Monday, 12 December 2011

Currently Reading - Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

As the title of this post suggests, I am currently reading Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare, the first book in the Infernal Devices series. Since I have only read the first book, City of Bones in the Mortal Instruments series, I was worried that I would miss something whilst reading it. However, the plot is quite good so far, and as far as I know you can read the two series separately without anything being spoiled.

I have borrowed the book from my local library and am almost halfway through it. Part of the reason I picked it up was that I really enjoy stories set in the Victorian era, which the Infernal Devices series are. I've previously read the Gemma Doyle trilogy by Libba Bray and various others, and have enjoyed them thoroughly so hopefully I will love this by the end of it! Here is the cover.

Strings Attached by Judy Blundell - Review

Okay so a few weeks ago (I'm unsure the exact date, it has been a busy week!) I finished Judy Blundell's teen book Strings Attached. Here is the review for it:

3 and a half stars

Author: Judy Blundell
Publisher: Scholastic
Published: 2011
Pages: 356

Plot summary on book jacket:
"I only had one place to go. But maybe that made it harder to take the first steps towards it." Kit Corrigan arrives in New York City with a dream, no money and a whole load of baggage. Fresh from her breakup with unpredictable, hot-blooded Billy, who's now enlisted in the army, she's looking for a fresh start in the glitz and glamour of Broadway.

Life in the city isn't quite what Kit expected, however, as she struggles to make her mark in the cut-throat world of showbiz.

With her future looking uncertain, an unexpected helping hand comes in the shape of Nate Benedict, an eminent lawyer with rumoured Mafia connections - and Billy's father. Suddenly, Kit's dream of being a star is within her grasp...but at what price?

A novel full of love, deceit, intrigue and murder.

Strings Attached is a book that I've wanted to get my hands on for a while now. I'd read Judy Blundell's previous novel, What I Saw And How I Lied a few years earlier, and really enjoyed it, so when I heard about this, I was really excited to start reading it. The plot is set in 1960s New York, with flasbacks from the 50s and 40s being thrown in to the mix to give the reader more information on Kit's past and how she ended up in New York in the first place. Kit originally moved to New York from Rhode Island, to try and make it as a famous dancer on Broadway. When we first meet her shes starring in a show called That Girl From Scranton! but wants to find better job opportunities.

A few weeks before she arrived in New York, Kit had had an ugly break up with her boyfriend and childhood sweetheart Billy, who joined the army, and who Kit clearly still isn't over. In the flashback chapters it is revealed that Kit is part of a set of triplets: her sister Muddie still lives in Rhode Island with their father, whilst their brother Jamie has joined the army along with Billy, who happens to be Jamie'e best friend. Before she left for New York, Kit's aunt Delia used to live with the family, but left for reasons I won't say.

In the beginning I was really intrigued by the plot. I loved the Broadaway backdrop, and could almost feel myself being pulled back in time to the swinging sixties, as Kit describes going to dance lessons, and dancing on Broadway. I also enjoyed the flasback chapters, as you get to know more about Kit, her family, and her home life. It also helps you understand what is happening in the present parts of the book, and clears up some questions you might have at the beginning of the novel.

I only gave Strings Attached a 3 and a half stars out of 5, because towards the end of the book, I sort of became less interested in the plot, but don't let my review put off people from reading this! I would certainly read more books that are set in this time period but I have to say that I preferred Ms Blundell's previous novel, although I would still read books by her again.