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Spin the Sky

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  99 ratings  ·  36 reviews
Magnolia Woodson wants nothing more than to get her and her sister, Rose, out of the pitifully small, clamming-obsessed Oregon town that hates them—she just doesn’t know how. Forced to put up with the snide comments and hateful looks the townspeople throw at them, Mags thinks she’s destined to pay for the horrible, awful thing her mom did—and that she’s left her and Rose t ...more
Hardcover, 362 pages
Published November 1st 2016 by Sky Pony
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Average rating 4.04  · 
Rating details
 ·  99 ratings  ·  36 reviews

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Sarah Elizabeth
(I received an advance copy of this book for free. Thanks to Skyhorse Publishing and Edelweiss.)

This was a YA contemporary story about a dancer.

Magnolia was an okay character, but I felt like she cared too much what other people thought of her. She was also quick to turn on her best friend when he did something wrong, and seemed to hold grudges.

The storyline in this was about Magnolia and her best friend George entering a dance competition. We got some arguing and fighting and a love triangle, b
3.5/ 5 stars

Video Review:

I did have some cons but overall I was happy with my reading experience.

I initially wanted to pick this book up since I have always wanted to read a book where our main character dances. I am happy to say that it is obvious Jill MacKenzie has a background in dance since she portrayed it so accurately. I also enjoyed how she handled the dance competition aspect of the novel since I haven't read any book with one featured in it. Th
Aug 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, contemporary
SPIN THE SKY is a wonderfully intense novel. Set against the backdrop of a small town on the shore, the story follows Mags, a talented young dancer trying to live in the shadow of her mother's flaws and mistakes. In a town turned against her and her sister, Mags struggles to find her place in the world and as a dancer. It's an incredibly tight novel, and it portrays the struggles and difficulties of Mags life without pulling punches - which makes it ring all the more true. ...more
Nov 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Jill Mackenzie's lyrical prose dances across the page and leaps into your heart. Magnolia is funny, flawed, driven, and every bit as real as a young-adult heroine should be. SPIN THE SKY made me want to get up and dance, but I couldn't bring myself to put it down! A truly inspiring debut about personal identity and overcoming your past by taking a blind leap into your future. ...more
Oct 18, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-to-review
(I received a copy from Edelweiss, In exchange for an honest review.)

The characters were okay, but there wasn't any that I loved.

This wasn't a bad read, but it wasn't one I can say I enjoyed either. Despite the book being a quick read, there were parts in it that dragged for me. There wasn't really that much going on, and it took a massive chunk of the book just for the main character to dance for the show!

Overall, An okay read.
Sarah Glenn Marsh
This gripping tale of a girl who longs to shed the shadow of her mother's reputation will dance its way straight into your heart as Magnolia learns about loving herself and knowing when to let go. Spin the Sky is a powerful, triumphant debut!

Don't miss this one!
May 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Magnolia has lived in Summerland her whole life. In the past the towns people were always kind and loving towards Magnolia and her sister Rose, but the last six months their lives have changed immensely. After a horrible event that their mother was part of, they're left to fend for themselves. Now that their mother isn't here to take responsibility for what happened, the girls have to live with the snide remarks of the people in town. Magnolia is a passionate dancer. This is what keeps her going ...more
Suze Lavender
Oct 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Paige (Illegal in 3 Countries)
Sep 14, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: yabc, arc
See more of my reviews on The YA Kitten! My copy was an ARC I got from the publisher.
* I think Rio is black and Magnolia is biracial?
*a few queer characters, but the book is seriously biphobic
*Mags's mom is a drug addict but only appears in the book via flashbacks

Dance remains an underappreciated art and it's an especially difficult one to translate into writing because it's so visual. You can list off what the character is doing as they dance or be vague to let the reader's imagination to do th
Kerry Cerra
Sep 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya
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 da
Aug 01, 2017 rated it liked it
Less a story about dance than it is about small-town small-mindedness, I think. Magnolia and her sister have been ostracised since their mother was involved in a girl's death, but...really they've been ostracised much longer, or if not ostracised then at least written off. It's not the whole town, but it's enough. Enough that Magnolia wants out.

Most of the book takes place in the context of a reality TV show that Magnolia wins entry to. It's not the ordinary dance story, certainly, because reali
Featured in "Reading on a Theme: Young Ballet Dancers" on Intellectual Recreation.

Magnolia (Mags) and her best friend George enter a SYTYCD-type competition. For George the show is a chance to be recognized for his skill, but for Mags the competition means much more. She sees a victory as a way to change her small town's opinion of her and her sister, whose reputations have been tainted by their mother's abandonment after a terrible accident.

Spin the Sky gives readers look the behind-the-scen
Katie Martin
Jul 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Feb 05, 2017 rated it liked it
Spin the Sky follows Magnolia Woodson (Mags) through her journey to compete on a nationally televised dance competition, and to defeat the reputation that haunts her family. I loved how the author, Jill MacKenzie, worked in the attention to detail on the dance. I wish there had been more--both background and dance scenes! I was not a huge fan of some of the characters and thought they could have had a little more depth (George, Mark, and Rose especially). The narration and prose was lovely, but ...more
Favour Egbune
I love reading books that center around television competitions, whether it be cooking, or dancing, ice skating, or gymnastics. Basically, the more plot-based, the better. Spin the Sky was definitely more character-based. And while that's not a bad thing, it took away from the book. Drama's fine, but I felt like there was sometimes too much drama and not enough dancing.

