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Strings Attached

Strings Attached

Escrito por Judy Blundell

Narrado por Emma Galvin


Strings Attached

Escrito por Judy Blundell

Narrado por Emma Galvin

valoraciones:
4/5 (29 valoraciones)
Longitud:
8 horas
Publicado:
Mar 1, 2011
ISBN:
9780545328593
Formato:
Audiolibro

Descripción

Kit Corrigan always dreamed of being a star. In order to get there she needs to break up with Billy and leave her family in Rhode Island behind for the bright lights of New York City.

After Kit meets with Billy's father, Nate, things get easier — until she realizes that Nate's help comes with "strings attached." Kit soon uncovers a mystery she must solve in order to protect the ones she loves in this stunning story.

Publicado:
Mar 1, 2011
ISBN:
9780545328593
Formato:
Audiolibro


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Reseñas de lectores

  • (1/5)
    I just couldn't force myself to read this book. Not sure if it was the setting for the book or what, but I had to force myself to even read the first 50 pages:(
  • (2/5)
    I can't really recommend this as a great read. It doesn't live up to the hype. I found out about it from a poster on the tube, which seemed to be aimed at 20-40 year old secretaries wishing for a better life.

    So I expected something rags-to-riches ish: woman with boring ordinary job bags rich man. Like chick lit and romance with a slight tinge of mystery maybe.

    However, this is nothing of the sort. It's about a 17 year old, which is not a great age to have me identify with. She's pretty and talented and a dancer, so not really in a position where she leads more luck. Then there's loads of mafia and crime stuff and death. It just doesn't sit right with me.

    I wanted to stop reading but somehow I also wanted to know what would happen, and eventually something did. So it isn't badly written. Just generally wrong somehow. Whatever. If you want to read it, do. Just don't get your hopes up or expect anything good.

