Wednesday, 5 October 2011

The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson

The Name of the Star
Maureen Johnson
Putnam 
[September 29, 2011]

The day Louisiana teenager Rory Deveaux arrives in London marks a memorable occasion. For Rory, it's the start of a new life at a London boarding school. But for many, this will be remembered as the day a series of brutal murders broke out across the city, gruesome crimes mimicking the horrific Jack the Ripper events of more than a century ago.

Soon “Rippermania” takes hold of modern-day London, and the police are left with few leads and no witnesses. Except one. Rory spotted the man police believe to be the prime suspect. But she is the only one who saw him. Even her roommate, who was walking with her at the time, didn't notice the mysterious man. So why can only Rory see him? And more urgently, why has Rory become his next target? In this edge-of-your-seat thriller, full of suspense, humor, and romance, Rory will learn the truth about the secret ghost police of London and discover her own shocking abilities.

 I really enjoyed this book. It was creepy and had romance and an interesting plot and just...all the makings of a good book.

I'm going to start off by pointing out the words "London boarding school" in the summary. That's right, guys. London. Boarding. School. We all love boarding schools, we all love schools set in other countries (though, I guess if you live in England...), so here's some automatic bonus points.

Now, there's Jack the Ripper. There's not a lot of books relating to Jack the Ripper in YA (seriously, can we fix this? SATURATE THE MARKET WITH RIPPERS), so that automatically makes it stand out. Then add in the fact that Jack the Ripper was killing in 1888. Which, I think I can safely say, is something in the past. Which makes it historical. More bonus points, for YOU Name of the Star, for incorporating a historical figure and historical happenings.

Including anything Jack the Ripper related instantly ups creep factors. Especially when they're pretty much happening again and you have protagonists who skulk around the area where the murders are happening at night. And then you learn more details and you're just like "OMGOMGOMGOMG" and you start wondering if these things are going to come to your suburb in New York. *coughs awkwardly* Anyway...

Then we have Rory, who's Southern and snarky. Plus she has a roommate who's equally awesome and an avid reader. Both of them are clever (most of the time. Other times they're just TRYING to get killed) and smart and just wonderful. A fabulous dynamic duo.

I really enjoyed the love interest as well. It was a pretty subtle romance, slowly built up and definitely a background plot, but I liked him. He was sweet and funny and kind. Their relationship made sense.

As for the writing? Well, I finished the book before showering. I put the book down and got in the shower. I finished my shower, opened the curtain, saw the book, and got all excited about reading more. Then I remembered I'd already finished it and got sad again. Yup.

In all, I definitely liked this more than Lanna liked it and I highly recommend it. Really looking forward to seeing where the sequel goes!

--Julie

1 comment:

  1. Wasn't really a fan of this, which was a shame. Felt like it was geared towards a much younger audience. Or maybe it was just the writing. But others seem to really be taken with it, so I'm just one of the odd one's. Good to see that you enjoyed it :)

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