The Name of the Star Review

April 18, 2012 Reviews 11 ★★★★

The Name of the Star ReviewThe Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson
Series: Shades of London #1
Published by Putnam Juvenile on September 29, 2011
Genres: Mystery, Paranormal, Young Adult
Pages: 372
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased
Add to: Goodreads
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.

What I thought…

  • I knew nothing about this book when I picked it up.  I was sitting at Panera with fellow bloggers, Kate and Steph, and they were talking about how awesome Maureen Johnson was on twitter (which she is) and how awesome this book was, so on a whim I ordered from amazon.
  • Since I didn’t read the back of the book I didn’t know that it was ghost story.  In the past I would have said that I’m not a ghost person, but now I think I am.
  • It’s so creepy!  And it was creepy before I realized there were ghosts involved.  Rippermania has taken over in London, and people are scared, especially because there appears to be no evidence.  Just the similarities between the Jack the Ripper killings and these killings was enough to creep me out.  Throw in the ghosts and it was almost impossible for me to fall asleep.  I don’t mind being creeped out if the story is good, and The Name of the Star was worth being creeped out for.
  • Despite that it’s a mystery/ghost story it’s funny.  Rory comes to London from Louisiana and despite the fact that she did research on British sayings and customs she was still clueless at times. “I figured “pulled a Jack the Ripper” was one of those English expressions I’d need to learn.”
  • The title is genius.  I don’t usually pay too much attention to book titles, but this one bothered me because I just didn’t get it.  What was I missing?  Then you get a little further in the book, and it makes perfect sense.
  • Rory was an excellent main character.  She adapted fairly well with all the changes (better than I would have, that’s for sure!) and didn’t do anything too crazy.
  • I really enjoyed Rory and Jazza’s friendship, especially how they both reacted when Boo (their new roommate) showed up.  Jerome, Stephen, Callum, Alistair (I really, really liked him) and Jo were all great too.  I loved reading all their back stories and how they came to be in the position that they were in.
  • The romance felt just right.  It was there, but it wasn’t all in your face, and they didn’t get all crazy and do stupid things because “they’re in love.”
  • I loved the ending .  It’s not very often I can say that with a book when I know that there are more books coming but with The Name of the Star it’s true.  This also means that I am now eagerly anticipating the next book.

Overall I recommend The Name of the Star to anyone who likes a good mystery and isn’t afraid of a few ghosts.

Kate’s Review of The Name of the Star
Steph’s Review of The Name of the Star


11 Responses to “The Name of the Star Review”

  1. Bittner

    I loved this one too! Kate sent me an audio copy and it was so fun to listen to in my car!

    I also loved the friendship between Rory and Jazza and that was one of my only complaints about the book, the fact that when the second half of the story kicks into gear Jazza really isn’t in the story that much.

  2. fakesteph

    Allistair is my favorite! I’m so glad you liked it! Now I want to read it again! Marueen Johnson does cute/funny really well and I think the creepy comes off naturally for her, so she handles combining them better than I thought possible. :)

  3. Jenny

    Well, phew! I’d heard so many good things about this one I bought it. I haven’t read it yet but I’m glad to hear it probably wasn’t a mistake to just buy it.