    It's good that there is now a YA historical novel. I just wish it had been a far better one.
  • (5/5)
    I was astonished at the quality and complexity of this story set in the early 1950s, and classified as young adult. Without overt sex or profanity, the author tells a gripping, slightly gritty story of a young girl's search for fame and fortune gone terribly awry. Vivacious, talented Kit Corrigan quits school at 17 and moves to New York to pursue a career in the theatre after breaking up with her boyfriend Billy, whose jealousy led him to beat up a man for dancing with her. Billy's estranged father, Nate, sees her performance in the chorus of a very bad play, and makes her an offer. He will give her, rent free, "no strings attached", use of a nice apartment in a building he owns; if she will just let him know when Billy, who has quit college to enlist in the Army, contacts her. While uncomfortable about it, she is now out of work and has nowhere to live, so accepts his offer. Nate later finds her a job at the hottest club in town, and brings her a wardrobe of gorgeous clothes. Perfect Cinderella story, right? Not so fast! Missing her family and Billy, Kit soon makes friends with her upstairs neighbors and their teenage son. Both parents had been fired from their teaching jobs for political activism. Are they the reason a strange man comes up to her in the street, forces an FBI business card on her, and says "Call when you want to talk"? Or could it have something to do with the seemingly harmless favors that Nate, lawyer for a notorious mobster, asks from time to time? Then a murder occurs at the club, and Kit finds herself feeling trapped and increasingly frightened. Unwilling to give up and go home, she still hopes to hear from Billy, who she fears may be sent to Korea without ever calling her again. All this is only the buildup to this bittersweet story with several twists; in which organized crime, national paranoia, and old family secrets provide a tragic backdrop for the dreams and aspirations of one young girl. It is appropriate for mature teens - and their mothers and grandmothers - who appreciate a tight, tough romance.*I received this book free from Amazon in exchange for an honest review.*
  • (4/5)
    One of the better young adult books I've read recently. Blundell has filled her narrative with lots of well researched, delicious details of life in the 1940s and 1950s in Providence, RI and New York City. It was, however, very dramatic. The story unfolds in the same way a classic film of that era would--with lots of surprises and mysteries solved in a rush at the end. High drama. But still a good read.
  • (5/5)
    It is difficult to weave so many different subjects into one book, yet this author does that so well. Never losing track of the story and the multiple layers contained therein, this is a book I enjoyed very much.It is obvious that Blendell did a lot of research regarding NY night clubs in the 1950's, the life of a struggling dancer, the invasive, dangerous mob bosses, and what it is like to be a part of a family struggling to make ends meet.When Kit Corrigan left Providence, RI for what she dreamed would be a life of fascination and glamor in the big apple, little did she know the price she would pay for the choices she made.Highly recommended.
  • (5/5)
    Strings Attached by Judy Blundell is the story of Kit Corrigan, who moves from Providence, Rhode Island, to New York City to pursue a career on Broadway in 1950. An old family connection (who also happens to be her boyfriend's father) offers her a little help -- an apartment, an audition at a nightclub, even some clothes -- but the family friend proves to have connections with gangsters and other unsavory sorts, and Kit finds that his help comes with plenty of strings attached.I liked this book even better than Blundell's What I Saw and How I Lied. Kit is ambitious but still somewhat naive, and Blundell does a good job of describing what Kit sees and perceives, but giving the reader a fuller picture of what is actually happening. She also does a great job of evoking the time period and setting. Kit reminded me a little of Francie from A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, so I'd definitely recommend this to fans of that book, as well as all readers who enjoy well-crafted historical fiction.
  • (5/5)
    A reading pleasure.This book was great, it kept my interest from beginning to end. It covered the American '50s dance and theatre scene with skill, added a bit of the New York gangster atmosphere and the anti communist threat of those times.If I had to voice a criticism, and it is minor, it was that the jumping of time, to and fro, was sometimes a bit hard to follow.Kit Corrigan is one of triplets, raised from birth to love the stage. It was the only way her father could afford to raise three young children. Her studies fell behind as she put all her efforts into song and dance classes.Eventually this pays off and she heads for New York for the Big Time.Needless to say she encountered more than she'd bargained for and as the back story unweaves, everything falls into place.Beautifully written with wonderful characters, haunting and intense, this is a book I would not hesitate to recommend.
  • (4/5)
    In spite of the fact that the switching between flashbacks and current events in the books gets slightly tedious, I really enjoyed this novel. Blundell has a talent for story telling and it's really just personal preference when it comes to flashbacks (as in, usually I don't like them). Here in Strings Attached they were effective, if slightly annoying. I don't like being made to wait for what happens next. Regardless, Blundell's book is really good. I felt like I was stepping into 1950s New York. I liked the twists with the murder and the mob. I also enjoyed that this wasn't a series, just a nice one off novel. Aside from my nitpicks, I'd read more by Blundell and will have to check out her other stuff.
  • (3/5)
    Kit Corrigan, one of the Corrigan Three (a set of triplets born in the 1930s), leaves her family and life in Providence, Rhode Island to make a career for herself as an actress and dancer in New York City. After a bit part in a Broadway play wraps up, Kit is floundering. Her boyfriend's father, Nate Benedict, offers her an apartment and a job as a dancer in a popular night club. Unfortunately, he's a mob lawyer and naive Kit doesn't realize that accepting his offer will come with "strings attached".The author did a great job of giving this book an authentic 1950s noir atmosphere. The attitudes and motivations of the characters are also realistic for people in that time period. However, I felt that the plot just kind of meandered along up with no point until the last fourth of the book. Then things picked up as Kit started to look for her missing Aunt Delia.The story unfolded in non-chronological order. The author kept the reader's interest by leaving out important information in the present day sections and then going back and filling in the details in the flash back sections. But really there was no mystery introduced into the plot until the book was almost over. I would have preferred the mystery of "where is Aunt Delia?" to drive the story and Kit from the beginning.
  • (4/5)
