Monday, 29 August 2011

Book Review: The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson

The Name of the Star (Shades of London)
Title: The Name of the Star 
Author: Maureen Johnson
Series: Shades of London #1
Pages: 370
Publisher: HarperCollins Children's Books
Date of Publication: 29th September 2011
Source: Publisher*
Synopsis from 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.

My Thoughts:
This book was amazing. It's one of my favourites of this year so far, definitely. I loved everything about it. It was SO GOOD.

Rory Deveaux has moved to a boarding school in London, but the day she arrives, a series of brutal murders breaks out across the city of London, murders which are similar in method and time and place to the killings of Jack the Ripper. However, Rory thinks she's safe in her school, that is, until she happens to see a mysterious man on campus that nobody else has seen, even when they were looking straight at him. Turns out, he is a major suspect in the copycat Jack the Ripper killings...

I loved everything about this book, but I especially loved the characters. I thought Rory was an awesome main character, and I liked how she seemed like just a normal American girl living in England (not that I know any of those...). Maureen managed to create an authentic teenage voice, and she was completely believable. And it wasn't just Rory who was awesome, but all the other characters too. Jazza, Rory's roommate was so nice and kind and she looked after Rory when she first arrived at Wexford, and Boo was just hilarious. I absolutely LOVED how Maureen gave her a cockney accent - Rory didn't know what to make of it and being British I knew how it sounded, so whenever I read her dialogue I just couldn't help but laugh out loud.

Another thing I loved was how there wasn't very much romance in the book. Don't get me wrong, I love romance in books, but I liked how in this it was subtle and very much a sub plot. I loved Rory and Jerome's relationship - how they got to know each other beforehand and then when they did kiss, they never really became boyfriend and girlfriend. It was sweet and cute, but the story didn't rely on it to make it a good book, it would have still been awesome without it. (Though I'm glad it WAS there).

I loved the plot! It was exciting and engaging, and it kept me reading for hours. It was full of twists and turns that I didn't see coming at all, and it was so creepy towards the end. I loved the whole idea of how only select people can see the ghosts, it really made them even more creepy and they freaked me out even more... Imagine if they were real - but you couldn't see them walking around you... In your house, in your car, in your bedroom at night?! Maureen created the perfect atmosphere for the book with her awesome writing, and it really freaked me out when I was up late reading in the dark at 11 o'clock... ;)

I adored The Name of the Star. When it comes out in September, BUY IT. Or, better yet, pre-order it! It is SO worth it! I had no complaints at all - I loved everything about it! I'd recommend it to anyone looking for a good, plot driven book, whether they are young adults or adults... I think it can and would be enjoyed by everyone! Now I must prepare myself for a year of waiting for the next one - who's waiting with me?

*I'd like to say a massive thank you to HarperCollins for sending me this review copy in exchange for an honest review. In no way has this affected my opinion of the book or the author. 

My Rating:
I give it 5 Feet!

2011 100+ Reading Challenge #55
2011 Paranormal YA Reading Challenge #32


  1. I loved the romance too! It was such a great book! And so scary too... ;)
    Great review!

  2. Great review. You moved it from a maybe to a wish list book. I'll look forward to getting it when she comes to Austin next month.

  3. It sounds sooo good! I'm saving my copy to read later next month just before release date, but I bet I don't make it lol. I'll probably end up reading it next now!

  4. Oooh, I'm glad the book is so good. I can't wait to read it :) And I do prefer British cover - it's so much more interesting

  5. Im so glad to see an amazing review for this one! I can't wait to read it! :)

  6. awesome review! this one is one of the next few on my TBR and I cant wait!


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