Strings Attached by Judy BlundellStrings Attached by Judy Blundell

Strings Attached

byJudy Blundell

Paperback | September 1, 2012

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From National Book Award-winner Judy Blundell, a lethal tale of love, mystery, and the Mob

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.

Judy Blundell's What I Saw and How I Lied is the 2008 winner of The National Book Award for Young People's Literature. As Jude Watson, she is the author of the bestselling Star Wars: Last of the Jedi and Jedi Quest series. She lives in Katonah, New York.
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Title:Strings AttachedFormat:PaperbackDimensions:320 pages, 8.04 × 5.27 × 0.66 inPublished:September 1, 2012Publisher:SCHOLASTIC INCLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0545221277

ISBN - 13:9780545221276

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Reviews

Rated 3 out of 5 by from Great in historical detail I wasn’t really sure what to expect when I read this book. It was interesting, and the writing really did well for the time period depicted (1950’s). The dialogue used the slang used during those days, the clothing described and the various characters all fit well for the setting and it painted an easy picture while reading the book. Despite her naivete, I liked Kit quite a bit. She might have seemed like a girl someone could easily take advantage of (and she was being used and tricked), but inside she had this spark that was let loose every so often (especially when she was upset) which was entertaining to read, but also gave her a distinct personality too. Her relationship with Billy is less than perfect, and sometimes I think Billy deserves a good punch to the gonads for being such a hot tempered jerk. As to the plot, it was pretty good. I did like the little bits involving the mob, and thought perhaps it should have focused more on that (who doesn’t like mob stories?!) but there were fragments of that through the book. I was actually expecting more of a gangster type book with Kit in the middle of the mess (which she was, sort of) it wasn’t really so though - it’s more of a drama surrounding Kit and members of her family tied with Billy and Nate’s. The mystery itself was all right, definitely not what I expected, but the ending, the ending caught me off guard! I was near flabbergasted and utterly blindsided with that one. Definitely a job well done! I expected a bit more from this book, but otherwise I thought it was a good read, and well worth the time spent. The setting, dialogue, and characters were excellent and true to the time period. This is definitely worth a read through.
Date published: 2011-10-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Dreaming of Books Review (May contain spoilers) After a big family fight, Kit Corrigan drops out of school and decides to leave home and move to New York to pursue her dreams of becoming a star. So far it hasn’t been as she expected. She’s got a job as a chorus girl in a play that’s going nowhere and after moving from one rooming house to another, she’s sleeping on her friends couch. That is until she runs into Nate Benedict, the father of her ex-boyfriend Billy who puts her up in a nice apartment and gets her in the door for a swanky new job at a upscale nightclub. Things are looking up for Kit but Nate’s help comes with a price and soon she finds herself in over her head, caught up in a web of lies and deception. Kit is seventeen, leaves home with barely anything and trying the best to make her way in New York. Nate’s offer seems innocent enough and the help would really help her get on her feet again so she takes him up on it. And little does she know that it would lead to. The story flows effortlessly from the present in 1950 to flashbacks of Kit’s life in Providence. Her childhood, family life, and relationship with Billy are all things we learn through these flashbacks. They helped me understand what motivated Kit in her decisions but a lot of the time left me wondering, with more questions than answers. Honestly, when I was reading I didn't know where the story was going to go. The lies become too much for Kit and the answers she finds only makes everything more complicated. Showing both the glamour and dangers of the period, Strings Attached is a book that would appeal to older YA readers and one that even adults would appreciate. What I love about Strings Attached is that you never know what's going to happen until it does and it hits you, you look back and the answers were there all along. Having not read Blundell’s earlier book, What I Saw And How I Lied, but seeing so much praise for it, I know its another book I have to pick up.
