Thursday, May 5, 2011

Strings Attached by Judy Blundell

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Strings Attached by Judy Blundell
Scholastic Press, March 1, 2011

Summary from Goodreads:

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.
I have to be honest here. I did not love this book. I didn't think Kit was that great of a character, so I couldn't really care about her too much. She didn't appear to be too bright (esp. in the common sense department) and she didn't appear to have too much of a personality. I felt that she was stringing Billy along while she tried to decide if there was something better out there. Apparently she was good looking, and apparently redheads are pretty hard to come by in 1950 New York, so that must've been the appeal. I also felt the back and forth between present day (meaning 1950) and the past (1938, 1942, etc.) was confusing. I was constantly trying to figure out how old Kit was in each of the flashback chapters.

I think I might be the only person in the universe that didn't like this book. Other reviews rave about how Blundell can put readers right into these particular places (NYC, Providence, RI) in history, but I just wasn't feeling it. The storyline barely kept my interest, too--mostly, I think, because I just couldn't get a feel for how Kit really felt about Billy. Or her family. Or anybody, really. She just seemed to be taking up space instead of living life.

Sorry to be so harsh. By all means, if you enjoyed What I Saw and How I Lied (which I have not read), you'll probably enjoy this, as well.

Borrowed book from library.

Enjoy your reading!


  1. I'm not sure whether to avoid this book or not. The jumping between timelines doesn't sound very appealing and I read What I Saw and How I Lied - found it very bland. I can't remember why I bothered reading it all of the way through.

  2. I have to say, your review is making me feel a lot better. I've been hovering at the halfway point in this book for over two weeks now, and I'm having trouble motivating myself to finish it. I don't know if it's because I loved What I Saw and How I Lied so much and this one doesn't measure up, or if I'm just not into the subject matter, but I'm glad I'm not the only one who isn't crazy about it.

    I will say, though, don't let Strings Attached turn you off from What I Saw and How I Lied - it's a much better book, in my opinion, and reads much more smoothly.

  3. Thanks for your comments! I actually had high expectations for this one, although I don't know why--probably because of the time period and setting. But, I know this book will be right for someone--unfortunately that someone wasn't me. :)


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