Friday, February 3, 2012

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
Publisher: Penquin Group
Date: September 29th 2011
Pages: 384
Genre: Paranormal Mystery Thriller
Series: Shades of London #1
Source: HardcoverSummary (Goodreads) 
Goodreads 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? 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 liked this story. Like most people, I am a little obsessed with Jack the Ripper stories. I was pleasantly surprised with the direction this particular Jack the Ripper story went. It wasn’t quite what I expected but in a good way.
The story takes place in England. Rory just moved to England to attend a new boarding school for her senior year. Moving to England was not the only change Rory will go through, and the move to England, the new school, and the people were not at all what she was expecting. Shortly after Rory arrives in England, barely settling into o her new room, there is a murder that takes place in the city. This murder isn’t an average Joe murder; it mimics the first Jack the Ripper murder down to the name, street, date, and way the victim was left to be found.  This isn’t the only one either. The murders continue on the dates that the original murders took place. Rory finds herself mixed up in the investigation when she sees a man on the school grounds around the time of one of the murders. It’s not just the police who want to talk to Rory.
I really liked Rory. She is smart and quick on her feet. I feel that she was easy to relate to and does act much like a 17 year old who is put into a new environment with new people. She doesn’t know anyone, but that does not stop her from trying to find friends. I liked her friends in the book, her roommates, Jazza and Boo, and Jerome. Everyone is a little different but great in their way. I do wish that there were a few more interactions between Jerome and Rory, but I assume that may come in the next book.
The book is full of surprises and excitement, and was a real page turn. I love to read new and original stories. I believe this is exactly that, new and original. I can’t wait to get my hands on the next one.

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