Thursday, October 23, 2014

Review: The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson


The Name of the Star
Maureen Johnson
Series: The Shades of London (Book 1)
Print Edition: 384 pages
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Release Date: 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.

Y’all, I didn’t really know what to expect when I started this.  I did know that my 18yo sister-in-law really enjoyed this book.  And that it had been on my TBR list forever. So I finally downloaded it from Audible.  And I’m so glad I did!

The Name of the Star is all kinds of amazing!  The storytelling, the world building, both the relationship and personal growth.  And obviously the paranormal parts!

I know I’m seriously late to the game on reading this one (it released in2011!), and even though most of you all have read it, I’m going to try hard to keep this spoiler-free…for the small fraction of society that hasn’t read it yet!

Rory is off boarding school in London.  She’s like the fish out of water—grew up in Louisiana, as Southern as they come.  I appreciated that Johnson didn’t overdo Rory, or make her a caricature of a Southern teen—her voice is authentic and honest.  All the characters seem that way, too—genuine.  There wasn’t a single character (except the bad guy) that I didn’t like!  And then, just when I’m pretty comfortable with everyone, Johnson surprises us with Boo…she is so great, mysterious, but great.  And you know something’s up with her.  And the something doesn’t disappoint!

I swear, Johnson is a magician!  She knows exactly when to mix things up!  There’s the thing with Boo and Rory during the dance with a phone and a car and…you just don’t know.  I almost cried!

And then there’s the big event.  And it’s HUGE, and it’s masterfully written.  And it ends on a perfect note.

So, y’all, if you haven’t yet read The Name of the Star, you should.  I will continue the series!

rating 5 of 5

richard signature


  1. OK, as someone fascinated by the mystery of Jack the Ripper, you convinced me that I must read it. I'm adding it to my shopping list right now.


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