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Review: Strings Attached by Judy Blundell

March 9, 2011

i’m super excited that i get to tell you guys about this book.  Not only because it was (review spoiler ahead) AWESOME but also because it was from my very first ARC tour thanks to the wonderful Holly over at Good Golly Miss Holly

 

Strings Attached by Judy Blundell

i signed up for this tour because i thought the book sounded interesting.  Blundell is also the author of What I Saw and How I Lied, which i’ve heard great things about so i figured this would be a good book to kick of the first tour i took part in.

 

The premise:  It’s 1950 and Kit Corrigan wants to be on Broadway, she leaves her home and family in Rhode Island and moves to New York.  She has recently broken up with her boyfriend, Billy- who has joined he army.  She has next to nothing and when the show she manages to get a part in closes she isn’t sure how she’ll make it.  Then Nate Benedict, Billy’s father and a lawyer with mob connections enters the picture and offers Kit a place to stay in return for news about Billy and a possible favor here and there.

 

Like i said before, the premise of the book is what originally attracted me to it- my love of theatre was intrigued.  And while there wasn’t a lot of theatre in the book i was far from disappointed.

 

Blundell did an excellent job creating characters that not only fit the time period she was writing but were also easily relate-able to someone reading the book today.  The whole book felt historically accurate while still being fresh.  i was also impressed with her ability to create such realistic characters, for example when i first met Kit, i was cheering for her to succeed, i loved her.  And then as the book went on there were moments that i was disappointed in Kit, or scared for her, or angry at her.  She was so three dimensional that it sort of felt like i was reading a diary- even though the book isn’t in diary form- of someone who actually existed rather than a character that Blundell made up.

 

The relationships between characters was just as three dimensional with ups and downs of varying heights and twists and turns that, as a reader, i didn’t always expect in the same way the character didn’t.  There is absolutely nothing flat about Blundell’s writing, it is lovely, lyrical but not terribly wordy.  She picks up the nuances of characters everyday speech and actions in a way that creates that perfect movie in your head as you read, you can hear the accents of the characters, you can see how they stand and you don’t get overwhelmed with pages or paragraphs full of descriptions.

 

i was a little leary of the mystery aspect of the book mostly because, i, like most people am always trying to figure out the answer to the puzzle.  i watch a lot of Law and Order and CSI and i always enjoy the episode a little less if i can easily figure out what is going on.  Let me just tell you, i didn’t have that problem with this book.  Judy Blundell skillfully crafts a mystery that makes it so if you figure out something, you’re still going to be surprised.  i was throughly impressed.

 

The chapters of Strings Attached jump around chronologically but it isn’t in any way (at least for me) confusing.  In fact, the way it is pieced together feels almost stream of conscious, where we are introduced to a scene and something in the scene needs further explanation or reminds the person speaking of something so they tell a back story.  The thing that i really liked about this, aside from the fact that i like books that do this in general, was that Blundell was able to jump back to the future without it feeling like a jump.  Each chapter transitioned into the next, no matter the time period.

 

My least favorite part: that it ended.  Don’t get me wrong, it ended when it needed to but i would have been more than happy to continue reading about the characters in the book.

 

All in all, read this book.  It was beautifully written, a quick read (mostly because you’ll want to know what happens next,) and exciting.  i can’t imagine you will be disappointed with it.

 

On a side note, after i finished this book and mailed it to the next recipient on the tour, i went to the library and checked out What I Saw and How I Lied and am reading it now.  (i love it so far too)

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