In this funny and touching novella, best-selling author Catherine McKenzie returns to the story of Amber Sheppard, It Girl and celebrity train wreck from McKenzie's fan-favorite 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 take-off - a decision that will change her life forever and expose her to a whole new level of scrutiny and heartbreak.
©2014 Catherine McKenzie (P)2014 Catherine McKenzie
What a fun audiobook. It's not that there isn't angst and deep or serious issues threaded in and out of SPIN, but more that the author didn't weigh the novel down with those "issues," instead opting to keep the tone light, which I appreciated. I rooted for the MC, Kate - who self-denies her way into a hole, that is, until circumstances force her to face up to that denial and dig her way out, dirtied and spitting..
"A novella that stands alone & is worth a listen"
Spun is a novella, 2 hrs 47 mins (or 140 pgs), and is a spin-off of a previous book called “Spin”. I haven’t read Spin yet (but plan to now) and had no problem following this story. I wish all attached stories could manage to do this.
Amber is a former child star struggling to get her life together. She is the classic tale of child star turned wastrel. She fell in love with a bad boy, has been in and out of rehab for drug and alcohol addiction, has a strained relationship with her parents, ruined all but the lamest of career opportunities with her on-set bad behavior and instability and is now hounded by the paparazzi who want nothing more than to see her continued downfall.
Amber has made a complete mess of her life and she knows it. She doesn’t deny it, she doesn’t get all “poor me” and she doesn’t lay the blame on any one but herself. She’s trying to do what’s right even though it’s probably the most difficult thing she’s ever faced. This is why I liked Amber right away. She has managed to stay sober for two years and has avoided the former love of her life for over six months because he is her kryptonite. But then she’s dealt a devastating blow to the heart, forced to face betrayal after betrayal and has a family who doesn’t have any faith that she is actually “sober”. This story is about the roughest patch of Amber’s young life.
Amber is never unlikable, she’s just a mess. At this point in her life, she’s vulnerable and facing so many betrayals that you hope she’s able to come out of it with her sobriety and her sanity intact. I really felt for her, even teared up once or twice, if you can believe that. Told from Amber’s POV you see the entire devastating mess from Amber’s POV and you really feel her pain. She even managed to maintain a self-deprecating sense of humor about herself and her life that always kept the book from being completely dreary as Amber struggles to deal with becoming a stable adult.
I enjoyed this story and the breezy (but not immature) writing style. If you’re into audiobooks and this sort of dramatic story, this is a great choice. The narrator drew me in and kept me. Her voice sounds world weary but still young enough and I never felt jolted or lost when other characters spoke.
"Being a Star"
I listened to the story and it was good. I really didn't think it was all that though. I don't like to write a bad review and this isn't a really bad review but I felt like the story was lacking. The author didn't grab my attention. Its actually a boring story that's not written all that well but that's my opinion. Basically, it's the life of a actress who's life is spinning out of control. But it doesn't catch the attention of a reader/listener at least not mine anyway.
The narrator did a good job with the story. There wasn't that many characters for accents to be identifiable. Overall, the narrator did a great job with what the story had and work with. I received this audio in exchange for an honest review.
"A great character arc in a small book."
I didn't read Spin before starting this book. In fact, I didn't even know this was a sequel. But I don't think you have to read Spin beforehand to understand the emotional arc of Amber. The flashbacks and first person perspective give you all the information you need to know about the It Girl. She's witty, clever, over emotional, and desperately trying to get her life under control. McKenzie gives so much character depth and story that I forgot this wasn't a book with 500 pages.
Lea Gulino did a great job capturing the humor of the book and portraying Amber as a real person, instead of the stereotypical Hollywood bimbo. The struggle was real, and Gulino didn't falter.
A great character arc in a small book.
**I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.**
"I Want More! Audible Please Get SPIN! I Loved It!"
