Review: The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson
from Amazon.com - 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.
all me - I LOVED the Blue Envelope books by Johnson, and I am a follower on Twitter (which means 50% of my tweets come from her), so I knew I wanted to read this book the moment I heard about it (thank goodness for ARC’s). Aurora (Rory for short) is a smart and witty narrator. Her inner monologue had me laughing out loud. Her first attempt to impress her new English schoolmates was hysterical - a story about her aunt in Louisiana who dated a death row inmate, channels angels and reads auras. Then Rory almost chokes to death on a bit of beef. Maybe the last part isn’t so funny, but Rory can lay on the Louisiana charm pretty thick, with lots of sarcasm and zingers, just to mess with a few stuck up classmates. Reading about Rory trying to play field hockey was priceless.
Rory’s ghost senses are brought to light slowly – which made for some great suspense since after her realization you suddenly find out … whoa, he/she was a ghost? There was a lot of tension and mystery to the plot and some bloody bits that amped up the scare factor. However, I felt a little confused at the end with the killer, and had to read it a couple of times to follow the logic.
The romance was with Jerome was in the background of the story rather than front and center. They snog a few times, but emotionally the relationship was ”like” rather than “looooove”. However, since this is a trilogy, the romance might develop further. Jerome was a convenient Ripper expert who provided info when needed – here’s hoping he won’t be an expert on any other gruesome events.
Let me just say about the cover that I’m not feeling the love. First, the title is too small; and second, who is the redhead? Did I miss the reference in the book? Rory has dark brown hair, Jazza was blonde, Charlotte (Jazza’a nemisis) had red hair so maybe it was her – but why would she be on the cover? If you know, leave me a comment since I am totally stumped.
Can I add that any author who writes a book that mentions Dr. Who, The Smiths and zombie Spice Girls has my vote for queen of the nerd herd? And I mean that in the most loving and good way, because I love all three of those things (especially The Smiths) and I am definitely a card carrying member of the herd myself.
I give this book 4 STACKS!
See you in the STACKS,
Nancy – who agrees with Alistair that Morissey is made of awesome.