Monday, February 7, 2011

Strings Attached by Judy Blundell

It’s weird for me to rate something 4 or 5 stars on and have it not be a book that I absolutely devoured. “Strings Attached” by Judy Blundell seems to be an exception. It took me awhile to get through, but I enjoyed every moment of it.

The story revolves around Kit Corrigan, an Irish teenager trying to make it as a performer in post-WWII New York City. She came to the city on her own, after breaking up with her boyfriend, and is struggling to make it. She ends up getting tangled up with her ex-boyfriend’s mob attorney father in an attempt to survive in the city and she ends up learning more than her fair share about life as an adult.

“Strings Attached” is a very solid piece of historical fiction. While our heroine is 17, I actually think this book would appeal more to an older audience. Just like with “The Betrayal of Maggie Blair”, I think its appeal rests with an older crowd or with teens that specifically enjoy historical fiction. I also think that theatre types (such as myself) will really be able to connect with Kit and understand her overwhelming desire to perform.

The writing by Ms. Blundell is solid. She does a great job at getting the audience into Kit’s head so that we can feel the turmoil she’s going through as she faces tough decisions one after another. It’s an incredible story of self-discovery and strength of character set in a time period full of intrigue, deceit, and yes, muuuurrrrrrdeerrr (major points to whoever guesses what TV show I’m referencing. One clue: it’s on USA!).

If you enjoy historical fiction, then you should definitely pick this up. If not, try it anyways. Go into it with an open mind and give it the chance it deserves. It may seem slow at first, but the pace picks up and you’ll be glad you gave it a shot!

Thanks to Scholastic at the ALA Midwinter Meeting for the ARC of “Strings Attached”. It is scheduled to be released in March of this year.

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