunk… Needless to say, she didn’t get the job. Katie is given a second chance when the company’s “sister” magazine offers her an undercover position to write expose on the latest celebrity ‘It Girl’ Amber who was just admitted into rehab.  If she gets through thirty days without drinking and completes the article, Kate will get her dream job. But what happens when Katie makes friends with Amber, starts to fall for a certain celeb’s manager, and begins to admit she really does have a problem with drinking?

Author: Catherine McKenzie is Canadian; born, raised, and currently living in Montreal. This is her debut novel, published by HarperCollins Canada, and has become a national best-selling book. French and German translations will be available sometime this year.

Plot: An alcoholic who refuses to admit she has a problem with drinking agrees to go to rehab so she can write an expose on a celebrity who is also in rehab. Throw in a few ex-boyfriends, an angry best friend, a disgruntled roommate, and a potential love-interest and you have gold.

Theme: I’m sure there is a theme to this book -it deals with so many issues like addictions, friendship, love, honesty, family, responsibilities, etc- but for the life of me I can’t seem to get philosophical enough to figure it out just yet. It’s one of those books that you just need to let simmer in the back of your mind.

Point of View: I ordinarily have a bit of trouble reading narratives written in the first person. I don’t know what it is exactly, perhaps not having that omniscient view on everything that is happening outside of the main character’s head? But I don’t think this book would have worked as well in third-person, and I very much enjoyed seeing things from Kate’s perspective as being in her head can be really quite amusing.

Romance: There are a few love stories in this book: Katie’s ex-boyfriend and current possible love interest, plus Amber’s on- and off-again relationship with celeb Conner. Put them all together in one place and what have you got?

Unfulfilled Promise: There is a hint of question when it comes to Henry because, towards the beginning, he implies that he knows all about addictions and recovery so that you wonder if it is from his own personal experience or just his association with someone who does have an addiction. Not to mention Katie and her sister who used to be close, but haven’t been for years, and you really want them to make up their differences… perhaps that is left for another book?

DiY: If there is one thing this book encourages you to do it’s to drink. No, not really. It makes you really want to take up running, actually. If you’re anything like Katie –which I am- you start off slow. Do some gentle stretches to limber up and then walk for a few minutes to warm up your muscles. After that jog for five minutes and then walk home. The next time you go out, add one or two minutes to your jogging time and then, eventually, you’ll be well on your way to being healthier.

Quote: I clutch my aching side. I can’t believe anything outside of childbirth hurts this much. “How long have we been running?” I pant. She looks at her watch. “About five minutes.”

The Verdict: I really enjoyed this book. At first I thought I just wanted to read Catherine’s other novel, yet not only was the library wait for it longer, but a classmate highly recommended this one. Turns out, I loved it!

Would you get drunk the night before an interview? Would you do anything to get your dream job? 

Previous Reviews: CalhounInto the NightSheer DelightsMr Cavendish I Presume

Teaser Tuesday (Apr-4)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by Should Be Reading Share the title & author, so that others can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share two (2) “teaser” sentences.


I caught a glimpse of a figure hiding behind my little brother’s bedroom door, its pale eyes watching me through the crack. 

This isn’t supposed to happen to people on their birthdays. 

Previous Teasers: Apr-1Apr-2Apr-3

Internship Update

As most of you already know, I am in the Book and Magazine Publishing program in college. I received my Bachelor of Arts with Honours and a Creative Writing Certificate prior to this, but I wanted just one last year to “specialize”.

In order to graduate from my current program I need a minimum of six weeks at an internship. I had contacted Harlequin over a year ago, the moment I was accepted into the program, inquiring to the company about possibly working there in an editorial capacity.

A year ago I planned to become an acquisitions editor at Harlequin someday. Later, I learned they don’t have a specific department just for acquisitions and adjusted my expectations to being just an editor, possibly with Steeple Hill or Luna or their new Teen line.

In my last couple months of classes I began to learn more about publicity. I often was given that portion of group assignments due to being more creatively-inclined. When I visited Random House on a “field trip” (see  House of Random), the publicity department  sounded like a lot of fun.

I ended up applying for two internships: Harlequin’s editorial position and Random House in the publicity department. I have the most experience with editorial, but publicity would potentially have a lot more interaction with people. I decided that getting Harlequin would put a dream to rest if I needed to, while Random House would be the chance to try something new to see if it was a good fit for me.

