Author: Darcie Gudger
Publisher: Mountainview Books
Genre: YA Contemporary
When I picked up Spin, I branched away from my usual reading material, which tends to consist of spaceships, evil tyrants, sword fights–if it’s a speculative novel, I’m all over it. But Spin was a nice change. It was real, raw, emotional.
The story begins with teenager Kisrie overhearing another girl, Wendy, fuming about a low grade on an English assignment. As payback for the grade, Wendy spreads a horrible rumor about the teacher. Kisrie knows the rumor is a lie, but doesn’t speak up out of fear of what Wendy (who has bullied Kisrie for years) will do to her.
I really appreciated the main theme of Spin: do the right thing, no matter what. Even if you think it won’t make a difference. Even if no one else will stand with you. Even if you’ll get hurt for doing so. Spin encourages us to take action and defend what we know is right, before it’s too late. Friendship, forgiveness, and trusting God are some of the other themes.
Mrs. Gudger incorporates some laugh-out-loud humorous moments in the book–but knows when to be serious, too.
What I found to be most fascinating about the book was the portrayal of Wendy. That girl is nasty personified. She’ll do whatever it takes to obtain what she wants. She’s selfish, vain, and cruel. Quite a few chapters in Spin are told from Wendy’s perspective–something I didn’t expect. We’re given a glimpse into her life. We see not only what she does, but why she does what she does (that’s a tongue-twister sentence, isn’t it?). I oh-so-badly wanted that girl to get what she deserved, but the more I read, the more I began to feel sorry for her. Wendy’s actions are in no way justifiable, but the reader can begin to sympathize with her, and this adds a certain level of depth to the story.
I would recommend Spin to older teens and adults, as the book deals with some very mature/tough topics (bullying, suicide, a teacher being accused of sleeping with his students, etc). Mrs. Gudger gives us a raw, honest look at public school life. The whole time I read the book, I kept thanking God that my parents never sent me to public school!
Have you read Spin? What did you think?