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Spinning Out

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  • Posted May 21, 2013

    If I were a high school stoner, who wandered the halls aimlessly

    If I were a high school stoner, who wandered the halls aimlessly, managed to somehow get high every five minutes, pulled every prank imaginable in a pertinent effort to stick it to the man, the principal, and the school board, I would have considered this the crème de la crème, as I laughed giddily for nearly an hour, and then had a serious case of the munchies. But I was a massive nerd in high school, who held a certain amount of respect for the man and authority, probably didn’t even truly comprehend the concept of acting out, actually wanted to excel in my classes because I understood that it would affect my future, and tried real hard not to stand out in a bad way, already grasping that I was a bit different than the majority of my classmates and that I didn’t need to further emphasize the point.

    Either way, or even if you fall somewhere in between these two extremes, this novel spins an enjoyable yarn and provides lifelike characters with profuse problems better suited for linoleum floors and locker-lined walls. And it works, all of it. The struggle for an identity, the friend turned love interest, and the rebels trying to sing a different tune could have felt forced in less capable hands, instead these all felt real to me, and I was transported back to simpler times, minus the copious amounts of weed.

    SPINNING OUT filled my head with a hazy fog and had me twirling in a multitude of directions, happily soaking up the pages the way a beach bum might soak up the sun’s rays. Despite this read lacking volume, instead becoming easily consumable like Pop-Tarts, it packed plenty of sentiment and brought to mind the phrase stoners with heart. Stewart and Frenchy may have out smoked Cheech & Chong, but these two knuckleheads decided on a plan to leave more of a legacy than a few roaches and a men’s bathroom filled with the lingering effects of the sweet-smelling smoke.

    But every dynamic duo needs a Kaela. She was adorable, accomplished, admirable, available, articulate, attentive, adept, approachable, apt, addictive, awesome, and amazing. And if I were to describe this compelling novel, I could use many of the same terms. If you want a deep, thought-provoking, look-up-every-other-word-in-the-dictionary type of read, you may want to look elsewhere. But if you’re looking for amusement and the opportunity to get high for a few hours, and I mean that both literally and figuratively, you may just find yourself having a smokin’ good time.

    Robert Downs
    Author of Falling Immortality: Casey Holden, Private Investigator

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 20, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    Frenchy, the best best friend a guy could have!

    Frenchy's had a hell of a year, and now he just wants to coast through his senior year. But Stewart wants to get involved and, as his best friend, Frenchy backs him up. Their relationship, mirrored in the master-servant/leader-follower relationship of Sancho and the Don, is the driving force of this book. And it's a serious and challenging relationship. Still, Spinning Out is mostly hilarious. It's not laugh-out-loud funny; it's more subtle than that. If this book were literary fiction instead of YA, it would be called "intelligent humor." The banter between Frenchy and Stewart is always snarky, and when you throw Ralph, their pot dealer/Frenchy's mom's boyfriend, into the mix, it's gets a little out of control. In a good way. That's why, when Stewart starts to act a bit...off, Frenchy doesn't think too much of it.

    Stewart falls further and further into the role of Don Quixote; it's great for the play, but hard on Frenchy. It's also hard on his budding relationship with stage manager Kaela (who is awesome-sauce). So he steps away, just a little bit. Finally able to claim a little bit of his own limelight in the role of Sancho, Frenchy separates himself just the tiniest bit from Stewart. They're still best friends (and Frenchy is a Great Friend), they're just no longer practically surgically attached.

    During all of this changing and growing and relationship stuff, there is still a show to put on! Long rehearsals, music practices, hot chicks with power tools building sets, it's all there. Theater geeks and show choir enthusiasts (and fans of books like My Invented Life) will love this aspect. All readers will be treated to a meaty story in the meantime.


    Book source: ARC provided by the publisher through the LibraryThing Early Reviewers program.

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