    This was a fascinating look at New York in 1950 through the eyes of 17-year-old Kit Corrigan. Kit is the youngest of the Corrigan Three - triplets whose mother died at their birth. They were raised by her father Jimmy and her Aunt Delia. Their father made them public celebrities just because they were triplets. They got product endorsements and appeared at county fairs and other public celebrations. It was a way for the family to make money during the Depression but life was still hard. Kit embraced the performing life and is determined to become a Broadway star. At first when I began the story, I thought that I had missed a previous book. There were so many allusions to previous events. As I kept reading, I discovered that there were numerous flashbacks in the book that helped me fill in the blanks. It did make the start of the book confusing and difficult for me. Once I got past them and started getting the big picture, I enjoyed the book much more. The story is both a coming-of-age story and a story that does include, as the product description says, deceit, intrigue, and murder. Kit gradually learns family secrets that had been concealed from her all her life. She also gradually becomes involved with the Mob through her connection with Nate Benedict. It all starts with asking for and taking favors. The Corrigans and the Benedicts have been involved since before the Corrigan Three were born. Jimmy, Delia, and Nate Benedict had been friends during Prohibition when they were bootlegging and running alcohol down from Canada. Delia and Nate had a romance but didn't marry because Nate wasn't going to go straight. They separated and their lives took much different paths. Nate became a successful lawyer who worked for organized crime. Jimmy, Delia and the kids lived a difficult, hand-to-mouth life.Their lives entwined when Nate saves Delia from a hurricane. Their lives entwined again when Kit meets Billy who is Nate's son and they fall in love. But Billy has secrets of his own, anger issues and is jealous of Kit's other friends. When they fight, Billy runs off to join the Army and Kit runs to New York to start her search for stardom. This was a complex but entertaining book filled with memorable characters and interesting situations. Readers who enjoy historical fiction would enjoy this one.
  • (5/5)
    17-yr-old Kit travels to New York to try to make it big as a dancer. She didn't realize how hard it would be, so when her boyfriend Billy's father Nate Benedict sets her up in an apartment and gets her a job as a Lido girl, she jumps at the chance. In exchange she has to do him a few favors, such as reporting on the movements of a mobster who comes to the club. When that mobster ends up dead with Nate defending the killer, Kit finds herself mixed up in more than she bargained for. Historical flashbacks outline the relationship between the Benedicts and Kit's family through the years.
  • (4/5)
    I haven't read much YA, but this book intrigued me. Its setting, alternating between Providence and New York City in 1950, is unusual for this type of book. The protagonist, 17 year-old Kit Corrigan, has set off for New York to make it big on Broadway. She is a triplet, but the book is not all about her relationships with her siblings, which would have been the easy way to go.Kit broke up with her boyfriend back home, Billy, who promptly joined the army with Kit's brother Jamie. Billy's dad Nate is a mob lawyer who finds Kit and offers to set her up if she will reconcile with Billy and keep him informed. He entices her with a job and an apartment, and Kit mistakenly thinks she can handle all this without getting involved in mob business. The setting of 1950 New York, with the nightclubs, the air raid sirens and the beginnings of the McCarthy era is well done, and is probably not known to many readers. The relationships among the characters, Kit, Jamie and Billy echo the relationships among Kit's father, her aunt and Billy's father. The unraveling of the truth about the past colors the future of the younger generation. As the story progresses, Kit makes bad decisions that she will eventually pay for, but you can see why she made them. Raised in poverty, she strives to achieve the American dream. She is willing to work hard, but seduced by Nate's offer she ends up in a web from which she cannot escape.The author creates interesting characters, and I liked Kit's young neighbor and her Aunt Delia best. But the story rests on Kit's shoulders, and she is a character that high school girls will relate to. Her dreams of stardom, her tormented love life, the loneliness of life in a big city, all these make for dramatic story telling.Strings Attached is well written, with strong characters in a unique setting. It will appeal to high school girls, but as an adult, I enjoyed it as well.
  • (5/5)
    The Good Stuff * Wonderfully stylish and intriguing with lots of twists and turns * Author is brilliant at setting the mood of the story, it feels like you are right in the story * Realistic and engaging heroine * Heartbreakingly sad at times * story goes back and forth during different years and months, but it never feels disjointed * I think will appeal to both mature teens and adults alike * nice historically accurate details * hints of dry humour lighten the mood * Just a plain classy coming of age novelThe Not so Good Stuff * Almost missed my bus stop I was so engrossed in the story - also was almost late for work this morning because I HAD to finish it * The beginning was a wee bit confusing on who was whoFavorite Quotes/Passages"We pack away lies in that house like you pack away Christmas. We put them in boxes and tape them over.""We'd learned it all in school, how he'd founded Rhode Island on the principle of religious liberty. Everybody should have their own God and get along, said Roger. It was a nice story, but I was still waiting to see how it was all going to work out.""Da didn't have much, but the man knew what to do with a story."What I Learned * that the 40's and 50's just sounds so fascinating, makes me sort of wish I was alive back then * I actually love reading books in this period of historyWho should/shouldn't read * This one isn't for the fluff (nothing wrong with fluff mind you) YA fans, this is style and substance * Adults will enjoy as well as the more sophisticated teen reader * A must addiction to all public and school libraries - it will win awards guys4.5 Dewey'sI received this from Scholastic in exchange for an honest review -- thanks Nikole this one was extremely classy
  • (4/5)
    Kit Corrigan leaves her family in Providence Rhode Island to become a singer/actress in New York City. Her boyfriend has joined the army, and when his father comes along and offers her financial assistance and gifts, Kit can't think of a reason to turn him down. But Nate Benedict is linked to gangsters, and his gifts have strings attached - strings that bind both families.
  • (4/5)
    1950s in Manhattan and Providence, RI. Just as good as her other historical noir, What I Saw and How I Lied. Only complaint: because this book is marketed as young adult, I think the length has been too carefully considered. I mean, I think she cut it short and rushed the ending, for the sake of keeping the book shorter to appeal to a younger audience.
  • (4/5)
    Again I waited way too long to review a book. Gotta stop doing that. Kit Corrigan has left her family in Rhode Island and moved to New York to try and make it as a Broadway star. The show she's in is a flop and her money's running out fast when Nate Benedict, her ex boyfriend's father and a mob lawyer makes her a deal. Keep an eye on Billy (the ex) and do a couple of favors and she's got a new job and a new place. Billy joined the military along with Kit's brother, the night it all ended because of Billy's temper; but there is still a lot unresolved between Kit and Billy.

