THE NAME OF THE STAR (SHADES OF LONDON #1) by Maureen Johnson
YA - Hardcover, 370 pages
Published September 29, 2011 by Putnam Juvenile
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.
Are you looking for a book to get you into the Halloween spirit? This is the one. (Seriously, I might re-read it later this month for just this reason.)
THE NAME OF THE STAR is the story of Rory Deveaux, a teen girl from Louisiana, who goes to London to spend her senior year at a boarding school there. Oh, and she manages to get caught up in the middle of a murder mystery involving Jack the Ripper and a secret police force.
As with all of MJ’s books, there is quirk and humor on every page. The characters are varied enough to make a nice boarding school ensemble, but not so out there that they take away from the story. If one thing is lacking, it’s romance. It’s not necessarily needed in this book, as the setting (both the city of London and the school) are so well done, and the mystery drives the story, but I could’ve used a little more swooning.
THE NAME OF THE STAR is intriguing, mysterious, and packed with enough Rippermania to keep you on edge until the very end. It’s perfect if you’re looking for a book in a foreign city, or one rich with history, or something to ease you into fall (which always seems like the perfect time to read scary books to me).