Spun by Catherine McKenzie

Spun - Catherine McKenzie, Lea Gulino

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 anyone 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.