Essentially, my favorite characters were the minor characters who helped Magnolia along the way. The main characters were suppo
Nov 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As a dancer, I could relate to many of the challenges of the main characters dancing career, but I thought that her dancing wasn't the main storyline of the book. I thought the main part of this book was her and her sister trying to get over the fact that their small little town hated them for something that they didn't do, but that their mother did. To find a way to make the town not hate her and her sister, Magnolia (the main character) joins a TV dance competition. I felt like overall, this w ...more
May 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A soon as I started reading this book I had to clear my schedule because I couldn’t wait to find out what happened. The characters are as complex as they are engaging, and the story had me at the edge of my seat the whole way through. Not to mention the beautiful details, and gorgeous prose. I highly recommend this book.
Jul 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Other than the sexuality issues, which I did not appreciate, I really liked this book. It was a great example that though we may fall we have to get back up. People will forget every good thing we've done and remember the one bad thing we've done. Life is like that but we have to remember that they do not define us. ...more
Sammy Allen
This novel was more then i expected! It wasnt anything spectacular, but definitely a solid hard hitting contemporary! I went into this thinking it would be a fun novel about a dancer on a reality tv show. Something light hearted and a guilty pleasure read. Although it was all of those things, it also dealt with more difficult topics such a sexuality and addiction. Definitely would recommend!
Medeia Sharif
May 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Magnolia is eager to leave her small town and undesirable family dynamics. There’s a reality dance show competition that could be her salvation. This contemporary YA pulled at my heart. Magnolia is an amazing main character in this powerful debut novel.
Tori Kelley
Mar 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Such a beautifully written book about how hard it is to rise above your past, but Jill MacKenzie does it very well in this teen drama about dancers. Loved every page.
Liv Lynn
Apr 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sweet and heartwarming, one of my favorite dance books 😊
May 26, 2021 marked it as ya-wishlist
Shelves: clouds
I'm cackling to myself because for the longest time, I thought the black-and-white picture of a dancer mid-leap on the cover was an upside-down horse. ...more
Oct 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing

Spin The Sky by Jill MacKenzie is an amazing book!

Summary from Goodreads:
Magnolia Woodson wants nothing more than to get her and her sister, Rose, out of the pitifully small, clamming-obsessed Oregon town that hates them—she just doesn’t know how. Forced to put up with the snide comments and hateful looks the townspeople throw at them, Mags thinks she’s
Smitten With Books
Magnolia's tired of everyone in their small town judging her and her sister because of their mother's actions. They didn't have anything to do with the death of the mayor's daughter, but no matter how much Magnolia wants to start over and move somewhere where no one knows the Woodson family, she's constantly reminded that they're stuck. So when Magnolia learns about a televised dance competition she begins to hope and dream again. She loves dancing, and being able to dance in front of thousands ...more
Cara Cherson
Nov 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Spin the Sky by Jill MacKenzie swept me away with its compelling and compassionate storyline about a young girl trying to break free from the social attitudes in her small hometown. To enable her characters’ journeys, MacKenzie utilizes the setting of a wildly popular reality television dance show to illustrate the types of values and beliefs that often occur in these polarized settings. Struggling between society’s preset demands and her own seedling beliefs, the sweet main character Magnolia W ...more
Michele at A Belle's Tales
"Fly. Soar. Dance again.”

Jill Mackenzie’s debut Young Adult contemporary is a moving story about a young girl in a small town that doesn’t want her. A talented dancer, Magnolia Woodson believes if she can earn a spot on the popular dance competition show Live to Dance and put her hometown on the map, then the people who live there will forgive her for her mother’s sins. With this hope, she begins a journey for one thing that leads to something she never could have imagined.

What Magnolia and her
Amie Thomas
Aug 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
From the first sentence I was captivated by the poetic rhythm and cadence of the writing style. Truth be told it was my first time reading a YA book as an adult, I was previewing it for my teen niece, but now I know YA can be stimulating and concise, unlike many adult novels. The characters and story were genuine and packed with soul. Although the subject had an edge, I completely resonated with the trials young people face and that life is not always rose colored. I absolutely loved how the aut ...more
Debbie Reed Fischer
Jill MacKenzie's SPIN THE SKY is more than the universal story of a teen longing to escape the confines of her small town and follow her dreams. This novel digs deep. Magnolia's dream of showing the world she's not a "no-good Woodson girl like her mother," explores how a child is affected by the sins of the parent, forgiveness, and ultimately, redemption. Magnolia doesn't want to prove she is talented and worthy of greatness - she NEEDS to prove it. The author weaves central themes of self-estee ...more
Jamie P
Oct 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A truly inspiring novel that will have you on the edge of your seat one minute, and then cuddled up on the couch in the next. Every spare minute I had was given to Mags, Rose and George. I cried, I smiled, I laughed, and I jumped for joy. I was glued to Magnolia on the first chapter and craved more with each turn of the page. Jill Mackenzie, and her beautifully written tale of a girl with a "real story" to tell, gave me hope, and inspired me to "dance myself clean", and be the best me, for mysel ...more
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