    Kit is a great characters and I really loved looking at the world through her eyes. She's trying to figure out what to do and is unhappy with herself for taking the easy way out. She is a very strong girl but she doesn't see it yet. I was happy to watch her start to find her strength again at the end of the book.

    The book goes back and forth between Kit's early childhood, when her and her brother and sister (they are triplets) were part of the Corrigan three; growing up with her aunt and her father and dance lessons; and the beginning of her relationship with Billy. Along the way we get Billy's history and her aunt and father's history as well.

    The plot here is strong and interesting, the characters are extremely well developed, even the minor ones and I thoroughly enjoyed the book but there was one question it raised for me. At what point does a specific time period get relegated to historical fiction. The work takes place in the fifties (not the sock hop Leave it To Beaver, happy suburbia fifties but lives that are grittier and certainly feel more realistic), and while I wasn't alive yet some of my coworkers were. I've wondered about this a lot and have asked around. I find that the answer I tend to get depends on when the person I am talking to was born.

    In the end it was more of a feeling that made me consider this book historical fiction. Everything in this book feels very old fashioned. From the descriptions of the more superficial things such as clothes, food and furniture to the more in depth such as social customs, class and behavior. Also the occasional trips to the forties and thirties to get background information on characters and their situations allowed me to rationalize my decision.

