Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Strings Attached by Judy Blundell

Strings Attached
Judy Blundell
Scholastic Press
[March 1, 2011]

From National Book Award winner Judy Blundell, the tale of a sixteen-year-old girl caught in a mix of love, mystery, Broadway glamour, and Mob retribution in 1950 New York.

When Kit Corrigan arrives in New York City, she doesn't have much. She's fled from her family in Providence, Rhode Island, and she's broken off her tempestuous relationship with a boy named Billy, who's enlisted in the army.

The city doesn't exactly welcome her with open arms. She gets a bit part as a chorus girl in a Broadway show, but she knows that's not going to last very long. She needs help--and then it comes, from an unexpected source.

Nate Benedict is Billy's father. He's also a lawyer involved in the mob. He makes Kit a deal--he'll give her an apartment and introduce her to a new crowd. All she has to do is keep him informed about Billy . . . and maybe do him a favor every now and then.

As she did in her National Book Award-winning What I Saw and How I Lied, Judy Blundell traps readers in a web of love, deceit, intrigue, and murder. The result? One stunner of a novel.

This was...somewhat confusing but still enjoyable.
I liked Kit as a character. While reading, she didn't grow as a character the way one would expect, but she did grow a lot. I think the problem was that she was a great narrator, but I never really connected. The story is told in alternating flashbacks from various times in her life to "present" day (November/December 1950) and Kit told the story really well and I understood who she was, but there was this...disconnect with her in the present.

Beyond that, it was a very good story. Very interesting. I've never read anything having to do with gangs (unless Al Capone Does My Shirts counts?), so this was very refreshing. It was semi-predictable at times, but other things were a TOTAL shock and I almost cried a couple times.

I loved Kit's siblings and her dad, pretty much her whole family and the stories around them. It's a story I would love to read more about. I also loved her as a dancer/actress and wish there was more about that too. I had mixed feelings for the Benedicts. I didn't really like Nate (which, we probably weren't supposed to) and my feelings on Billy changed frequently.

And the only real confusion was because of all the time switches. There wasn't a real pattern and the flashbacks switched around. Once I got really into the story, it wasn't as bad, but I got thrown a bit at the beginning.

Overall, this was a good read and I'm glad I read it. Definitely an enjoyable book. If you're looking for something different or just something historical, this is definitely a book to try!



  1. I read What I Saw and How I Lied and really liked it. I'm definitely going to have to read this one.

  2. It's a bummer that the book was a bit confusing, but otherwise it sounds really interesting! I love historical novels (and I haven't read anything with gangs, either, other than White Cat), so I'm super excited to read this one!

    Thanks for the review! :)

  3. Just finished this one yesterday and loved it! I agree that the flashbacks could be a bit jarring at times, but I loved that we got the full story over a prolonged period of time. Fascinating book!



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