Reviewed by Paige Lovitt for Reader Views (04/16)
Article first published as Book Review: ‘After Spin the Bottle’ by Janet Saunders on Blogcritics.
In “After Spin the Bottle” by Janet Saunders, we meet Julie Taylor. Life was pretty simple for Julie, growing up in the 60s. It was easy for her to remain innocent – that is until she first plays Spin the Bottle. Well, she was still innocent, but that is when things started to change for Julie and her girlfriends. Their eyes were opening up to the world of boys.
From there, she tries to hang on to her virginity, as her friends were losing theirs. When that battle ends, Julie enters into the time of free love. Times were changing, birth control became available to women, abortion was legalized, and women were finally allowed to wear pants at work; things that are often taken for granted today. It was also a time when sexually transmitted diseases weren’t going to kill you.
After high school, Julie decides to skip college and goes straight into the workforce. Working for a government agency involved in supplying weapons to the war, conflicted with Julie’s anti-war, peace-loving stance, but she loved the Washington, DC club scene. Some of Julie’s adventures become misadventures as she experiments with sex and drugs. She also finds the love of her life, but the timing never seems right for either of them. In every relationship Julie has afterward, she finds herself looking for the man that could free her heart from his.
After a while, Julie starts to feel like she has outgrown the DC club scene, and when she vacations in California, she feels like she has found her home. Relocating out there with her best friend, Julie begins a new life. Tiring of working for others, they open up their own business, which allows them to use their creative skills and continue to go clubbing at night. Life is better for Julie, but there is still something or someone missing, until one day when she receives a special surprise that changes everything.
I really enjoyed reading “After Spin the Bottle” by Janet Saunders. I was born in the late 60s, so I missed this era. The author writes in such a way that I felt like I was sitting down with the main character listening to her while she told me her life story directly. Seeing that this book was inspired by a true story made me really curious about how much of Julie’s great adventure was based on someone’s real life. I highly recommend reading, “After Spin the Bottle,” and I think it would be a great selection for a woman’s reading group. A lot of interesting stories are sure to come from the discussions!