Google+ Reading Teen: Strings Attached by Judy Blundell

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Strings Attached by Judy Blundell

Strings Attached
Author:  Judy Blundell
Reading level: Ages 13 and up
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Scholastic Press; 1 edition (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.
    I try not to read the blurb on the book jacket before I read a book. I prefer to discover the story myself without being influenced by the summary. The picture on the book jacket and the title, 'Strings Attached', were enough to spark my interest. 'Strings Attached' gives an interesting view of New York City in 1950. It is not often we get a glimpse of the underworld of the mid-20th century with the Korean War in the background. The story involves secrets and lies that bind two families together over a period of years and then ultimately tears them apart.

Kit Corrigan is one of a set of triplets who have been raised in Providence, Rhode Island by a single father and his sister. They have lived a scrape together existence, never quite sure where the rent and grocery money is going to come from. It has always been Kit's dream to be on the stage....preferably Broadway. A series of events converge to blow up relationships in Kit's home and she packs her bag and heads to the bright lights of New York City. She leaves behind an angry father, a brother who might be a homosexual, a boyfriend with a temper problem and years of deception and secrets. Kit is happy working off-Broadway until her boyfriend's father shows up one night. He is a mob-connected lawyer and makes Kit "an offer that she can't refuse". As Kit tries to reconcile relationships and understand past events, she finds herself pulled deeper and deeper into a dark world.

While the story held my interest, it also left me feeling sad and depressed. There was nothing remotely happy or even hopeful about Kit Corrigan's story. Even her happy times were tinged with negative emotion -- jealousy, regret, uncertainty, fear. The story was told well but in such a way that I didn't really care about the characters that much and every time I opened the book it was like a cloud went in front of the sun. The tone and mood was the book was very dark. I saw a mug that other day that said, "Coffee is not my cup of tea", which happens to be very true. Unfortunately, neither is "Strings Attached".
  • Profanity:  Moderate
  • Sexual Content:  Moderate
  • Violence:  Moderate
For more details, check out Strings Attached on


  1. I read the first few chapters and just gave up on this one! It just didn't keep my interest! Pity...the blurb was so interesting!

    Krazyyme @ Young Readers

  2. I was intrigued by the promise of this book: Broadway, the mob, 1950s, it all sounds really good but ultimately I felt so sad while reading it and had trouble struggling through. I wasn't even able to put my finger on why until I read your review and it all came together for me.

    1. I am glad to know that it wasn't just me. It's hard to stick with a book when it's all so gloomy.


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