  • (5/5)
    Kit Harrison has always wanted to be a dancer and actress. She heads to NYC and discovers an exciting world of post WWII, 1950s charm. At first life is tough. Her way is soon 'greased' by a family friend, Attorney Nate Benedict when he offers a place to live, provides a new wardrobe, and lands her a job as a Lido Girl. While he keeps assuring her otherwise, are there truly no strings attached?Blundell again proves she is the master of creating a moral dilemma, levels of complicity, naivete and self-knowledge, innocence and depravity. The story does not take a predictable turn -- one immediately suspects sexual favors are in line -- yet Kit is still ensnared as her desire to make it in the Big City blinds her to some obvious under-world dealings. There's a lot in the book to digest and for all of its messages, it remains easy to read (nicely paced) and G-rated. A great read for any discussion of right and wrong. It might be off-putting to boys with its emphasis upon the theater world and NYC: for everyone else, it's catnip!
  • (3/5)
    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.
  • (4/5)
    As with What I Saw and How I Lied, Judy Blundell has written another richly atmospheric post-WWII coming-of-age tale of love, deceit, murder and intrigue.Kit Corrigan is a 17-year-old triplet from Providence, Rhode Island who flees to New York City in 1950 to forget her past and pursue her dream of being a dancer and actress.As it turns out, life in New York is not as easy or glamorous as Kit had hoped. Nor is escaping your past. Dancing in a third-rate chorus show, subsisting on donuts and peanuts, and paying the mother of one of the chorus girls to sleep on their couch, Kit is hard put to resist the offer of a free apartment and a job as a Lido Doll from her ex-boyfriend's lawyer/gangser father, Nate "No Witnesses" Benedict.But Nate's offer comes at a price: in return for the apartment, he expects Kit to let him know whenever she hears from his son Billy, who rashly joined the army so he could go off and fight in Korea once he finished training. Kit broke up with him one terrible night of jealousy and violence and had enlisted Nate's help. Nate had willingly obliged, making Billy's problem with the law disappear. What Kit doesn't know is how often this had been a pattern in sensitive Billy's relationship with his smooth talking father.Mysterious suitcases overflowing with expensive clothes and a fashionable Manhattan apartment are all "swell", but it's not long before Kit realizes that as a kept woman she's being used. One favour to report on a gangster's presence in the club turns into another to pass on a package, and so Kit becomes an unwilling accomplice in a mafia hit her youthful innocence couldn't have predicted.As glimpses of the past are gradually revealed to us in bits and pieces, we learn through the eyes of Kit the child, and later, Kit the adolescent, that though the down-and-out Irish-cursed Corrigans and the Italian-descended Benedicts move in different circles, they actually go way back. Kit's father Jimmy and her aunt Delia, who had raised the triplets upon their mother's death in childbirth, had once been close friends and colleagues, bootlegging along the Rhode Island coast during the Prohibition.It is this shared past that will come between the Corrigans and the Benedicts again, the tightly-wound web of secrets and lies unravelling one by one, forcing the intricate subplots to a disappointingly contrived and dragged out ending.The strong voice and well-developed character of Kit as a tough, wise talking yet naïve 17-year-old brought up by her weak father and hardworking aunt Delia in the Depression years work well. Kit is a flawed, but likeable character trying to make a place for herself in the world as she come to terms with her love for a troubled young man, tracks down the mystery of her aunt’s disappearance five years earlier, and realizes how much the family she had tried to break away from means to her.The Corrigan Three – triplets Kit, Muddie and Jamie – and the father who lived off the measly bit of advertising revenue they generated are also fully fleshed out characters. Despite his lack of ambition, his weakness for drink and his tendency to look away from the truth, Jimmy Corrigan is a sympathetic character, a fiercely loving father who did the best he could to surround his three children with love.The dialogue in Strings Attached is evocative of the era but is not stilted or overdone, and goofy phrases like "These people have a lot of dough" and outdate words like “swell” or "joker" to describe someone who can't be trusted had me laughing out loud and thinking of my mother, who, born in 1935, speaks exactly like that.Adept at storytelling and juggling multiple plots and a variety of moments in time, Blundell has penned another tragic, smart and stylishly written page-turner that will have teens and adults reading late into the night.
  • (4/5)
    Like many starry-eyed young woman, Kit Corrigan dreamed of dancing it big in the Big Apple and having her name splashed all over Broadway. Yet life isn’t the grand adventure that she imagined it would be after running away from home. When her ex-boyfriend’s father finds her in NYC and offers her a hard-to-resist deal, Kit takes it without fully realizing what it entails beyond free rent, free clothes, a job recommendation, and an attempt to make amends with her ex-boyfriend. What girl can turn down such an offer? Well, if it leads deep into the trenches of the mob world, the price may actually be more dear than Kit had originally realized.Judy Blundell has once again proven herself in bringing history to life and engaging readers with a story that steeped in intrigue and noir-inspired romance. It was very easy to fall into the time period of Strings Attached, and I found Kit’s hard-knocked life very mesmerizing to watch. I thought I knew what had happened between Kit and her ex-boyfriend, but apparently I misread the between-the-lines! The ending felt a little too neatly-tied, and I wished that it had left more things unresolved – if that makes any sense. Considering all the tumultuous feelings and misgivings, I didn’t expect it all to be wiped clean in a very convenient way.