Date published: 2011-03-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Well-Written and Heartbreaking... After enjoying Judy Blundell's What I Saw and How I Lied, I already had a feeling I would enjoy Strings Attached as well... but what I was not expecting was to be blown away! Reading Strings Attached was like taking a step back in time to an era completely unlike our own. Details about the time period- mostly from the late 1940's to 1950 in the fall- are just so effortlessly woven into the story that it was simply difficult to tell fact from fiction! Judy Blundell has written a beautiful, poignant tale of loss, love, hardships, and the meaning of family. After her brother, Jamie, and boyfriend, Billy, suddenly enlist in the army together, Kit drops out of high school and heads to New York City with no more than a suitcase and a dream to become a star, leaving behind her father and sister back in Providence, Rhode Island. Kit may have talent, but accomplishing her dreams isn't so easy in a city where there are many others trying to make it big as well... and finding only small roles isn't going to be enough forever. So when Billy's father, Nate, finds Kit and offers some help all in exchange for getting back in touch with his estranged son, Kit may be hesitant but it's an offer she can't refuse. However, Kit will soon realize that all deals come with their own strings attached and hers may be more than she ever bargained for... Kit was a strong, female lead... not afraid to speak her mind but also knowing when it would be more wise to keep her mouth shut. Although she dreamed of making it big, she was never overconfident or smug about her own abilities... she showed humility and an attitude to work hard. I've read a few historical novels where they have arrogant, cocky girls who think they're entitled to everything, so Kit was simply a breath of fresh air. She's mature beyond her seventeen years and this is really showcased well in the way she narrates the novel. In some ways, she did show the naivety that would more suit her age, but in time, she came to realize she was only a pawn in Nate's game of deceit. As Kit becomes more trapped, you'll feel helpless watching on the sidelines. I loved the flashbacks to Kit's childhood. It may have sometimes slowed the story down at times, but everything is well-intentioned. It's in the past that we learn more about Kit's tumultuous, and often complicated, relationship with Billy despite their obvious love for each other, and it's in the past that we see how Kit's tough childhood has influenced her actions in the present. But perhaps more importantly, we also see how Kit's family has an intricate history with Nate Benedict. With its unhurried pacing, the build up to the final events did seem almost rather quiet before you suddenly found yourself reading it, but Judy Blundell cleverly lays out the clues for you to piece everything together. Strings Attached absolutely broke my heart. Once I finished, reflecting back on the events and everything that Kit had experienced, I began to cry and couldn't find the will to stop. It was like the full force of everything that Judy Blundell had steadily built up to in the course of the novel suddenly crashed down on me. I mourned for a boy haunted by his past and ashamed to call a man his father, and I mourned for the tragic turn of events towards the end of the novel. But most of all, I mourned for a teenage girl who's only wish was to shine on the stage and be loved... yet only finding herself caught in a web of lies instead. Strings Attached certainly sets a standard for YA historical fiction that I'm now going to find difficult to top. Wonderfully detailed and absolutely well-written, it will appeal to both teens and adults alike. There's still an ache in my chest when I think about the novel because that's just how emotionally invested I became with this story. You can also read this review at: http://midnightbloomreads.blogspot.com/2011/02/strings-attached-by-judy-blundell.html
Date published: 2011-02-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I Couldn't Put it Down! I was fortunate enough to receive an ARC of Strings Attached a few months back, but didn't get the chance to pick it up until a few days ago--but boy, am I glad that I did! The writing was FANTASTIC. Kit's voice was strong and true, and I haven't met a character as realistic as her in a while. With so many books out there where the writing sounds forced, Kit's narration was so natural that at some points I forgot I was even reading. And the plot--wow! I was hooked from start to finish. Judy Blundell had me guessing all the way up to the very last chapters. I found myself thinking about the story all day, and couldn't wait to get home and read it at night! I generally don't read books in the historical genre, but after Strings Attached, I think I'm going to have to start. This was an amazing novel and I can't wait to see what else Blundell has in store for me!
Date published: 2011-01-30

Editorial Reviews

Praise for What I Saw and How I Lied:2008 National Book Award Winner-Young People's LiteratureAn ALA Best Book for Young AdultsRomantic Times Book Review 2008 Reviewers Choice Nominee"Blundell navigates this multidimensional plotline with unique, well-developed characters and insightful dialogue." -School Library Journal, starred review"A stylish, addictive brew." -Publishers Weekly, starred review"Judy Blundell takes readers into the mind and heart of a teenager hungry for truth and afraid of what she might find." -The Washington Post"An extraordinary story... Gripping." -The Wall Street Journal"Blundell doesn't miss a step. This is a smart, complex story with a terrific mystery and brilliant characters. Set just after World War II, it captures the era with real pathos and an ugly dose of reality." -Romantic Times Magazine"This beautifully written story is full of period detail, from a post-war New York City right out of Life magazine to a sleepy and sticky Florida courthouse, and its well-drawn and original characters spring to life on the page... this gripping novel would also make a top-notch read for adults." -Bookpage.com