Name of the Star
Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson
Hardcover: 384 pages
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile; (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.
Maureen Johnson has written a YA thriller. I would lie to you if I didn’t say the format of the book, being double spaced and easy reading wasn’t a blessing to these clouded eyes! The book read quite quickly and it was, to be sure, an enjoyable read.
I will say though, that I came away from the book not really feeling as if I knew the young people all that well. I’m not sure why. I just wouldn’t call the characters “unforgettable”. However, I always enjoy when a book that mentions things we feel we know a little about. (re: Jack the Ripper) In this respect Ms. Johnson did her homework and any information that came out about Jack the Ripper was most likely spot on. This was a good way to bring “old London” into new London, and I always get reminded that I am glad I wasn’t there during that time (even without being a prostitute!). All anyone has to do is see “the killer” and you know in the pit of your stomach that you will be someone he will come after! (not the greatest feeling I am sure). The instant this happens my mind went, “oh chit”! lol I especially liked how Ms Johnson explains away Rory’s new found “ability”, of which I won’t speak so that you get to enjoy finding out for yourself.
To me the book reads as a stand alone book, but if she wanted I am sure Maureen Johnson could bring Rory back to help with another murder.
As I said, I enjoyed the book.. but I think I would have enjoyed it more had I not just read a Dickens book before this one. I think it made it seem simplified because Dickens books are above my level lol. I may even try her next book whenever that comes out.