  • (4/5)
    Strings Attached is a YA historical novel about Kit Corrigan (of the Corrigan 3 - triplets who did the show circuit when young) who runs away to New York in 1950 to get into theatre, after having a fight with her boyfriend. Her boyfriend was somewhat controlling and emotionally abusive, so she was right to leave him, and she knows it. She still loves him, though, so when his father (a lawyer for the mob) offers her a swanky apartment and gets her a place in a popular nightclub as a dancer in exchange for writing to the ex-boyfriend, she can't really bring herself to say "no". But he keeps wanting her to do more favors as repayment, and she finds herself getting caught up in the mob herself...It's a non-linear narrative, so the chapters about her experiences in New York are interspersed with scenes from when she was young in Providence, or even the summer before, showing how her family and her situation came to be the way they are, including: how she met and fell in love with her boyfriend; how she came to acting and dance; the love but also rebelliousness she feels towards her father; the tangled relationship she has already developed with her boyfriend's dad. These scenes are given when they have the most relevance to the New York plot, and so they do not happen in any chronological order, and they also reflect what Kit knows at the time: some scenes of her childhood have very different meanings later in the book, when she's more knowledgeable about what was going on amongst the adults, than they do when the reader first encounters them at the beginning of the book.I loved the way the narrative is structured, including the use of first-person point-of-view to limit what the reader can know. It made the various reveals all the more dramatic, which kept me wanting to turn the page and go on. Although I had a few ideas about what might be the case, and I understood some of the hidden things before Kit did, I was still very surprised by some plot events, and even a bit shocked when certain things happened towards the end of the book. There was no reason these plot points strictly needed to happen, but because of them, the plot developed in a different way, and the characters could grow differently, than if it had gone the safe way. Also, those plot points were very in character and fit with both historical fact and what could be expected of mobsters.I also loved the characterisation. I hated Kit's boyfriend and that she keeps letting herself be with him, but it's very realistic for a 17-year-old in the mad rush of love to make unwise decisions like that. Kit felt like a real person to me, even if I didn't like her very much. She's a teenager who is naïve in some ways, but rebellious and stubborn and determined to get what she wants. Even the characterisation of her awful boyfriend has depth, showing why Kit could love him and not just the reasons why she should run away fast. Likewise, his father is as creepy as they come, with his mobster aura, but he, too, has more to him than that.This probably isn't a very easy book to read for someone who is triggered by abusive relationships, especially when the victim doesn't leave, but I found that Kit's acknowledgement that the relationship was wrong helped temper it some. She also did leave him when he crossed the line into violence (not against her, thankfully!). But for the engaging plot and wonderful descriptions of New York in 1950 and Providence, RI in the 1930s and 1940s, it's definitely worth a try. I could hardly put the book down, and I'm eager to read the author's award-winning book, What I Saw and How I Lied, if it's anything as good as this one.
  • (4/5)
    It is the year 1950, and 17-year-old Kit Corrigan has left her Providence home headed for New York City to try to make it as a dancer. Her estranged boyfriend Billy and brother Jamie have just enlisted in the army, and she and her father don’t see eye to eye. Now Kit is trying to make ends meet on her own. She finds a small place to live and a job on a chorus line of a show called “That Girl From Scranton!” She’s feeling desperate just when help comes her way from Nate Benedict. Nate is Billy’s father and is a lawyer with mob ties. He offers to set her up with a new dancing job, and a nice apartment and clothes. All he asks is help with a few favors from time to time. Kit gets in over her head in this story of love, scandal, mystery, and intrigue.I enjoyed Strings Attached a lot, and it’s one of the best I’ve read in the YA historical fiction genre. I was swept up in the story immediately and captivated with the details of Kit’s life in New York during the Korean War. The historical details are obviously well researched and transported me to another time and place. I felt like I was watching a film noir as the scandalous story unfolded.Kit is on the one hand very mature to be able to handle life alone in New York. But at the same time she is naive in her relationship with Nate. He is bribing her so that he can get closer to his son, and for Kit’s help with his unsavory business dealings. Kit has a tumultuous relationship with Billy, who is a possessive and jealous boyfriend. He always seems to be walking in on her as she is embracing another man, which doesn’t help matters.The story unfolds slowly and the details of Kit’s life are filled in through flashbacks to her life in Providence. We learn about her childhood and growing up as a triplet. We also learn