It's no secret that I adore Catherine McKenzie's novels. So when I heard that she was writing a sequel to her first novel I was super excited. It's been awhile since I've read Spin but I remember enjoying it and I was looking forward to seeing what It Girl Amber was up to now. In the novella Spun, we get an update on Amber's life post-rehab, just as things are getting really out of control. I really enjoyed this one!
Here's the synopsis:
In this funny and touching novella, bestselling author Catherine McKenzie returns to the story of Amber Sheppard, It Girl and celebrity train wreck from her reader-favourite 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 takeoff – a decision that will change her life forever and expose her to a whole new level of scrutiny and heartbreak.The only negative thing I have to say doesn't even have anything to do with the book itself. It's been over three years since I've read Spin so I couldn't remember every detail of Amber's story. I don't think that actually really matters, I was just frustrated at myself for not remembering everything. I wish I had had the time to reread Spin before I dove into Spun. You don't really even have to have read the first book to understand this one but I think it increases the enjoyment of it. If you've read Spin and are lookin forward to reading Spun, I'd suggest rereading the novel before tackling the novella. It'll be worth it!
Spun is really short - it has just 142 pages - so it's a really quick read. Part of me wishes it had been longer (because who wouldn't want an enjoyable book to be longer?) but I can also appreciate that Amber's story was best told in a novella format. I was a little worried at first because I wasn't sure how all of Amber's problems would be dealt with and resolved by the end. And, truthfully, not everything is wrapped up in a neat little bow. I like how McKenzie ended things...you're happy with the resolution but it's not perfect because how could things be perfect after what happened? (Nope, not going to tell you what happens.)
I liked how Spun was written. I think it had a bit of a different feel than McKenzie's other books...maybe because Amber is the youngest heroine she's ever written. She's 25 in this book (er, I think?) and because McKenzie's last few main characters have been older, it's a bit of a change in the way the story is told and how it feels. It's not a bad thing, don't get me wrong, it was just different. If I had to try to explain how the story is told I think I'd say that it's sort of like a stream of consciousness. The story bops around but not in a confusing way. It's realistic - the way you would be telling a story to a friend. That's the best way I can describe it!
I also liked more of an insight into Amber's life and what it might be like to be famous. For her, at least, it's no fun. The paparazzi are vultures and it's hard to get your life back on track when your every move is being analyzed. And, for me at least, you can't help but root for Amber. I really loved her in this book and was happy with how she was doing and where she was going by the end of the story.
I don't know if I did Spun justice. I almost always feel like that when I review Catherine McKenzie's books. I just love her and her novels so much that all I want to do is say READ THIS :) But, since I can't do that, I will say: McKenzie has written another fabulous novel (honestly, guys, her writing is just amazing) and Spun has a great balance of serious and funny and I couldn't get enough. I'm ready for her next novel already! If you'd like to read what others thought of Spun, check out The Savvy Reader site. And, if you haven't read Spin (tsk tsk tsk), enter this giveaway! a Rafflecopter giveaway
*A copy of this novel was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.*