Magnolia Woodson wants nothing more than to escape the town that hates her—she just doesn’t know how to do it.
Forced to put up with the snide comments and hateful looks thrown at them by the clamming-obsessed residents in their pitifully small Oregon town, Mags feels she’s destined to pay for the horrible, awful thing her mom did—and that Mom left her and her sister, Rose, to deal with—until the day she dies.
But when a nationwide televised dance competition posts tryouts in nearby Portland, Mags’s best friend, George, says they have to go and audition. Not only have they spent the past fourteen years of their lives dancing side-by-side, dreaming of a day just like this, but also it could be Mags’s chance of a lifetime. She could win the grand-prize money and get her and Rose out of Summerland. This is her chance to do the thing she loves most with everyone watching, her chance to show the town that she’s not and has never been a “no-good Woodson girl,” like her mother.
But will the competition prove too steep? And will Mags be able to retain her friendship with George as they go head-to-head in tryouts? Mags will have to learn that following her dreams may mean changing her life forever in many different ways.
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.10(d)|
|Age Range:||12 - 18 Years|
About the Author
Jill Mackenzie, a Vancouver native, is an ex-ballerina and contemporary dancer. She received her MFA in creative writing at the University of British Columbia (UBC) and now chassés between roles her roles of full-time mom and always-writer. Though Jill no longer studies dance, she still tries to dance herself clean whenever she can. Currently she lives in Fort Jupiter, Florida, where she spends her free time beach-bound with her husband and two beautiful daughters.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I loved this book, it reminded me of a Jodi Picoult novel where I encounter a environment I didn’t know much about (in this case a reality show dance competition/the world of competitive dance) as a backdrop to fully realized and rich characters that I was invested in knowing more about. While I’m not quite a teenager I loved how the writing helped me access those teenage feelings and reactions in a way that drew me in and engaged in me in the story. The characters displayed electricity in their interactions and experiences that felt authentic and made me both nostalgic for that intensity and relieved to have moved past it. I was engrossed in how seeing each relationships played out. The characters were diverse but the writing revealed an emotional truth that made me want to know more about each person. The book was well-paced and very satisfying. I look forward to reading more from this author.
Magnolia has always enjoyed living in Summerland, but the inhabitants of the town aren't friendly any longer because of something her mother has done. Magnolia and her sister Rose were left behind by their mother and the siblings have to deal with the hate for her actions on a daily basis. She only has one good friend left, George. Magnolia is a skilled dancer and George encourages her to audition for Live to Dance, a nationwide television show. Magnolia wants to win, so the people of Summerland will appreciate her again, to show them that her family can also do something good. Is that the right reason to go? George and Magnolia spend a lot of time together and they've always been there for each other. However, at Live to Dance they are competitors. Will they both get through the auditions and what will happen afterwards? Will their friendship be strong enough to survive the competitive atmosphere or will it suffer? Who will win Live to Dance, does Magnolia have a shot to clear her name or will she have to live with her mother's infamy forever? Spin the Sky is an emotional story about dance, paying for someone else's mistakes, friendship and dreams for the future. Magnolia is a skilled dancer. She's passionate and gracious and I loved the way Jill MacKenzie writes about her movements. Magnolia has her flaws as well, she's headstrong, doesn't know how to read people and thinks she's less loved than she actually is. It made me sad that she couldn't see the good in her life because of all the bad things that keep happening to her and I kept hoping she'd find some much deserved happiness. Because of the fact that Magnolia has easily identifiable and sometimes opposing personality traits she's an incredibly interesting main character and I really enjoyed watching her grow and find some wisdom. Jill MacKenzie's writing has a nice and steady flow. She writes about deep emotions in an honest and understandable way. Strong feelings and dancing go together very well and I loved the way she combines the two. Magnolia's story is fascinating from beginning to end. She's a fighter, but doesn't clearly see what's happening around her most of the time, which made me want to give her a shake every now and then. I love it when I feel so strongly about a main character. Jill MacKenzie combines Magnolia's personal problems with a competitive environment and dancers who all want to win, but slowly inevitably start to like each other. The dynamics keep shifting in a fantastic way, which for me was the best thing about Spin the Sky. I loved this terrific moving story filled with dedication, drive, drama and spirit.
Spin the Sky is an exquisite book written with beautiful, lyrical sentences that beg you to literally read them over and over again. I'm a sucker for both setting and language when it comes to books, and this one satisfied my soul with both. Magnolia is tired of her small town and the unfortunate legacy her mother left behind. Desperate to change the course of her life and make something of herself, she enters a reality dance competition and wins a spot on the show. While I've never personally danced a day in my life, I relate to Magnolia's truth, that self-acceptance is more important than how others see you. Spin the Sky is both heartbreaking and heartwarming. And it will gut you. But you'll be glad you joined Mags on her journey as she comes to realize that life may not always work out the way you want, but it usually works out in the way you never realized you needed it to. Buy this one! You'll want to reread it many times.
This book is a perfect balance of drama and thoughtfulness, and it captures its teen protagonist beautifully. Mags is a character you'll want to root for all the way through, although all the characters are easy to relate to, and it's sometimes hard to pick which one you want to win! The humor sprinkled in was the icing on the cake of this novel, and it provided great contrast to Mags's heart-wrenching struggles. If you're looking for a loveable and determined heroine, great writing, and lots of emotions, SPIN THE SKY is the book for you!