about her relationship with Billy and her complicated family history with his father Nate. The flashbacks don’t interfere with the story in New York, but add a new perspective when viewing the current events.The events of the book lead up to a jam packed ending, filled with shocking revelations and dramatic twists and turns. The books ends with such a big finish it is a shock to read after the more even pace of the first three quarters of the book. The book has a satisfying though bittersweet ending that was a complete surprise.Strings Attached has a great story with a modern feel and relevance to today’s contemporary YA readers even though the story is set in the past. The noir-like tale of 1950 nightlife and gangsters has painstaking and vivid historical details of interest to history buffs as well. I’ll be sure to pick up the author’s previous book, National Book Award winner, What I Saw and How I Lied.
  • (5/5)
    Kit Corrigan is a sixteen-year-old girl is caught up in a mix of love, mystery, dancing at the Lido, and Mob retribution in 1950s New York. On arriving in New York City, kit doesn't have anything to her name, she has fled from her family home in Providence, Rhode Island, and she's broken off her turbulent relationship her boyfriend Billy, who's enlisted in the army. Billy’s father is associated with the Mob and makes Kit a deal – a deal that could end up costing her the family she loves and her future happiness.I found this book a little slow to get into and wasn’t going to finish reading; but I am glad I persisted; I really enjoyed the plot and the strong character of dancer Kit. Recommend to teens over 16 years.
  • (4/5)
    Author Judy Blundell takes us back to gangster days of old in the young adult novel, “Strings Attached.” Triplets Kit, Muddie and Jamie Corrigan have grown up in a poor family in Providence, Rhode Island. Since their mother died in childbirth, their father “Da” has raised them. Kit, a talented singer and dancer, has aspirations in the entertainment industry in New York. She gets a small part in a local production with movie star Jeff Toland. But when her boyfriend Billy sees them together, his jealousy erupts and he beats up Jeff. So Kit calls Billy’s father, Nate Benedict, a lawyer with mob connections, to fix the mess.Billy does not want to be like his father and enlists to serve in the war against Korea. Not wanting Billy to go alone, Jamie joins him, leaving an upset Kit to run away to New York and a shot at fame. But once in New York, Kit finds herself pulled into Nate’s world, and it’s not pretty.Blundell weaves an intricate tale that unravels slowly, intertwining the past with the present and revealing secrets of both the Corrigan and Benedict families. “Strings Attached”offers readers a slice of history during the Cold War, bomb shelters and blacklists included. The Corrigan clan is a colorful family and Kit, although naïve, is a strong, vibrant young woman. Readers will see her character grow and mature. I couldn’t wait to see how her story would end and Blundell didn’t disappoint. Note: I received the book through Amazon Vine.
  • (5/5)
    The best YA book of the year so far by far. Blundell perfectly describes a young woman with one foot in the adult world, and one foot still in childhood. The relationship between Kit and her boyfriend feels very real and is full of the confusion and passion of first love. The ending is a little too full of twists and revelations, but otherwise this is an expertly crafted book. It can be hard to describe what make a YA book YA, but this is a quintessential YA book. It is written with a teenager’s perspective of the world, but without condescension or idealization. I wish there were more like it.
  • (5/5)
    This book is a winner. I loved being taken back to the early 1950s with curls being set with bobby pins and rayon scarves. The Red Scare was heating up then with actors and writers with suspicious backgrounds being blacklisted. A nuclear bomb seemed imminent and bomb shelters are being built. Kit Corrigan, only 16 broke off with her boyfriend, Billy in an act of self-preservation and left her family for her in dancing in New York. As Kit learns about the life of a show girl we do too. With no place to live she stays with another performer and the performer's mother for a while. Then fed up with the two, she walks out and begins to get tangled up in a mess with her former boyfriend’s father, Nate Benedict. Nate is a part of the Mob. With alternating flashbacks and returns to the present, the author Judy Blundell paints the childhood of Kit Corrigan and her siblings. The flashbacks let the reader slowly discover clues to the mystery of her family and secrets that had been hidden. We begin to understand why Kit and her relatives made the choices that they did. As parts of the past are revealed, the tension builds into an exciting climax. The dialogue was great, I found myself saying some of it out loud a couple of time just for enjoyment.I truly felt like I was back in the early fifties and peeking into the world of the New York girls and peeking into a Mob leader’s family.The characters were expertly developed. At the end of the book, you are left to ponder several different questions. I will let you discover them for yourself. Judy Blundell is going to be on my list of favorite authors.I received this free book from the Amazon Vine Program but that did not influence my review, my thoughts are my own.
  • (4/5)
    Kit Corrigan leaves her family in Providence Rhode Island to become a singer/actress in New York City. Her boyfriend has joined the army, and when his father comes along and offers her financial assistance and gifts, Kit can't think of a reason to turn him down. But Nate Benedict is linked to gangsters, and his gifts have strings attached - strings that bind both families.