By Amanda Busch
Spin. Catherine McKenzie. New York. Harper Collins Publishers. 2012. 419 pages.
In non-fiction book, Spin, Catherine McKenzie does a great job at shadowing a young woman throughout her journey at a rehab facility. The author begs us to ask if Katie should take the role as a journalist at a top music-publishing magazine? That is what everyone wants to know. When Katie realizes that she has a drinking problem, she seems to have more than just a few troubles that she needs to deal with. Without really knowing it, Katie is on a downward spiral. This is until she meets with the music magazine of her dreams. How quickly something you have always wanted, can turn your life around so quickly.
Katie has always had alcohol be a part of her life. She never went off the deep end, but her drinking is definitely a problem. This is the case until she walks through the door to her dream job and is turned down, only for a few days later to receive a call from them for a second interview. Little does she know, she is actually being sent to a rehab facility to spy on a famous actor and get the inside scoop on her life and who she really is. Katie soon realizes she needs to deal with the pressure of her assignment as well as getting sober. If successful, she is promised a position with the magazine.
McKenzie is from Quebec. She is extremely focused on being a lawyer and working professionally with certain organizations, and she is recognized for her works at McGill Law. She uses these skills to better her book. Although she is a professional, her writing doesn’t reflect such demeanor. She is fun and carefree in her works, and this takes the reader to a really cool place. She has a way to show the reader what she is really thinking and gives each character so much life.
As stated above, McKenzie uses humor and carefree feelings in her book. She makes the characters come to life in the readers’ minds. It worked well when describing each character, as you always knew which one she was talking about because of their qualities. She also establishes credibility with each character. For example, she uses stern language when she is talking about the doctor and therapist in rehab program. By doing this, she creates form throughout the book.
McKenzie uses her values to represent some writing in her book. You can tell through the views of certain characters how she feels about certain feelings or situations. For example, it is clear that she does not approve of alcoholism from the main character. The tone she uses to express this via other characters makes it apparent.
There is much research done on the author’s part regarding backing up her thesis. She uses tools in the rehab program to show this. She has really done her homework when it comes to what is really done behind the walls of rehab. She uses that information to better her writing.
I really enjoyed reading Spin. It had a great story line and her writing was hilarious. She had a way of taking a really serious situation but putting a really fun wholehearted spin on the book. She had a way to light up the characters and have her research of AA shine throughout the book. By doing these things, I think it made a really interesting read. She made you feel what the characters were feeling and provided much insight as to how rehab works. I believe the author did meet her purpose in the book. Her conclusion really wrapped up the story and gave the reader a sense of closure to the piece. She created a world for each character and provided much insight into each of their lives and made them all connect in a really neat way. By using humor, she instilled the characters demeanor as well as a fun read. With the use of humor, she was able to create something that was more about real life rather than a boring story on rehab and how to overcome an obstacle the hard way.
All in all, I think the author does a really good job at showing the reader what she is trying to say and portray.