Book Review: Spinner by Michael J. Bowler

Title: Spinner
Author: Michael J. Bowler
Genre: YA Horror
Published: July 25th 2015
Page count: 405 pages
Format: Paperback
Source: From author in exchange of an honest review

Book Summary:
Fifteen-year-old Alex is a “spinner.” His friends are “dummies.” Two clandestine groups of humans want his power. And an ancient evil is stalking him. If people weren’t being murdered, Alex might laugh at how his life turned into a horror movie overnight.

In a wheelchair since birth, his freakish ability has gotten him kicked out of ten foster homes since the age of four. Now saddled with a sadistic housemother who uses his spinning to heal the kids she physically abuses, Alex and his misfit group of learning disabled classmates are the only ones who can solve the mystery of his birth before more people meet a gruesome end.

They need to find out who murdered their beloved teacher, and why the hot young substitute acts like she’s flirting with them. Then there’s the mysterious medallion that seems to have unleashed something malevolent, and an ancient prophecy suggesting Alex has the power to destroy humanity.

The boys break into homes, dig up graves, elude kidnappers, fight for their lives against feral cats, and ultimately confront an evil as old as humankind. Friendships are tested, secrets uncovered, love spoken, and destiny revealed.

The kid who’s always been a loner will finally learn the value of friends, family, and loyalty.

If he survives…
*The Chef's Review*
    Actual rating: 4/5 stars
Spinner is full of surprises and I enjoyed reading it very much. For some reason, it reminded me of the Netflix series, Stranger Things. I haven't seen it yet, but from the things I've heard and read about, it brought it to mind. This book is about a group of young teenagers with different disabilities (great rep!) that get chased by evil forces and paranormal beings that are lurking in their hometown. It is especially about Alex, who is the main character of this story, and his unique abilities that draws danger into his group of friends.

What I Liked:

I like the way this book is written. It has a very interesting beginning that drew me in from the very start. It has a combination of suspense, thriller, horror and paranormal. I had a very clear image of what was going on inside the story, that it felt like if I were watching a horror movie. I confess that at some point I had to stop reading. It was in the middle of the night and I am easily scared, so....

Alex is such a cool character--sweet, selfless and smart. Him, along with his friends, create such a dynamic group and I couldn't help but laugh along with them despite their somber circumstances. I really liked how they are very open among themselves and helped each other out when they were having trouble. The saying "boys will be boys" fits perfectly to them.

One of the things that most surprised me in this story was the smartness of the characters to reach out for help. There was evil all around, but the boys had the sense to trust some people including adults. There were times that had me thinking, "Oh, no. They are screwed" but Alex and his friends were fortunate to have people to rely on and that is something you don't usually get to see in YA books.

What didn't do it for me:

Overall I really enjoyed the book, but I do have to admit that after the first amazing chapters the book got a bit slow for my taste. Once I got past that, however, everything else went smoothly. 

Oh, and one thing that had me confused was that some characters suddenly appeared without explanation and I never quite understood how they got there.

Final Verdict:

I don't generally read scary books but because of Halloween season, I decided to give Spinner a try and read out of my comfort zone. I don't regret it one bit. I liked it and totally recommend it if you like thrillers/horror novels!

Happy reading! -- The Chef 


  1. Horror isn't for me but I'm glad you enjoyed this one! It's totally fitting for Halloween time ^_^

    Thanks for sharing,
    ~Brittany @ Brittany's Book Rambles

    1. Horror is also not my kind of genre but I'm super curious about this one since my sister was so invested on it LOL. Definitely a read for Halloween!