The Name of the Star
Author: Maureen Johnson
Series: Shades of London, #1
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication Date: 9/29/2011
Source: Borrowed from Library
Read All About It:
New York Times bestseller Maureen Johnson takes on Jack the Ripper in this captivating paranormal thriller!
The day that Louisiana teenager Rory Deveaux arrives in London to start a new life at boarding school is also the day a series of brutal murders breaks out over the city, killings mimicking the horrific Jack the Ripper spree 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—the only one who can see him. And now Rory has 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 am a huge Maureen Johnson fan. This was the sixth book I’ve read by her and it didn’t disappoint. Johnson has a talent for making realistic characters that are easy to relate to and Rory fits that theme. I loved seeing her experience a bit of culture shock as she compared London to her home in Louisiana. The descriptions of London and Wexford, the boarding school Rory attends, were vivid and made me want to be there – of course, if there wasn’t the next Jack the Ripper on the loose.
The story was a bit predictable due to the inside cover description, but it still had the perfect level of creepiness that didn’t completely freak me out, yet created a lot of suspense. The Name of the Star is also very unique – for example, Rory’s family. They are quirky and added a creative twist that was incredibly interesting to read about.
Part of the reason this book appealed to me is because I had taken a class where we spent a week learning about the original Jack the Ripper killings. Coming in with a lot of background knowledge made the book even more interesting, but knowing a lot about it certainly isn’t required since Johnson explains any needed background details (without boring people who know the facts). So far there are three books out and I recommend getting caught up on them before the fourth one is published!