Spun by Catherine McKenzie Narrated by Lea Gulino
This is a really intense book. It is a novella - smack dab in the middle of a story. Unfortunately Audible does not have the prequel available this time. If they did I would snatch it up in a in a second.
This is well-written, well performed, intense and pretty realistic considering the subject matter.
Amber, a starlet who is trying to get herself on the right track after rehab. An intense love affair, paparazzi, constant temptation to revert to bad behavior and the people who should be closest to her using her and her fame for their own purposes.
The narrator is spot on and a great storyteller. I was drawn in from the beginning and the story was a well performed, professional performance. I wanted to keep listening without interruption.
I will be looking for more books both by the author & the narrator.
Note: Nothing much to warn about here. It is well-written and the author does not need to use profanity to get her story across.
Credit worthy/ $: *I was offered this book in exchange for leaving a review with my thoughts and opinions.* While I would not use a credit on this book because it's less than three hours long. I would purchase it if the prequel SPIN available.
Thank you for reading my review. If you found it helpful please select yes underneath this text. Thank you.
"Amber's point of view"
I haven't read the print version so, I cannot compare them, the audio edition though, is excellent!
I don't like to compare books, it's an interesting story somehow common with others but manages to be unique in the end, even though I would prefer the book a bit longer than a small read novella.
Lea Gulino has a marvelous voice and accent and gives life to the characters, mostly Amper of course, and makes the book even better than (probably) the print version.
Lost Love, New Life...
I received this audiobook in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts opinions and ratings are my own. I was under no obligation to give positive feedback.
Thank you very much Catherine McKenzie & Lea Gulino for this book.
"Makes You Want to Read What Came First"
I haven't listened to any other books by Catherine McKenzie or Lea Gulino, but would like to in the future.
None is my "favorite". Ms Gulino handles them all well.
This question has nothing to do with the story as it is written or as it is read. Very silly for Audible to include such a meaningless question in the review template.
Exactly what you want in a novella -- to figure out whether you'd like to spend time with the full-length portions of the story. This novella takes place after the novel Spin
I received this audiobook from the narrator in exchange for a review. When I volunteered, I hadn't connected that this author also penned Hidden, a book on my to-read list, nor had I heard of any of her other books -- the novella seemed appealing without any other influence. It is now the tip of my iceburg! I'll be searching out all other Catherine McKenzie books as well as Lea Gulino books! No hesitation!
A child-star, Amber, in her new-adult years looks back and looks around to what she has become, in the wake of the unexpected accidental death of the love of her life. Though I can't tell you how old Amber is supposed to be, now two-years sober after a stay in rehab who became the "it" girl at the age of 15, Amber gives her side of a story begun in Catherine McKenzie's novel Spin
The audiobook is narrated by Lea Gulino and is just under three hours in length. Lea does a fantastic job keeping her voice and attitude youthful and new adult-like. She does a fine job, too, of distinguishing female characters with her voice. Just what you look for in a narrator - to keep you interested in the story itself and not distracted otherwise.
"Wow! Terrific read on a gloomy day"
I would, and I did, as it was a quick listen/read and gripping. I listened to it on a gloomy, rainy day, and it put life into a little perspective. Amber has a priviledged, yet tough life, and her strength in resisting her demons and standing up to non-believers was inspiring.
I thought the book was a great "IT" package. The story was simple, yet gripping, and narrator Lea Gulino does a FABULOUS job weaving Amber's vulnerability with her resolve to stand up for what she believes in.
Definitely Amber--every girl can identify with her. The author does a great job of portraying Amber realistically and yet not too sympathetic to lose interest in her as a person.
It is very inspiring but I would like to see more about how Amber goes with Danny.
Lea Gulino narrates the story well and makes the story clear in my mind but the voice changes are a bit confusing sometime.
Yes. As it is kind off short aswell, it is a nice little listen.
"Great book to curl up with"
The emotions are so true to life and It was easy to empathize with Amber
I love how Lea Gulino gives life to the characters, Great Job...
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