Strings Attached by Judy Blundell

strings-attachedCindy:  It’s no mystery that fans of the National Book Award Winner, What I Saw and How I Lied, will line up for Judy Blundell’s latest historical mood-saturated drama, Strings Attached (Scholastic 2011). Kit Corrigan learns the hard way that there is no such thing as a free lunch. Seventeen and struggling to make ends meet as a dancer in 1950 New York City she accepts the offer of a swell apartment from her ex-boyfriend’s father, a man with mob ties who also gets her a job at the famous Lido Club. He just needs a few small things from her…and before she knows it, the lies and discomfort are building, but the real trouble is yet to unfold.

a-mystery-month-tag1There are many plot threads weaving throughout this novel, within a narrative that is anything but straightforward. It’s important to pay attention to the place and date at the start of each chapter and even then the story is likely to confuse readers who aren’t paying close attention to the backstory as it is meted out. This very much feels like one of those mysteries that you want to reread as soon as you finish. Blundell plays fair–the clues are all there–but some will be missed along the way waiting to be discovered the next time around. I can’t decide if there is just one or two too many plot threads, but each of them is intriguing and life is messy, right?

Perfect for older teen girls who like their mysteries served up with a little adventure, romance, and danger with a dollop of ethical and moral questions on top. With whom do your allegiances lie? With your family? Your friends? Your boyfriend? The man paying the bills? Or with yourself? Important stuff to puzzle out.

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About the Author:

Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan are Booklist reviewers and middle-school librarians who have chaired both ALA’s Best Books for Young Adults and the Michael L. Printz Award for YA Literature committees. Follow Bookends on Twitter at @BookendsBlog. You can also find Cindy at @cdobrez and Lynn at @482april.

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