I couldn’t decide which internship I wanted more, but the decision was taken out of my hands.  I found out about two weeks ago that I did not get the Harlequin internship, but the very same day I was asked for an interview at Random House. I had my inquisition -i mean, “meeting”-  with two members of the publicity team (see  Internship Interview) and thought it went rather well, but decided not to get my hopes up.

I was told I would not be contacted until later in the week, possibly not until after Easter, with the decision. To my surprise the very next day I had an email from my contact at Random House. The letter said that they were “thrilled to be able to offer the position of publicity intern.”

So there you have it. My year long quest for an internship has been successful, though not what I expected. I am rather excited, possibly more so that I would have been to get the editorial position I planned on because it will be unchartered territory for me.

Perhaps someday I will work in some capacity for Harlequin or perhaps not. Perhaps I will get a job at Random House after interning with them or perhaps not. Who knows where I will end up? For all anyone can guess, I could start up a literary agency in a cute little Irish cottage!

Previous Blogs:  Truth about Book BloggersMaking a DifferenceYA Evolution RevelationHow to Publicize a Book

Books In My Mailbox (Apr-4)

This meme is hosted by The Story Siren

I am at home for Easter weekend and I just got a couple books from the local library that I’ve been wanting to read for ages!

Julie Kagawa’s first two novels of her Iron Fey Series, The Iron King and The Iron Daughter. Both are published by Harlequin’s new Teen line.

Previous IMM: Apr-1Apr-2,Apr-3

Simple SMile Saturday (Apr-3)

Thanks to Jen Armentrout and hannahelt, I came up with this meme. They claimed I get excited over the simplest things, so I decided that every Saturday I would post something “simple” that I get excited over just to prove that the smallest things really do make you smile :0)

Today’s smile is… Birthdays!

Today is my best friend’s birthday and we celebrated last night at her place with munchies, wii, and dancing! Before you think this isn’t much of a party, I will let you know there were more people behind the photographer, in the other room, outside, or hadn’t shown up yet.

It was a lot of fun and the cupcakes were yummy! *L0L*

Previous Smiles:  Holiday Home,  HCC & SSGrampa

Book Review: Mr Cavendish I Presume by Julia Quinn

Synopsis: Thomas Cavendish is the Duke of Wyndham. Amelia Willoughby has been betrothed to the duke since birth. When Thomas’s cousin, Jack, arrives on the scene, Thomas’s claim upon the title is put into question, as is to whom Amelia is really engaged. Can Thomas overcome this devastating blow? Will Amelia marry the man she loves?

Cover: I do not know if the artist was feeling inspired or uninspired when they were working on this cover… I don’t mean the artwork itself, as it rather nicely ties in with the previous book, but rather who is on the cover. Is it just me or does the hero look a lot like a brunette Brat Pitt and the heroine a blond Bree Turner?

Point of View: This novel is the companion to The Lost Duke of Wyndham that I previously reviewed. It takes place at the same time as the other novel, portraying the same events, but from Thomas’ and Amelia’s perspective giving you the other side of the story.

Romance: I rather like the love story in this book. It’s so… backwards. Thomas and Amelia have been betrothed since he was seven and she was born, but they still hadn’t married by the time she was 21 and essentially “on the shelf”.  Then, mere days before everything is put in question, Thomas and Amelia start getting to know each other as would friends –a good thing to be in a marriage. It isn’t until there is the possibility of not marrying one another that they realize all that they had and may not get to keep. It reminds the reader not to take for granted what they have in their own lives.

Quote: Thomas most prided himself upon his ability to find humor in the absurd. And this was definitely absurd.

The Verdict: Put this novel in your TBR pile with the companion novel I previously reviewed. Also, get your hands on the Bridgerton books as they are just as good, if not better!

What would you do if everything you lived for were taken away from you? What would you do if everyone had a say in your life but you?

Previous Reviews: CalhounInto the NightLost Duke of Wyndham

Waiting on Wednesday (Apr-3)

I am home for the Easter weekend a little bit earlier than previously planned seeing as I did not get an internship yet. Keep me in your prayers and your fingers crossed I get the internship I just interviewed for yesterday!

Once I knew I’d be going home for a whole week I put in a request at the library there for a few books which I am hoping to get soon. One of these books is Delirium by Lauren Oliver.

Just look at this fabulous cover! And a story about love being a disease and star-crossed romance and… Well, you get the idea!

Previous Waiting: Apr-1Apr-2