Monday, 9 January 2012

Book Review- The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson

The Name of the Star (Shades of London #1)Title: The Name of the Star
 Author: Maureen Johnson
Series:  Shades of London #1
Published:  29 September 2011 by Harper Collins
Length: 372 pages
Warnings: Violence, kissing, 14+
Source: library
Other info: Maureen Johnson has written other things such as Little Blue Envelopes and the Scarlett series. Book 2, expected in October, will be called The Madness Underneath.
Summary : 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?
Review: Rory moves to London to start at Wexford Borarding School, Whitechapel. And while she’s there, there’s a set of copycat killings. Being ‘Whitechapel, all they’re copying is the murder spree of Jack the Ripper. Like they were in the 1800s, the police in the 21st century are once again useless, even while aided by technology such as CCTV. But then Rory sees a man on the school grounds, who no-one else can see despite him being the creepiest thing ever. Soon enough, she’s bulled into a world of ghosts, mystery and Jack the Ripper.
From the moment I read the summary on Goodreads, I knew I’d want to read this. And that I’d have high hopes for it. A modern take on Jack the Ripper? Count me in.
I really liked Rory. She taught me a few things about America. ((well, I say taught. She made comments about England such as “my schedule didn’t have the day in day out of back home, I’ll never remember this” and I just thought “Do you guys really have the same thing first period every day, second period every day and so on at school?” )). Jazza and boo were both fun girls who I’d love to be my real life friends. Jerome, the love interest of this novel, wasn’t my favourite boy in YA of a ll time , but he was fun and interesting.
I love the take on Ripper II. The spin on ghosts in this novel is a unique idea,. And the exorcism process is seriously cool. These new ghosts and the world around them is awesome! The plot twists and turns a lot, at unpredictable places, which makes it interesting and keeps me going.
Rory has her own strong voice- chatty, descriptinve, and easy to read. I got through The Name of the Star fairly  quickly, owing partially to the narrative, partially to the plot, and partially to my general interest in Jack the Ripper.
Overall:  Strength 4   tea to a book that has given me a new look on many things.
Links:  Goodreads | Author website


  1. I loved this book not only because it was so adventurous and thrilling, but also because I'm an expat of America now living in England. I went to High School in America, so I totally "get" all the references in this novel about moving across the Atlantic!

    Great review, by the way.


Thanks for taking time to read this!
Comments are much loved.
Nina xxx

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